West Coast DC

Meet Madison: Kirk Pace

A lot has changed at Madison over the years, but one thing, perhaps the most important thing, has remained constant: our exceptional employees. And today we’re introducing you to one of our best: Kirk Pace.

Kirk has been with Madison for over 3 years as Madison’s Director of Operations. Kirk has been instrumental in the development of so many key projects at Madison, it would be really hard to get them all in on one blog post. Kirk manages the warehouse team at our headquarters here in Bedford Heights and our D.C. in California as well, he also manages our customer service team. At Madison we believe that our people make the difference, and Kirk is a prime example of this philosophy.  Here’s a bit more about Kirk:

Q: How long have you been with Madison Electric?

A: 3 Years!

Q: Describe your job in one sentence.

A: Unplugging bottlenecks.

Q: What’s the first thing you do every day when you get to work?

A: Say “Good Morning” to all of my coworkers!

Q: What’s your proudest accomplishment at Madison?

A: We’ve done several large projects during my tenure including restructuring customer service, opening a west coast distribution center, ERP conversion…….but they don’t really mean much unless you have great people. By far my proudest accomplishment is working with a group of people willing to adapt to change in order to make Madison an industry leader. It’s Always The PEOPLE!

Q: Do you have any hidden talents? If so, what is it? If not, what’s one talent you wish you possessed?

A: I play guitar.

Q: What’s the best part of living and working in the Cleveland area?

A: The winters!

Q: What’s your favorite quote from a movie?

A: Pee-wee: There’s a lotta things about me you don’t know anything about. Things you wouldn’t understand. Things you couldn’t understand. Things you shouldn’t understand.

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • RSS Feed
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • Google
  • LinkedIn
  • Technorati
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
ME Stingray_300x250

Inventor Spotlight: Jeff Locher

“Everyone out in the field has had an idea that would make their job easier, or to make an existing product better, but what do you do with your ideas?” These are the words of Jeff Locher, inventor of the Stingray.

Jeff’s journey started out the way most inventors start, with just an idea. “I had a few ideas but I didn’t know how to start. I had a friend who made me a few prototypes and people loved the idea. But now what? I have a job and a family, how was I going to produce and distribute my idea?” Luckily, Jeff had a contractor friend who gave him some information about Madison’s Sparks Innovation Center, the industry’s first crowd sourced approach to new products development. “I submitted my idea on the website, had a couple of phone calls, set up a meeting and showed the team over at Madison our ideas and it has been a blast from then on!”

Last month the Madison Stingray became the ninth product brought to market through the Sparks Innovation Center.  Affordable and effective, the Madison Stingray is good for anyone who has to pull cable through a drop ceiling. Inventor Jeff Locher states “The idea for the Stingray came about from years of working in the field trying to pull cables through a drop ceiling and having the cable get caught on the ceiling. This can damage not only the cable but the ceiling, and with the Stingray you no longer need to have a second person feeding the wire making sure no damage occurs.”

Using the Stingray in extremely simple; just snap the Stingray onto the ceiling grid and you are ready to go. You now have a chase that not only protects your expensive cable but also the ceiling grid, not to mention the labor savings. The Stingray pays for itself almost instantly. When you are finished, pull the Stingray’s tail and slide off. That’s it!

• Protects expensive and fragile cables

• Protects ceiling from twisting and marring

• Prevents cables from tangling with the ceiling, saving time and labor

• Smooth interior creates an almost frictionless chase

• Side slit allows for easy cable removal at any time

• Fits 1″ standard ceiling grid

• Easy to install and remove

You can check out to demonstration video here!

“Partnering with Madison has been an unbelievable experience “says Jeff.” If anyone has an idea for a product I would start with the Madison Sparks Innovation Center; the industry’s first crowd sourced approach to new product development.

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • RSS Feed
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • Google
  • LinkedIn
  • Technorati
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
2014 Prediction

2014 Predictions

Happy New Year!

