CES Orlando Central: We’re Not Like Anybody Else
When Branch Manager Robert Burrows was given a chance to open CES Orlando Central in the actual heart of Orlando, he did what anyone running one of the most profitable branches in the entire company would do.
He jumped at the opportunity to start over from scratch.
“I’d been a branch manager at Orlando South for four years,” he said. “Last year, we were top five in the company. The most exciting thing to me, and the reason why I wanted to start over, is this location. I see so much potential in this area.”
Who wouldn’t? They’re in the middle of the I-4 corridor, they have a ton of large electrical contractors nearby, and there’s even more competition. That’s one of the most exciting things for Burrows and his team.
“We’re only a mile away from some of our biggest competitors. We’re bringing our business to where our customers are, and we’re ready to prove that we’re not like anybody else.”
That’s a bit of an understatement. CES Orlando Central isn’t like anybody else because Burrows isn’t like anybody else. He’s extremely committed to his branch and his team.
He’ll leave flyers on cars.
He’ll run counter days with dunk tanks and wacky wavy inflatable tube guys and make his branch look like a theme park just opened up.
He might even stand outside the branch spinning a sign around. But all of that builds the culture that has made him and his previous Orlando South branch so successful.
And it’s exactly what will make Orlando Central a successful branch, too.
“We build our business around our customers’ business,” he said. “My team understands that their business is an extension of ours. We work for each other, and if they’re successful, we’re successful.”
A Winning Culture
A lot of that success also comes down to culture. It’s what makes the difference between a good branch and a top-five branch. After all, Burrows knows best.
“You’d be surprised what a good environment and a good culture can do,” Burrows said. “At CES Orlando Central, we brought that same mentality here. We have the right people, the right staff, and the right culture right out of the gate.”
Speaking of the right team, they also have an incredible work ethic and mentality when it comes to helping customers.
“Customer service makes us outshine any of these other guys,” he started. “What we do is not like anybody else. You can call us at 7 p.m., and we’ll answer the phone. We’ll stay late and open early. We’ll do whatever it takes to help our customers find a part, even if it’s just a $5 widget. It may not cost much to us, but that could mean all the difference between a guy finishing a job or not.”
The Team at CES Orlando Central
Before you can get the customers, you have to build your team, and Burrows is the first to admit that he has one heck of a team behind the counters.
“Richard Maxim is my Operations Manager. Before he came to work with me at Orlando South, he worked in the field as an electrician for eight years,” Burrows said. “Then, there’s Counter Sales Bryan Byle, who already knows how the system works and is learning more every day. With our experienced staff and our well-stocked and well-organized showroom, we just have to execute.”
The team is more than excited, and Burrows most of all.
“Can’t wait to see CES Orlando Central turn into something big,” he said. “I have a great feeling about this location. At this branch, we can be here for a long time and make a lot of people a lot of money. Now that it’s open, it has that chance.”
The Business at CES Orlando Central
With all of the pieces in place, now Burrows and his team can focus on what’s important: growing their customer base. That starts with what they know — solar. The great news is that Burrows is close to the biggest solar players in Florida at Orlando Central.
“In Orlando, we’ve embraced solar,” he said. “We work hand-in-hand with the Renewable Energies division at CES a lot. Some of the biggest solar companies in Florida are within a mile from me.”
But it’s not just solar. CES Orlando Central is also expecting plenty of commercial and industrial business. After all, it’s all right there in their own backyard.
While Burrows has his sights set on making CES Orlando Central a profitable branch, he also has some goals set for himself.
“The end goal is profitability,” Burrows said. “But long-term, I’d love to run a district. I’ve been with City Electric Supply for 10 years now, and I have a different way of doing things. I want to share my wealth and my knowledge and teach it to a bigger audience.”
“If I can grow CES Orlando Central to where we think it can go, it’ll look great,” he added. “When you’re successful at CES, you don’t just create more opportunities for yourself, but you also create it for the people around you. You move up, and others step up to carry the torch.”
Soon, it won’t just be customers in Orlando who will see what makes CES different from everybody else. It might be an entire district.