The Buzz

5 Key Capabilities of a Great Lighting and Electrical Supplies Distributor

circuits Created with Sketch.

Posted: August 25, 2022
By: Editorial Team

Businesses with a national footprint—retail stores, restaurants, fitness centers, and banks, to name a few—deliver a consistent feel no matter the location. That brand aesthetic is accomplished through several design elements, one large component being light—from how it’s controlled to the fixtures delivering it.

“Who you buy your electrical and lighting supplies from is one of the best ways to ensure brand consistency and guarantee your next expansion or retrofit project is completed on time and within budget,” says Andrew Kellerman, Executive Director of National Accounts at Loeb Electric. 

He would know.

Under Kellerman’s leadership, Loeb led a nationwide project for America’s largest retailer, swapping fluorescent lighting in more than 4,600 Walmart stores with more than 11.5 million LED lamps, which led to an estimated $374 million in energy savings and glowing reviews from the retailer.

“We could never do a project of this magnitude without the customer service and support Loeb provides,” said Bob Stone, Walmart’s senior renewable power and energy-efficiency manager.

“When you’re a fast-growing brand readying to open or remodel several stores within a certain period, you create a budget and then ask, ‘How do I get the best pricing for my stores? How do I make sure my contractors have the same electrical and lighting supplies, no matter their location, to ensure quality?’” Kellerman says.

The answer? Get your electrical and lighting resources from a single but reliable electrical distributor.

But how do you locate the best partner for the job? 

Kellerman offers five proven capabilities you should look for in your next lighting and electrical supplies provider to eliminate unnecessary project hiccups and downtime.

1. They offer material supply & management 

A great distributor will have partnerships with a range of best-in-class manufacturers so that you get the material you need, not just the latest promoted product. As an independently owned company, Loeb is here to help you make informed decisions to get you the right material for your project from the brands you trust. They’ve also invested heavily in technology, generating customized eCommerce sites to allow facility team members to quickly order replacement lighting products for their location, while upholding brand standards.

Additionally, a great distributor will offer asset management and logistic services to support forecasting material needs and navigating manufacturer lead times. Columbus, Ohio, where Loeb is located, ranks among the best logistic hubs for guaranteeing the speedy delivery of quality supplies to clients throughout the U.S.

Kellerman says this location ensures Loeb can deliver lighting and electrical supplies promptly.

2. They provide superior project management from start to finish

The best lighting and electrical distributors provide more value than just taking orders and drop-shipping material. They also offer decades of experience developing, managing, and executing projects.

“We have extensive project development and management experience in both simple and extraordinarily complex projects, from a single-location to projects spanning 1,500 locations or more,” Kellerman says. “We oversee projects across the full project life cycle and make sure our clients’ objectives are achieved.”

It’s why so many clients now ask Loeb to run their entire projects, from project design and labor oversight to material logistics and project close, including performance reporting. “Through continuous improvements to our processes, investments in technology, and our people, we offer an advantage our competitors cannot,” he says.

Loeb’s industry experience, spanning more than 110 years, drives the success of this hard-to-find project management offering. Their performance reporting includes dashboards with real-time updates on every project and all the moving electrical supply components needed—a program Walmart raved about following their retrofit of 11.5 million LED lamps.

“We’re so big,” said Stone, “it’s difficult to keep track of all the moving parts. I couldn’t do what I do without Loeb.”

3. They invest in their people

Any distributor can sell you lighting and electrical products. What will differentiate your experience is the expertise of the team behind those products.

Whether you’re planning your next brand refresh and need support in lighting design or audits to assess current footprints, or you’re looking at launching a preventative maintenance program to increase safety in your stores or distribution centers, your distributor should be able to support you. 

The team also needs to be accessible—ready to support you when you need them. 

The first of Loeb’s core values is “people,” followed by trust, commitment, and innovation. We strive to encourage the success of our people through providing digital, in-person, and off-site training, much of which is delivered through industry partners and best-in-class manufacturers. 

“We also work to provide a respectful, fun atmosphere, where our team members want to come to work. Onsite we have a game room, and we’ve recently launched a social engagement committee where associates work to drive greater engagement across the business, as well as give back to our community,” Kellerman says.

Happy employees lead to even happier customers.

4. They offer extensive, well-stocked inventories of your materials

Brands undergoing rapid growth need ready access to their project materials, especially in a volatile supply chain climate. To effectively navigate this need, an electrical distributor with a large storage capacity can support inventory ahead of project need, operating in a third-party logistics (3PL) capacity. 

Loeb Electric, owners of the most extensive electrical supplies inventory in Ohio and with multiple warehouses in central Ohio, specializes in filling this need.

Various lighting and electrical supplies—including fixtures, controls, switchgear, switchboards, breakers, solar panels, and EV chargers—are brought in-house for customization and bundling, packaging, and kitting, which enhances customer efficiency and labor margins while reducing the waste of electrical parts.

At Loeb, “we’ve made the necessary inventory investment in our warehouses to make sure the product lands when our clients need it, as opposed to only when it’s available,” Kellerman says.

5. A customer-first mentality drives their business

Working with a great electrical distributor shouldn’t be a transactional relationship. With a customer-first mentality, they will get to know your needs, objectives, and key performance indicators (KPIs), and make a plan to support these goals. They will be a trusted partner with value alignment and keep you up to date on project progress—working every day to exceed your expectations.

“You need an electrical partner who will make recommendations based on your needs, someone who cares about getting you the best product for the best price, no matter who the manufacturer is,” Kellerman says.

Loeb’s mission statement is “To work together to demonstrate concern for our customers so that we become essential in their success,” and every Loeb team member is striving to deliver it. Quarterly, they also celebrate associates who have shown “Concern for Customers” across their core value categories of people, trust, commitment, and innovation.

“You need a wholesaler who hears your needs, listens to you, and works with their vendors and internal teams to get you what you need, even if it requires creating a product or service from scratch,” he says. “You don’t need someone to check off a box. You need someone to make it happen.”

Privately owned, Loeb has excelled in making quick, complex decisions for customers for more than a century. See how this customer-first approach to electrical lighting supplies can help you get the materials you need, on time and within budget.

Recent Posts

5 Key Capabilities of a Great Lighting and Electrical Supplies Distributor

August 25, 2022

Andrew Kellerman offers five proven capabilities you should look for in your next lighting and electrical supplies provider to eliminate unnecessary project hiccups and downtime.

Read more