Last year we made some predictions for the electrical industry for 2013 on our blog, you can check it out here. We were reasonably on par with our predictions. To mix it up a bit this year, I wanted to share a few links to my favorite 2014 predictions for Marketing, Web design, Social Media. Manufacturing and Distribution.

ForbesMarketing – Ekaterina Walter

What will 2014 bring and what should organizations and individuals expect from the continued digital revolution? These marketers provide their thought-provoking expert opinions.

Social Media TodaySocial Media – Chris Syme

In my years in marketing and media relations, I’ve learned there is one constant: change. If you can’t embrace it, you will wither on the vine. Peeirng into the crystal ball of 2014, I found some excellent prognostication from people that know much more than I do on what’s next in social media marketing. Here are the ten best I’ve found so far.

SitepointWeb Design – Craig Buckler

Happy New Year! 2014 is a fresh start for the web and developers everywhere. My 2013 predictions were reasonably accurate so let’s see if I can communicate with the spirits (it’s always easier after a few whiskeys…)

MDM (Modern Distribution Management)Distribution – Jenel Stelton-Holtmeier

It was a year of finally looking forward – reluctantly in some cases – to growth-inspired initiatives rather than efficiency-driven initiatives, maybe because we finally reached the end of the rope on the latter. Distribution is definitely a leaner industry than it was just a couple years ago, and everyone has learned how to do more with less.

OmnioneManufacturing – Kevin Withers

What’s in store for the manufacturing industry in 2014? Experts from the International Data Corporation (IDC) have released a report that details their predictions for the upcoming year.

So there you have it, my favorite predictions for 2014. Please check out the links and let me know what predictions you have for 2014!

Cheers!

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • RSS Feed
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • Google
  • LinkedIn
  • Technorati
Posted in Random Musings, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Photo Nov 26, 5 50 25 PM

What Are We Thankful For?

Every November, I like to take time to reflect on the year we’ve had so far and what we’re thankful for.

I’m especially thankful to work at a company and in an industry so committed to pushing forward, so I want to use this post to call out a few of the people who make that possible:

Our employees. First and foremost, we are thankful for the awesome employees here at Madison. Over the past 5 years, our crew has evolved into a passionate, driven and customer-centric team of true professionals. I come to the office everyday excited to work with such a gifted group who approach each day – and every challenge – with the same passion and enthusiasm that I do. You really can’t ask for much more than that.

Our customers. We really do have the best customers in the world, and we are thankful for the relationships that we have developed with them over the years. As we all know, you do business with people, not brands or Twitter handles. We are fortunate to be able to communicate clearly and openly in all aspects of business, and we appreciate our customers’ loyalty to Madison. We are proud to have the opportunity to serve them and help them grow their businesses.

Our partners. We are thankful for our vendor partners: Here in the US, overseas and in the UK. We have aligned ourselves with the best in the business because we know our customers deserve the best. We are thankful for the opportunity to work with like-minded partners who focus on developing and supplying the best products, with the best service and value.

Our men and women in the armed forces. We are eternally thankful for the men and women that selflessly serve our country and protect the freedoms that each and every one of us enjoy. We thank them for the sacrifices they make on a daily basis to keep us safe. God bless our service men and women and their families.

From all of us here at Madison, we hope you and your families have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving this year!

•••

Like what you’re reading? Please subscribe to our blog or sign up for our enewsletter.

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • RSS Feed
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • Google
  • LinkedIn
  • Technorati
Posted in Industry | Leave a comment
Madison booth social

12 Tweetable Trade Show “Pro” Tips

One of the perks of my job here at Madison is getting to attend various trade shows and events throughout the year. I always enjoy networking, checking out new products and seeing what’s new in the industry.

