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Company Overview

Graybar, a Fortune 500 company, specializes in supply chain management services, and is a leading North American distributor of high quality components, equipment, and materials. We serve the construction market, the commercial, institutional, and government (CIG) market, and the industrial and utility markets. Graybar products and services support new construction, infrastructure updates, building renovation, facility maintenance, repair and operations, and original equipment manufacturing.

History

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Founded in 1869 by inventor Elisha Gray and entrepreneur Enos Barton, Graybar has been one of the largest employee-owned companies in North America since 1929. Click the link below to learn more about Graybar’s 150-year history and see how the company is powering the new era of distribution.

Read more about our rich history here »

Locations

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Through a network of 290 locations across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, our 8,500 employees serve more than 145,000 customers. Our corporate headquarters are located in St. Louis, Missouri.

Visit our Locations page for a complete list »

Services & Products

Products
Graybar works with top manufacturers to distribute a wide range of products for all types of projects.  In addition to our core electrical, communications and data networking (comm/data) categories, we also offer lighting, MRO, safety, security, and other products needed across a variety of industries.
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Learn more about our manufacturers »

Services
Graybar specializes in complete building solutions, and can help customers manage even the largest projects. Services include logistics, inventory, and materials management, process efficiency, complete building systems, and other business services. ​​​​
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Graybar is focused on helping contractors improve their efficiency and profitability. Learn more from our customers by watching the clip on this page, or click the link below to see the full video.
Watch our Advanced Supply Chain Management video »

Updates

News

Should You Outsource Electrical Work?

Your facility’s electrical infrastructure is complicated, and it seems reasonable to hire outside contractors to help you perform specialized tasks on switchgear, panelboards, PDUs, generators and more. But what questions are important to ask when determining which workers are qualified?

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New LED Lighting Reduces Safety Issues for Manufacturer

The low light levels at OMNOVA’s facility were a safety concern for technicians maintaining and monitoring the facility’s processes. See how Graybar helped raise the light level by over 300% while decreasing the energy usage from 8.04kw to 5.213kw.

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Graybar Names Ellen Rebne District Vice President in Minneapolis

Graybar, a leading distributor of electrical, communications and data networking products and provider of related supply chain management and logistics services, announced that Ellen S. Rebne has been named District Vice President for the company’s Minneapolis District effective January 1, 2019. She will replace Thomas G. Pratt, who plans to retire after 30 years with the company.

Ellen is a 29-year Graybar veteran who currently serves as Manager, Comm/Data Business in Minneapolis, a position she has held since 2016. She previously held leadership roles as Director, Comm/Data Sales and Director, Finance in the Minneapolis District. She is a graduate of the Rutgers-Graybar Supply Chain Management Program and has earned multiple awards for her exceptional ability to achieve results. As District Vice President, Ellen will lead Graybar’s business operations in a territory that includes Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and portions of Wisconsin and Iowa.

“We thank Tom Pratt for his leadership and dedication to Graybar and wish him all the best in his retirement,” said Regional Vice President Dennis DeSousa. “We also congratulate Ellen Rebne on her appointment to District Vice President in Minneapolis. With her extensive leadership experience and deep knowledge of the business, we believe she will position Graybar for continued success in this territory.”

Graybar, a Fortune 500 corporation and one of the largest employee-owned companies in North America, is a leader in the distribution of high quality electrical, communications and data networking products, and specializes in related supply chain management and logistics services. Through its network of nearly 290 North American distribution facilities, it stocks and sells products from thousands of manufacturers, helping its customers power, network and secure their facilities with speed, intelligence and efficiency. For more information, visit www.graybar.com or call 1-800-GRAYBAR.

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The Future of PoE, Safety Risks and How to Mitigate Them

Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a useful standard that provides efficient delivery of power and data along a single medium. It helps cut down on capital expenditures as well as installation costs while improving overall reliability. With PoE it’s possible to provide data and power with a single twisted pair cable (Cat 5e, 6 or 6a) making everything easier to maintain.

In some areas of your network, PoE is as standard as cabling itself while in others it has not gained traction. Currently, PoE powers more than 100 million devices such as wireless access points (APs) and Internet protocol (IP) phones. The limitation has been that current PoE standard only support up to 30W of power to devices which limit its application.

The good news — this limit is about to change. This year, we’re expecting an update to the standard that will help increase power up to 100 watts.

Types of PoE

Before we talk about what’s coming, let’s review the current types of PoE. In the table below you can see that we have PoE (Type 1) and PoE+ (Type 2) which go up to 15.4W and 30W respectively.

These circuits are delivered using a standard data communications cable and use two pairs of wire do so. Due to the low wattage, any data cable starting with Cat 5e will give you a maximum speed of 1Gbps within the 100m distance allotted by TIA standards for delivering ethernet connectivity without having to worry about heat.

For this reason, PoE has been a workhorse across the LAN, the data center and some outdoor applications for the past 15 years.

As with all standards, market needs have surpassed the current standard. Users want to power devices such as high powered pan/tilt/zoom cameras, TVs, lighting and building management systems among others. For this reason, IEEE has been working on the PoE ++ and 4PPoE additions to the standard.

