Case Studies

Independent Electric Supply (Arizona)

On a Mission to Make Customers Happy
  • Written by: Independent Electric Supply (Arizona)
  • Produced by: Independent Electric Supply (Arizona)
  • Estimated reading time: 3 mins

Independent Electric Supply (IES) represents the forefront of the electrical distribution industry. IES is an authorized distributor for a select group of premier manufacturers including Siemens, Hubbell, Western Tube, Cerro, Cantex, Cooper, Southwire, Lithonia, Arnco, and United Copper among many more. IES has worked on projects varying from Disney’s Space Mountain to the San Francisco Bay Bridge retrofit and Apple’s Research and Development facility in Cupertino, California. In just 35 years, the company has grown to become a mainstay in the California market by sticking to its philosophy of being a “customer-obsessed company”.

Of course, IES understands that client’s loyalty is not simply purchased, but earned. The company strives to be the “supplier of choice who consistently delivers”. In its vision statement, the company asserts that its ultimate goal is to be the premier electrical distributor by engendering integrity, accountability, honesty and character in every aspect of the business. It was due to these qualities that IES became a part of the Sonepar family of companies in August of 2011.

Developing a Customer Obsessed Corporate Culture

Though the company does not actually install or build anything itself, IES takes pride in uniting experts to work across the country and providing clients with the highest quality of state-of-the-art materials to turn lines of paper into physical buildings to last a lifetime. By 2006, the company that started out as a 10-person electrical supplier had grown to be a multimillion-dollar company with clients venturing farther and farther away from its original San Carlos, California, location. As a show of its commitment to both its customers and the Arizona community, IES opened its first branch outside of California to meet the needs of the rapidly growing metropolitan Phoenix area. The company most recently supplied materials for the contractors at the Phoenix CityScape Development, the Health Science Education Buildings Complex, as well as the two newest dormitory complexes at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

IES Tempe, the Arizona branch, is managed by Tom Edwards, who has been in the electrical distribution business since 1978. Edwards, along with the help of a very talented and successful group of experienced local people, opened the branch in 2006. “We strive to uphold the customer service oriented approach that IES is synonymous with,” says Edwards.

Learning from the Past, Looking Ahead

Each and every day, the IES team brings the experience accumulated over time to supply materials to its customers in a market that is slowly recovering from the economic downturn in 2009.

IES concentrates on developing business through market penetration analysis and by refusing to rest on its laurels. IES’ clients come primarily from four sectors: commercial construction, industrial construction, infrastructure construction and renewable energy. IES also supplies some telecommunications companies as well. Overall, Edwards insists on continually reassessing its product offerings and isolating underserved markets to stay competitive.”We look at our key accounts and analyze how much of that contract can be supplied by our manufacturers. The goal is to identify areas that fall under our company’s umbrella and to offer products and services that our competition can’t,” says Edwards. Not only is IES an authorized distributor for each product it represents, but the company also maintains a fleet of vehicles to deliver materials across the state of Arizona to ensure clients have the materials needed to keep their own schedules.

Of course, internal analysis is only half of the equation, and in lieu of the financial events in 2009, IES increasingly concerns itself with tracking the financial strength of its customers to avoid potentially disastrous situations “The market has shrunk in the last three years, and we have seen numerous companies either down-size or close their doors. This has forced us to manage our assets to the best of our ability to ensure that we remain financially strong,” continues Edwards.

Arizona, like many other states in the union, has seen its new construction significantly decrease in recent years and IES sees the road ahead to be bumpy. “The economy is improving, but slowly, that’s for sure,” reflects Edwards. For Arizona, at least, it appears that 2014 or 2015 might be the time that the economy returns to pre-recession levels,” says Edwards.

IES has come far in its 35 years in the industry. With the company’s talented staff in Arizona, Independent Electric Supply is sure to be leading the way as the market recovers.

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Spring 2018



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