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Graybar Canada

Faye Coady, vice president of the Comm/Data Division


March 1, 2006  


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CNS Graybar Canada was created in January 2000, but obviously it was important to keep the Harris & Roome brand name, particularly in Atlantic Canada. Are there any plans to increase your presence in other parts of the country?

Coady Harris & Roome have a strong market presence in Eastern Canada and it made a lot of sense to continue with the name. That said we are now starting to introduce the Graybar name into the Atlantic Canada provinces. For the foreseeable future, the Harris & Roome name will remain. Graybar Canada has no plans to drop the Harris & Roome name, but has over the past 12 months introduced the Graybar name with the Harris & Roome name.

CNS Do you eventually see a national organization?

Coady Absolutely. That is where we’d like to be. From a data communications perspective, our focus has been national. We need that approach in order to be successful.

CNS What technologies are you using to help in the shipping and delivery process at your three hub warehouses in Dartmouth, Mississauga and Calgary?

Coady We are quite unique in our approach to inventory control and management. All of our locations carry their own inventory. We closely monitor our inventory turn and fill rates, which has been excellent. Our purchasing structure is sensitive to the demands of our customers in each region.

CNS How has Graybar VIP Design Online, the online budgeting tool for structured cabling projects, been received in Canada?

Coady The Graybar VIP programs was designed for the U.S. market and built on a U.S. pricing structure, which in many cases differs from Canada.

We have a strong business plan in 2006 with many new initiatives, but we could not support the program effectively at this time.

CNS What type of synergy is there between the various divisions of Graybar Canada across the country?

Coady If you look at what is happening in the market between the data communications and industrial/ automation groups, we have a program that revolves around Industrial Ethernet. It’s something that starting to really work well for us and we see it paying a lot of dividends. In addition, our automation group for some time has been jointly working with our communications people and had great success.

CNS In terms of technological advances in the structured cabling and telecommunications sectors, are your customers embracing them or taking a wait-and-see-approach?

Coady They’re cautious, but I definitely see them starting to embrace new technologies. I think that everyone in the structured cabling industry realizes that in order to remain in business they are going to have to diversify.

They are all looking at new and creative ways. As an example, some may be become more involved in telephony, while others will branch out to security or wireless.

It’s exciting. We have to diversify, particularly when it comes to our communications program.

CNS What are your biggest opportunities moving forward?

Coady While structured cabling remains our core business, we are excited about our wireless initiatives, our security initiatives, Industrial Ethernet and all the other new technologies that are now part of our business plan. These new initiatives will continue to pull though our core structured cabling business.

CNS Where do you see 10G Ethernet fitting into the mix?

Coady My impression is that this is a technology where people are taking a wait-and-see approach. You will see it in vertical industries such as data centres, but my opinion is that mainstream adoption is still a couple of years away.