As you can see in the table below, the changes will do more than just deliver more power. We expect to see PoE++ (Type 3) and 4PPoE (Type 4) to achieve 60W and 100W of power respectively while providing 10 Gbps of data across four-pair category cables.

This is excellent news for an industry that is clamoring for more data and power. Of course, there are always challenges when working with new technology, and in this case, it comes in the form of heat.

Fortunately, a new UL standard and an updated National Electrical Code (NEC) will help users safely deploy more power across their network. Just be prepared that your current cabling infrastructure may not support delivering more than 60W of power.

The NEC and the UL LP designation

The new PoE standard for 2018 is starting to get people excited. More power equals more devices, but it also means more heat, and that is where the NEC and UL come in.

The 2017 NEC covers the next generation of PoE applications. However, the code only addresses systems with power levels above 60W which only applies to 4PPoE. It prescribes the maximum number of cables allowed in a bundle based on tables found within the document.

You will also see that many states and localities have not adopted the latest document, so it will take some work to determine what steps should be taken to ensure compliance with local codes as well as providing a safe environment once the infrastructure is operational.

This is where the UL listing comes in to play. They have done the legwork for everyone to help provide peace of mind when installing higher powered solutions. Per the UL website, their LP cable designation indicates that the cable has been evaluated to carry the marked current under reasonable worst-case installation scenarios without exceeding the temperature rating of the cable.

The certification takes into account significant bundle sizes, high ambient temperatures and other issues related to environmental effects, such as enclosed spaces or conduits. This allows an end user to install a cable in 2018 without having to worry if their infrastructure can handle higher powered needs in the future.

Whether you choose a LP rated cabling or use the 2017 NEC ampacity table guidelines (725.144) and inspections, you will be able to deploy the new standards without heat concerns.

PoE is Here to Stay

PoE has been a pillar of commercial network infrastructure since 2003 and is continuing to adapt to new applications and standards as they develop. The ability to send power and data over one cable without compromising the quality of either is a significant benefit to contractors, building managers, and the end user.

Contact your local Graybar representative to find out how we can help you with your data and power needs.

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The Potential and Challenge of IoT Explained

Are you tired of hearing about the Internet of Things (IoT)? From smart thermostats to fitness bracelets and voice-activated tech, this buzzword has invaded boardrooms and marketing departments, saturating online business media and social media.

Don’t let the hype wear you out. IoT has profound implications for the construction industry, industrial plants, manufacturers, and commercial and urban infrastructure. In 2016, there were 6.6 billion IoT devices. Business Insider predicts by 2021 that figure will increase to 22.5 billion. Gartner estimates that 5.5 million "new things" are being connected each day, and GE predicts investment in the Industrial Internet of Things is expected to top $60 trillion (including services) over the next 15 years.

Every organization, no matter how large or technologically savvy, can expect to be affected.

What does IoT mean again?

The true essence of IoT is capturing data and turning it into insights. An IoT network connects things to things and there are billions of THINGS!

In 1999, Kevin Ashton, who was working with MIT on radio frequency identification (RFID), wrote Internet of Things as a title on a PowerPoint presentation and unwittingly coined a buzzword.

But how do devices communicate? The classic IoT misunderstanding is the toaster talking to the fridge or the toaster talking to an app to tell you the toast is ready.

What IoT is really about is technology that can gather its own information and do something useful with that data.

So instead of the fridge telling you it's empty, it would automatically order some fresh broccoli that has since spoiled from your failed all-veggie diet.

What industries will IoT impact?

The future of the IoT depends on devices moving past the consumer market. Applications like smart street lighting that turns on only when people or vehicles are present, saving cities on their energy usage. In construction, applications could include an app alert that appears when a delivery truck is set to arrive, or when inventory is running low. In the industrial vertical, there are a whole host of applications, such as monitoring the performance and uptime of assembly lines.

And there are many others. McKinsey & Co. highlighted the nine most promising settings for IoT solutions:

  • Human – wearable devices, mostly for healthcare purposes
  • Homes – home controllers and security systems (smart homes)
  • Retail environments – stores, banks, restaurants, arenas, etc.
  • Offices – energy management and security in office buildings
  • Factories – optimize repetitive work routines from assembly lines to farms
  • Worksites – mining, oil and gas, construction, trucking, pipes
  • Vehicles – trucking and transportation, aircraft, ships, personal automobiles
  • Cities – public spaces and infrastructure in urban settings
  • Outside – optimizing and automating transportation (logistics routing, self driving cars, navigation)

The future of the IoT depends on devices moving past the consumer market. Things like smart lighting that turn on to help your autonomous car navigate across town and direct you to the nearest downtown parking spot so you can catch the live show on time is where the technology is headed.

Commercial potential for IoT

For IoT to reach its full potential, it will need to overcome infrastructure challenges. Chief among them is that the growing number of devices creates a whole lot of data, and a burden for networks everywhere. Security and privacy concerns aside, networks will need to be expanded and/or upgraded to push through the 8.6 zettabytes of IP traffic predicted by 2018.

