Episode 66 | Working Together, Near and Far

Reading Time: 6 minutes

It’s a new year to celebrate new milestones at City Electric Supply (CES)! We’ve continued to expand our branch network across the country, which has reached over 600 branches and counting. The purpose of our growth is to better serve not only our customers, but also each other as a team.

In the final three months of 2023 alone, CES commemorated 16 grand openings and re-openings — including CES Rockwall in Texas and CES Burbank in California — plus two 25th anniversary events in Florida (CES Bonita Springs and CES Palm Coast). Through new branches and tenured success, our teams are working together to build a stronger network.

Furthering Our Reach 

New CES branches don’t operate in a vacuum, even if they are the first location in the area. 

CES Wilkes Barre is the northernmost location in Pennsylvania, and a 1.5-hour drive from CES Willow Grove, West Chester, Montgomeryville, and Allentown. 

“We’re quite a bit north, which is a new market we’ve been wanting to enter. CES hopes to fill a need in the rest of the region,” said District Manager David Nugent. 

Expanding helps further the reach of CES within new regions, but securing our footprint in established markets also deepens the connections of our ever-growing branch network.

CES Baldwin is less than 15 minutes away from CES Corpus Christi. This branch will help split time amongst our staff to help all our customers receive the best service possible,” said District Manager Tyler Cannon. 

CES Cleveland Crossingwithin 30 minutes of Selma, Fuquay Varina, and Dunn locations, is a convenient stop-off for customers to get material as they head into Raleigh.

“As the second location in Garner, it will help tie nearby CES branches together to allow our customers to be within 15 minutes of five of our stores,” said District Manager Jay Lassiter.

Alleviating Traveling Woes 

A common challenge faced by contractors and trade workers is getting the right material they need at the right time. The growing CES branch network positions customers to be within a reasonable distance of a store at any given moment. 

Located between CES Arlington and CES Kennedale, CES Mansfield is about 25 minutes from CES Fort Worth. It will serve as an ideal middle ground for any customers heading north or south. 

“This branch can deliver to a wide range of customers in a timely fashion,” said Branch Manager Taylor Robertson.

“Going into Fort Myers from outside of town can take at least 30 minutes one-way. CES Fort Myers East will help our customers cut down on travel time. If they’re leaving town and forgot something, they can just drop in without turning back,” said District Manager Jason Ford. “Being right off the interstate, we’re hoping this location will receive new business as well.”

CES Merritt Island sits between our Rockledge and Titusville branches, about 20 minutes away from each,” said District Manager Joe Petrie. “We’re in a spot that is going to save drive time for our customers, especially if they are working by the beach.”

CES Christiansburg VA is the fifth location in the Roanoke Valley district, in an area we’ve been looking into for several years. Customers in Montgomery County will now have this branch to grab their material from. Being close to CES Blacksburg brings a lot of business opportunities,” said Senior Regional Manager Kevin Feidler. 

Project Developments 

Our branches are also working together to help revitalize and grow local communities across the country through construction developments, transportation projects, real estate expansion, and more.

CES Lake Oconee is central to many other locations, including two Augusta locations, Athens, Macon, Loganville, and Covington GA. The growth around Lake Oconee is tremendous,” said Senior Regional Manager R.T. Smith.

Carl Brown, pre-construction coordinator of full-service general commercial contractor Landmark Construction & Development, is excited to continue his relationship with the Lake Oconee team members. 

“We purchase our own gear and we enjoy doing business with CES,” said Carl. “With the Lake Oconee location now open, being able to just run up the street and grab specialty items we need—it’s indescribable how much of a difference it makes.” 

San Antonio, Texas, has multiple transportation projects occurring under the Texas Department of Transportation and developments downtown. Through San Antonio Business Journal Crane Watch, residents can easily track real estate developments planned and under construction in the city. 

CES San Antonio North is in a centralized location for our One Line Service. Those operations had grown to need a bigger location, and this branch provides that space,” said District Manager Tyler Cannon. “This location will not only help service San Antonio, but also start to bridge the gap into Austin.” 

In proximity to several additional CES locations, including stores in Kyle, Hutto, and Pflugerville, CES Bastrop is located in the 18th fastest-growing county in Texas, near one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. With an already established Business and Industrial Park, the city has plans to expand the business park and add jobs inside Bastrop for its residents. 

“For a long time, we’ve wanted to open a branch here to fill out additional locations. There is a lot of building currently happening in Bastrop, so CES wants to be ready to assist customers,” said District Manager John Moreno. 

Fayetteville, North Carolina has multiple urban design plans and development projects in the works, scheduled through 2040CES Fort Bragg will assist existing CES branches with the development plans in Fayetteville and surrounding areas by hosting the projects department in this new location.

“We are thrilled to open a second Fayetteville location,” said District Manager Joey Barefoot. “Fayetteville is a military town. There are tons of developments happening, and the market is everchanging. This location is going to allow us to dig a bit deeper into this market and give our customers even more support.” 

Relocation & Career Advancement

The CES branch network not only impacts customers and surrounding communities; each branch opening affects the trajectory of other branches and their teams. With evolving market demands, growing branches can keep pace to serve customer needs as they change.

In addition to new branch openings, CES has experienced three strategic relocations in the last 18 months. CES Dunn moved in late 2021, and CES Sanford NC received an upgrade in 2022. Most recently, after 20 years of business in a facility they had outgrown, CES Southern Pines completed their move to a bigger and newer location. The moves played a part in growing the Sandhills district in southeast North Carolina. 

“All the relocations have helped us tremendously already,” said Barefoot. “It’s fast-paced, we have deadlines, and customers rely on us for materials to complete their projects. It’s a lot of coordination, but it’s all to better serve customers.”

The branch teams worked together to make the relocation process smoother.

“When one of us moves, the CES family pulls together to help each other out,” said Barefoot. “I’m very fortunate to have a close-knit group of team members in my district. It makes things like relocating a lot easier.”

Moving also brings about new career opportunities for team members.

“I started my career at CES in 2005 in Chicago as an operations manager in a brand-new store. Within two years, I was given the opportunity to run my own CES location in Illinois. Then I moved to Florida in 2019. Now, I’ve been able to open CES Apopka and watch it grow,” said Branch Manager Ed Ustanik.

“In my first year as a driver, I told current District Manager Don Corbett, I would be the branch manager of my own store one day,” said Branch Manager Gary Gilleland. “Years later — through hard work and dedication — I fulfilled my prediction to him at CES Easley.”

Continuing to Grow Through Our Branch Network

Helping each other as a team not only helps CES to succeed as an organization, but it’s a chance to reach our full potential when serving customers, building up communities, and developing connections via our branch network. 

As we reach new heights in 2024, we’re excited to watch our branch network continue to grow in communities near and far.

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