Hunt Electric Supply Company
Hunt Electric Supply (Hunt) opened its doors in 1971 and has been family-owned and -operated since its inception. While the electrical supply business has grown significantly for more than 40 years, the trademark consistent, personal service remains an integral part of Hunt operations.
“We are proud to be a family-owned independent electrical distributor, it gives us a personalized feel and the ability to provide great service,” details Sam Hunt IV, president and third generation owner of Hunt. Sam’s current operation boasts eight branches throughout central North Carolina, with locations scattered between Winston and Salem to Raleigh.
All eight locations maintain a diverse inventory of staple items, such as: distribution equipment, controls, fuses, lighting, tools, wire and cable. Hunt’s selection continues to grow with new and innovative energy saving products, including LED light bulbs, occupancy sensors and energy saving LED and fluorescent fixtures.
Customers have come to rely on Hunt for a strong inventory. The business sells a wide range of electrical products, with products sent out from its distribution center on a daily basis replenishing each location. Along with daily shipments the main distribution center is stocked with both common and hard-to-find items.
“We guarantee next-day supply so when our customers place an order, they can get materials right away,” Sam details. “If they were ordering direct from manufacturers, it could take several weeks.”
Instead, Hunt maintains partnerships with these suppliers, providing an unbroken supply chain for contractors. Major brands include: 3M, General Electric Co., Lenox, Panasonic, Siemens and several others.
The company’s ABB line is one of the newest and fastest growing. The inventory is driven by demand. As consumers become more educated on energy efficiency for example, contractors are asking for more and more items that meet the qualifications of green construction.
“Our goal is to be at the forefront of energy saving technology for our customers,” Sam explains. “People are starting to understand that energy-saving products are better; they last longer, offer better light and are good for the environment. We want to provide these products for our customers and be sure that they are from a reliable vendor and of the highest quality.”
Leading the charge
Still, Hunt’s greatest asset continues to be its experienced, knowledgeable sales force, which is why the company streamlined operations to keep the sales team focused on what matters most: the customer. “Our corporate office controls all the receivables, payables, purchasing and most administrative functions so that our sales employees can focus on their customer’s needs,” Sam details.
Sam is grateful for the resources he does have, particularly Hunt’s team of dedicated employees. “The greatest asset for any company is its people,” he says. “They have been here for us and we strive to be here for them. One thing people don’t emphasize enough is good employees, and their happiness is as important as ours. Providing a good work environment and compensation is important to us.”
It is evident that Sam finds true joy in his work. “Over the past 44 years, we have had the joy and privilege of building long lasting relationships with our many loyal customers,” he continues. “Our mission has always been for our customers to want to buy from us, be glad they did and want to come back and buy again. We accomplish this by offering many services like a large inventory, hard to find items, same day delivery, wire cutting service, large fleet of delivery vehicles, including flatbeds and tractor trailers and 24-house emergency service.”
Hunt joined Affiliated Distributors (AD) in 1983, just two years after a collective of independent distributors organized to share best practices and leverage economies of scale in purchasing products from leading manufacturers.
Today, AD’s 500 member collective represents annual sales in excess of $23 billion. According to Sam, AD helps local companies with strong ties to the community, such as Hunt, maintain inventories of only the highest quality products from leading manufacturers without sacrificing independence or competitive pricing.
In 2011, Hunt celebrated 40 years in business. Considering the team’s willingness to adapt to a changing market, Sam and his team are looking ahead to a bright future. The business has won several awards from manufacturing partners for strong representation and consistent sales. As part of a national distribution group, the business has strong support and maintains relationships with other independent supply companies across the country. This affiliation helps to boost Hunt’s purchasing power, ensuring that contractors will continue to find a strong independent North Carolina resource for materials.
Overall, Sam is optimistic about the direction of the company and the market. “It feels like things are getting better,” he says. “I see the company headed in a good direction. We are strengthening our core group of employees and continue to take advantage of new opportunities.” With a fresh outlook and strong relationships with both suppliers and customers, Hunt Electric Supply Company continues to offer reliable products and service in North Carolina.
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