I’ve attended quite a few shows since joining the team, so I’ve come to consider myself somewhat of an expert on how to maximize your attendance. Here are 12 of the most important things I’ve learned:

  1. Mention the show and your booth number in as many places as possible leading up to it, such as your website, mailers, advertisements, etc. (Tweet this)
  2. Reach out to current and target clients before the show to set up one-on-one meetings at your booth. (Tweet this)
  3. Set meetings with media scheduled to attend the show to demonstrate new products. (Tweet this)
  4. Broadcast your attendance on social media, including your booth number, any products/promotions and the show’s hashtag. (Tweet this)
  5. Also use the show’s hashtag to drive traffic to your booth. (Tweet this)
  6. Make sure ALL booth staff knows your full product line, including price, unique selling points and where to find each one. (Tweet this)
  7. Give staff a chance to walk the floor, plus ask them to rate their favorite booths (including why) to keep up on what you could do better. (Tweet this)
  8. Give yourself time to leave your booth too! Make time to attend the show’s opening ceremony and any breakout sessions that are appropriate. (Tweet this)
  9. Also make time to talk with both peers and competitors about business trends, trade show traffic and upcoming events. (Tweet this)
  10. Don’t forget to pack emergency supplies, like duct tape, screw drivers, shrink wrap and a small vacuum to keep you booth clean. (Tweet this)
  11. Make sure to follow up with new contacts after the show, as well as anyone who visited your booth. Provide links to any products you discussed, plus ways to stay connected. (Tweet this)
  12. Always remember to thank trade show organizers a great show and congratulate them on a job well done! (Tweet this)

What else have you learned through attending trade shows? Let us know in the comments!

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • RSS Feed
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • Google
  • LinkedIn
  • Technorati
Posted in Trade Shows | Leave a comment
MMAD_tots

Madison Makes a Difference: Help support Toys For Tots!

Earlier this year, we introduced Madison Makes a Difference a company wide initiative that encourages our employees to give back by supporting local organizations that benefit the community.

We launched the program in June with Harvest for Hunger and then we launched a drive for the USO (United Service Organization) in August, and today we are pleased to announce our next partner: Toys for Tots:
The objectives of Toys for Tots are to help less fortunate children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas; to play an active role in the development of one of our nation’s most valuable resources – our children; to unite all members of local communities in a common cause for three months each year during the annual toy collection and distribution campaign; and to contribute to better communities in the future.

Here’s where you com in: Help Madison support the Toys for Tots campaign in Northeast Ohio by donating toys to help less fortunate children in the area to experience the joy of Christmas! If you want to participate, feel free to drop off your toys at our offices (26401 Fargo Ave., Bedford Heights, Ohio 44146):

Do you have a worthy cause you’d like Madison to consider? We have a few organizations lined up, but we’re always looking for more ways we can reach out and lend a helping hand. Let us know in the comments – We’d love to heat your ideas!

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • RSS Feed
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • Google
  • LinkedIn
  • Technorati
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
IMG_8353

NECA Convention 2013 Recap

I have attended NECA Convention every year for the past five years I’ve been at Madison, and I want to start off by saying that this years’ show was hands down our best show to date. It was a great show on multiple levels …

First, I want to congratulate the NECA team for putting on another amazing event. The team was incredibly helpful from start to finish and, as always, a pleasure to work with. I also want to give a special shout out to Julie Duda, NECA’s exposition sales manager. She does a fantastic job and the show would not be such a great success without her.

Second, I want to thank the Madison team members that worked the show, without whom it would not have been such a success. Trade shows can be tough and I know they had to be on their best behavior (wink, wink) when we were live streaming from our booth, but they all did a really excellent job. Of course, special kudos to our own Ron Hill for another great job getting our booth set up and being our go-to guy for product demos.

Our Eastern Regional Manager Brian Goodwill, more commonly known as “Mr. Wonderful” to our team, was another great asset to our booth – It’s always fun to see him interact with customers. And, it wouldn’t be NECA Convention without our UK partner and inventor, Malcolm Duncan of Super Rod, stopping by. He always adds that Australian – umm, I mean UK – flare to the booth. ;)

Last but not least, big thanks to our president, Brad Wiandt, for his support. Brad was in DC to walk the show, and yet he still managed to find time to work the booth and engage with some of the industry’s best and brightest.

Next, I want to thank all of this year’s NECA Convention attendees. It’s always great to see some “regulars” at the show, but we also enjoy meeting the newcomers and were pleased at how many stopped by this year. We always enjoy meeting the “new guys” in the industry too, so I was glad to see such a large showing of apprentices this year.

