COVID-19 Electrical Distribution Market Sentiment Survey

COVID 19 Electrical Industry Impact

March 23, 2020

By David Gordon & Christian Sokoll 

Last week was a “helluva” week for many with hourly reminders of a changing world due to an invisible enemy that is justifiably panicking all. It was a week we’ve all become too well acquainted with the words “coronavirus” and “COVID-19”. It was a week of crisis management and a week for company leadership.

Throughout the week we heard reports ranging including:

Varying business environments with significant business swings on the east and west coast whereas the middle of the country and the south experienced “normality”.

The Boston construction marketing being shut down

Distributor salespeople staying home and conducting virtual sales calls.

Manufacturers sending pizza to distributor counters for virtual counter days and sending pizza to contractors for virtual sales calls.

Distributors adapting to curbside delivery and disinfecting supplier deliveries

Most companies seeking to reassure their staffs and doing “the right things” as it relates to sick leave policies, PTO, compensation and more and others who are advocating “cuts” or have made personnel changes to ensure their cashflow (or, perhaps, in some cases using COVID-19 as an “excuse” for personnel management).

So, lots of confusion and much adaptation. Most companies have been resilient, some haven’t had to change much other than being “cleaner” and more responsible as their geographic area had minimal, if any, impact from the virus … especially suburbia and rural areas.

COVID-19 Impact and Electrical Market Sentiment

But, the the market over the past two weeks is significantly different than the first two months of the year.

And over the past week we’ve received a number of calls asking “what are you hearing?” “What are others doing?” “What do you think the market will be?”

While we shared what feedback, it’s anecdotal and, in the scope of the industry, from a nominal number of companies, so, in conjunction with DISC, the industry’s premier economic forecaster, Channel Marketing Group has teamed up to solicit the electrical market’s sentiment with this short survey.

Share your insights over the past two weeks and the actions that your doing to serve customers and, most importantly, how your supporting your staff. We’ll publish results later this week / early next week.

COVID-19 Impact and Electrical Market Sentiment

But, the the market over the past two weeks is significantly different than the first two months of the year.

Share your insights over the past two weeks and the actions that your doing to serve customers and, most importantly, how your supporting your staff. We’ll publish results later this week / early next week.
 
 

Given the fluid nature of COVID-10, it’s our intent to update this survey every two weeks to help keep you informed at a broader industry level … and we’ll adjust some of the questions as the market changes.

As we head into the week, more states are closing non-essential businesses. The electrical distribution industry is considered an essential business by most states and most states consider electrical contractors and construction projects as “essential”, which should help keep many / most electrical distributors open which ensures some ongoing cash flow. The criteria for manufacturers may vary by state so it is suggested that manufacturers, or their reps, reach out and be proactive regarding their status.

The situation will remain fluid for awhile. Leadership by management is needed. Thoughtful approaches to staff management is critical for serving customers as well as rebuilding businesses. While duration of the pandemic is unknown and the impact to today’s business is unknown, but we do know that there will be an electrical distribution industry when all is said and done and leaders and strong companies with strong moral compasses will endure.

 
Go HERE to complete the survey

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