opportunity. It sort of sucks the oxy- gen out of the room.”
Positive Notes On a positive note, Trump’s choice for the Supreme Court—Neil Gorsuch— was confirmed after Senate Republi- cans eliminated the 60-vote require- ment for Supreme Court confirma- tions to a simple majority. And there have been positives for business; Orlet pointed to some executive orders as examples: “Greenlighting the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines were positive moves. Reviewing Dodd-Frank regu- lations, including the conflict miner- als reporting requirement, is a good thing. We are glad to see that,” Orlet said. “We also like the idea of rescind- ing two regulations for every new one regulation going into place. It’s mostly symbolic, but it speaks to a change in philosophy. Those are things we can get behind.” Orlet joined with other Washington observers in hoping for more outside- the-box ideas like the border adjust- ment tax that was introduced in early discussions about tax reform. “That is really different policy from what we do now,” Orlet explained. “It sort of changes the debate. Without saying that the policy itself is good or bad, it certainly is a different idea. And Washington needs new ideas.” For most newly elected presidents, a slow start is more typical than hit- ting the ground running, Orlet cau- tioned. “Thinking back to the begin- ning of the Obama administration, it wasn’t like win after win after win for them either,” he said. “Democrats thought they would get card check and cap and trade within the first 100 days, but neither happened. It is hard to do this even when both houses of Congress and the presidency are con- trolled by the same party.” ;
Nowlan is a Boston-based freelance
writer/editor and author. He can be
reached at email@example.com.
www.tEDmag.com May 17 • the ELEC TRICAL DIS TRIBUTOR 17
To better help electrical distributors respond to the needs
of electrical contractors, “Contractor Q&A” features remarks from real contractors from around the country. Here,
Jim Canant, operations manager of Summit Electrical Construction in Birmingham, Ala.; and Andre Dupuis, owner
of Andre’s Electric in White Bear Lake, Minn., answer the
HOW DO YOUR ELECTRICAL DISTRIBUTORS HELP
YOU BE A LEADING COMPANY—OR WHAT COULD THEY
Canant: Our distributors are very timely on getting our materials
to us when we need it, especially at jobsites—and they’ve stored
materials for us in the past. If we’ve got an emergency situation,
we expect them to respond—and they normally do. We do a lot of
commercial projects in the greater Birmingham area (within a
100-mile radius) and our distributors give us the right materials
at the right price.
Also, our project managers make use of our distributors’ lighting and design departments. We do a lot of design-build work
and design electrical systems for buildings. We have a lot of
clients who tell us, “We’re going to put up a building” and give us
the floor plan. We have engineers that work with us. Our distributors are doing a good job with what we expect them to do and
we try to live up to what they expect from us.
Dupuis: They can better help [me] by having more competitive
pricing. For example, I recently needed some #12 THHN and the
distributor was charging $60 a roll. When I looked around, I was
able to purchase the wire for $42 at a home improvement store.
Fifteen to 20 years ago, it would have been unthinkable to go
elsewhere, but now it is becoming more of an option and it could
end up being a regular purchasing habit for many to remain
competitive. More and more I find that I am going to home improvement stores for everyday items because the difference in
price is very substantial. I still shop at distributorships for uncommon parts, but I’m finding that the level of specialized services
and services in general are declining. ;
Send your questions to “tED” Editor Misty Byers at firstname.lastname@example.org.