Here are a few of my key takeaways from the show …

  • A number of attendees commented on how many new and innovative products/solutions they came across this year. I think this really reflects the industry’s focus on pushing the industry – and our products – forward, so let’s keep it up!
  • I was very impressed with Southwire’s new booth. It was hands-on (which we love!) and did an excellent job showcasing their new tools. Kudos to the team!
  • The Milwaukee Tool team had another major presence at the show, and I’m always impressed with the coordination it must take to pull off such a large booth. They had a number of people on hand for tool demonstrations and did a really great job, as usual.
  • Graybar held a successful promotion at their booth, where they handed out tool bags to the first 600 people to stop by each day – Very smart. I also enjoyed seeing my buddy, Todd Reed, Graybar’s national market manager.

DC may have been in shutdown mode, but I’m glad to see that didn’t stop NECA from putting on this year’s show: It’s always good to see our industry partners working hard and sharing ideas to move the industry forward.

Lastly, I’ll leave you with a few “pro tips” for visiting DC:

Best breakfast spot in DC: Ted’s Bulletin Capitol Hill
Ted’s is a vintage 30’s – 40’s flare breakfast spot with outstanding food, great service and huge portions … plus homemade pop-tarts. Crazy good!

Best Italian in DC: Trattoria Alberto of Capitol Hill
Great old school Italian food. Try the handmade ravioli with ricotta cheese and pink sauce … PERFECT.

Check back soon to see our new product recap from NECA! Were you at this year’s convention? Let’s hear about your experience in the comments!

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • RSS Feed
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • Google
  • LinkedIn
  • Technorati
Posted in Industry | Leave a comment
Madison booth social

Countdown to NECA Convention: Demo New Products at Booth 1222!

In case you missed yesterday’s post, we’re busy this week gearing up for NECA Convention and Expo in DC and using the blog to give you a taste of what to expect from us while we’re there. Today, let’s take a look at the products you can demo (including one that won’t hit the market until 2014!) if you stop by and see Madison at booth 1222:

Madison Inline Intersystem Bonding Bridge
Released last month, the Madison Inline Intersystem Bonding Bridge is the eighth product we’ve brought to market through our award-winning Sparks Innovation Center. It changes the way electricians terminate bonding conductors by mounting directly to enclosures and eliminating the need for electricians to penetrate structures with mounting screws when they install electrical systems. The bridge incorporates six termination points (twice the amount required by the NEC) and an inspection window, plus it can be used both indoors and out. Click here for additional product features.

The Stingray
Have you ever found yourself snagging cable as you’ve been pulling it across a drop ceiling? Not only does it ruin both the cable and the ceiling, but it also creates delays and extra costs. With Madison’s Sti

ngray, the latest innovation in pulling wire, that scenario will become a thing of the past: Simply remove ceiling tiles and snap the Stingray into the corner of the ceiling, and voila … No snags! The Stingray protects the cables from becoming tangled with the grid, plus it protects the grid from twisting and marring. It even has a slit along its length that allows you to remove the cables from the tool at any time. The Stingray won’t officially debut until 2014, so stop by for a sneak peek!

If you’ll be in DC for NECA Convention, be sure to swing by booth 1222 and check out the Inline Intersystem Bonding Bridge and Stingray for yourself. Feel free to email me or tweet us if you want to set up a time to stop by!

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • RSS Feed
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • Google
  • LinkedIn
  • Technorati
Posted in Trade Shows | Leave a comment
Madison booth social

Countdown to NECA Convention: Connect with Madison Online and in DC!

We’re headed to NECA Convention and Expo in DC later this week, where there will be some seriously cool things happening at our booth. And since we’re too excited to wait until this weekend to show you what those things are, we’re bringing back the “Countdown to NECA Convention,” our annual blog series that highlights what you can expect from Madison at the show.