One way to help support this need is the development of edge networks. Enterprises have traditionally invested in large, centralized data centers to quickly transport large amounts of data to users. But now enterprises are shifting to smaller, regional data centers in areas of high consumption to shorten the distance data must travel.

In other words, instead of having just one large hub that routes data to everyone, an enterprise network will use several regional or "edge" hubs that are closer to users and their devices. Think of edge networks as a high performance bridge to the cloud.

Netflix is a good example. The bandwidth-hungry streaming service has partnered with ISPs to bring content closer to the consumer. This reduces buffering and increases application performance. The same idea can be applied to IoT devices. By bringing the network closer to IoT devices, data can be collected and analyzed faster at the edge before being sent to the data center or cloud.

Even as edge networks evolve, the simple fact is that IoT devices are still in their infancy. With more commercial devices launching daily to help plants, buildings and cities run more efficiently, the sophistication of IoT applications will grow. Companies will need to develop the technical expertise to enable them, and design bigger, better and more reliable networks on which IoT applications can run.

Forbes Roundup Of Internet Of Things Forecasts And Market Estimates, 2016
McKinsey & Co. Executive Summary

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Events

Careers

With 8,500 employees in more than 290 locations across North America including Canada and Puerto Rico, Graybar is a national company with local career opportunities, including:

  • Sales Representatives
  • Business Development Managers
  • Material Handlers
  • Delivery Drivers
  • Information Technology
  • Marketing
  • Internship Program

Read more about careers with Graybar »

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Awards & Accolades

• No. 426 on the FORTUNE 500 ranking of America’s largest companies (2018)
• No. 55 on the Forbes America’s Largest Private Companies list (2017)
• Named to FORTUNE World’s Most Admired Companies list for the 16th year (2018)
• Named by Forbes as one of “America’s Best Large Employers” (2018)
• No. 13 on the National Center for Employee Ownership “Employee Ownership 100” list (2018)
• No. 3 on the Modern Distribution Management Market Leaders list (2018)
• No. 3 on Electrical Wholesaling’s Top 200 Electrical Distributors list (2018)
• Named one of the Top Workplaces in Atlanta, the California Bay Area, St. Louis, Oregon and Southwest Washington (2018)
• On Broadband Communities’ Fiber to the Home Top 100 list (2018) 
• Named one of Selling Power’s “Best Companies to Sell For” (2018)

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Affiliations & Associations

NECA
Electri
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NAW
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It's-America
Bicsi
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IEC (1)
Energy-Star (1)
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Leadership

As a leading North American distributor, Graybar operates with one clear mission: to serve as the vital link in the supply chain, adding value for customers and suppliers with innovative solutions and services. Graybar’s strategy is to sustain the organization as an independent and employee-owned company, while achieving the results that position the company as an industry leader and allows Graybar to work to the advantage of those it serves.

Board of Directors

Mazzarella
Kathy M. Mazzarella

Chairman, President and CEO
Joined Graybar in 1980

Bender
David A. Bender

Atlanta District Vice President
Joined Graybar in 1988

Clifford
Scott S. Clifford

Senior Vice President,
Supply Chain Management
Joined Graybar in 1994

Geekie
Matthew W. Geekie

Senior Vice President, Secretary
and General Counsel
Joined Graybar in 2008

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Richard H. Harvey

New York District Vice President
Joined Graybar in 1983

Harwood
Randall R. Harwood

Senior Vice President and
Chief Financial Officer
Joined Graybar in 1978

Lyons
Robert C. Lyons

Regional Vice President
Joined Graybar in 1979

Mansfield
William P. Mansfield

Senior Vice President, Marketing
Joined Graybar in 1987

Maxwell
David G. Maxwell

Senior Vice President, Sales
Joined Graybar in 1985

Propst
Beverly L. Propst

Senior Vice President,
Human Resources
Joined Graybar in 2002

Quality

ISO 9001:2015 Quality Standard

Graybar's registration to the ISO 9001:2015 quality standard represents a major achievement in establishing and maintaining a quality process. Our goal is to achieve excellence in customer service by monitoring and meeting specific performance standards. Developed by the International Organization for Standardization, the name "ISO" does not stand for the initials of the organization, but is derived from the Greek word isos, which means, "equal."

ISO-registered organizations document what they do, and do what they document. The registration process shows us where we can improve service levels, streamline the way we do our jobs, and drive costs down. All this makes for a productive organization that can stay focused on what is important - delivering superior distribution service to our customers. Graybar’s Quality Management System and all Graybar locations are registered to the quality standards established by ISO.

Governance

Corporate Responsibility

At Graybar, we believe being a good corporate citizen is simply the right thing to do. As employee-owners, we make decisions with a long-term view in mind. We have a unique and personal responsibility to each other and the Company, to our customers, and to our communities where we live and work. Holding ourselves accountable for delivering results in these three areas is something Graybar takes seriously. 

Read more about Graybar's corporate policies and principles >>