Expanding Into New Markets

September 20, 2010

Problem: Cable Electrical Services, a full-service Florida electrical contracting firm, has been specializing in the construction of large, upscale multifamily apartment and condominium projects since 1983. Due to the slowing economy, however, the Apopka, Florida-based company is exploring new markets.

“We have gone out-of-state because the market in Florida has decreased due to the recession,” said Don Crowley, vice president of Cable Electrical Services. “If you want to stay in business in hard times, you need to be prepared to go where the work is.”

Florida’s multi-family market has been saturated, resulting in fewer opportunities. For that reason, Cable Electrical has expanded into Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina. Before taking on jobs out-of-state, the firm secured business licenses and then lined up its workforce.

“We are working with companies we’ve worked with in the past and we’re able to relocate our forces to the job.”

Solution: Cable Electrical wanted to pursue out-of-state opportunities without opening up new branch offices for one or two jobs. In addition, the contractor wanted to work with a distributor that could meet its material handling needs.  By partnering with

WESCO, the contractor was able to streamline the delivery of materials to the out-of-town projects.

Chris Crump, a solar specialist for WESCO and Brown Wholesale Electric, said he is seeing more contractors expand into new geographical regions. Oftentimes, contractors will take on a few jobs to test the water and see if the new area is a profitable place to do business. Next, they will look for the availability of workers, followed by a familiar supply chain.

“The fact that WESCO has so many Branches in numerous cities and towns is an advantage,” Crump said. “In some cases, they can combine invoices and even have one point of contact, which is a big plus.”

Cost $avings: By partnering with WESCO, Cable Electrical Services was able to save on overhead, Crowley said. WESCO allowed the contractor to handle its purchasing in Central Florida, and then make arrangements to have materials delivered to out-of-state jobs.

“The cost savings came down to the convenience,” Crowley said.  “WESCO has Branches in the locations we are working in, and it allowed us to buy materials and get invoicing from one central home location. This eliminated unnecessary paperwork, time, and effort.”

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