To kick things off, we wanted to share a few ways that you can connect with Madison during NECA Convention this year. The best part? You don’t even have to be there to do it. Here’s how:

If you’ve ever wanted to go behind-the-scenes with the Madison team or see what it’s like to run our trade show booth, we’ve got good news for you. During this year’s convention, we’ll be live streaming from our booth four times – giving those of you at home a little taste of what it’s like to be in the floor with us. To tune in, simply visit http://www.ustream.tv/channel/mymadison-live and hit “follow.” You can even set reminders for when we’ll be live on air:

  • Sunday, October 13: 1-2 pm, 3-4 pm
  • Monday, October 14: 1-2 pm, 3-4 pm

We’ll be sharing plenty of online updates throughout the show, so you can follow us on Twitter and Facebook to learn more about what we’re up to. You can also connect with me personally at @rfisher1228. (Reminder: If you’re chatting about the show on Twitter, just be sure to use the convention hashtag: #NECA13!)

Attending the show? Be sure to come by and see us at Booth #1222, where we’ll be demonstrating the Inline Intersystem Bonding Bridge, our latest innovation in electrical grounding and bonding. You can also get a sneak peak at our next innovation, “The Stingray” cable pulling tool (Spoiler alert: It mounts to standard ceiling grid!).  I’m also always open to meeting for coffee or a quick walk around the floor, so feel free to email me at rfisher@meproducts.net if you’d like to coordinate a time to get together.

Are you attending NECA Convention? Let us know where to find you in the comments below or give us a shout out on Twitter. We’ll see you there!

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • RSS Feed
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • Google
  • LinkedIn
  • Technorati
Posted in Trade Shows | Leave a comment
Madison Booth 1

Reflections on 2013 IEC National Convention & Electric Expo

Now that our team is settled back in after our trip to Portland, I wanted to take a couple of minutes to reflect on this year’s IEC National Convention and Electric Expo.

First, a bit about the conference’s location. (For those of you who didn’t attend, this year’s conference was held at the Oregon Convention Center in downtown Portland.) In hindsight, I do believe the location ended up affecting overall exhibitor and attendee participation. However, I will say that our team was fortunate to be able to visit such a neat city.

The people there were absolutely some of the nicest I have encountered on my travels – Even the TSA folks at the airport were incredibly polite! The IEC and Oregon Convention Center staff were also great. We’ve all participated in trade shows where the teams moving your crates and installing your carpets were less-than-friendly, but I can definitely say the folks in Portland were among the best.

Speaking of crates and carpets ….

This was Madison’s first show with our new trade show booth, which we’ve spent the past five months building from the ground up to both reflect our brand and to evolve as our brand grows. We even used more than 100 Madison items in the actual construction of the booth (We’re always looking for new ways to highlight our products, after all!).

The booth features two removable & replaceable product demo walls. This way, as we continue to launch more products from the Sparks Innovation Center, we’ll be able to continually change out our demo walls to feature our latest innovations from contractors, electricians and industry inventors.

I also want to take a second to congratulate Denier Electric Company’s Jacob Gray on winning this year’s National Apprentice of the Year Competition. This annual contest places top graduates from the IEC Chapter Apprentice Training Programs in head-to-head competition for prizes and recognition, and it was really great to see someone from Ohio come out on top.

Since the Apprentice Challenge is such a focal point of the show, we also had the opportunity to meet a bunch of great folks just starting their career in the electrical industry. What a great experience being able to share our passion for the industry with such an energetic group of young professionals!

Spending a few hours getting to socialize with our partners during the general reception was another highlight. We put the Virginia Tech vs. Georgia Tech game on the big screen TV in the booth during the reception, and all had a great time chatting and watching the game.

Lastly, one of my favorite topics: Social media! The social media big screen hanging from the ceiling was a big hit this year – It really shows how our industry is evolving and incorporating new technology. And speaking of social, I’ll leave with a pro tip to exhibitors: Be sure to use your social channels and the conference hashtag to drive traffic to your booth.

Did you attend IEC Convention this year? If so, what did you think?

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • RSS Feed
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • Google
  • LinkedIn
  • Technorati
Posted in Industry | Leave a comment