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Graybar unveils new brand strategy

Graybar, St. Louis, North America's leading electrical, telecommunications and networking distributor, unveiled a new brand strategy that reflects an increased focus companywide on offering supply chain logistics and service solutions for its customers across the United States. The announcement also included the unveiling of a new Graybar brand mark -- its first major revision in 78 years -- to reflect its successful transition from a 'pick, pack and ship' company to one of America's largest providers of managed distribution and supply chain services. "Our new brand strategy better reflects our business today," said Graybar Chairman, President, and CEO Robert A. Reynolds Jr.

"We have evolved into a supply chain powerhouse offering a wide range of services that lower costs and allow customers to focus on their core businesses." The new brand initiative emphasizes Graybar's unique ability to work to its customers' advantage by providing efficient, cost-effective service and solutions that go beyond just delivering products, Reynolds said, adding that Graybar is one of the nation's largest employee-owned companies. "Our new brand mark includes two small interlocking links as part of the design, clearly reflecting our vital role in the supply chain and our unique ability to build relationships that work for our customers, our suppliers, and our employees," said Richard Offenbacher, senior vice president, Comm/Data Business.

"We have retained the strong font and the 'Graybar blue' to reflect our heritage.

The new brand mark now provides a visual identity that better explains our complete value proposition." Graybar has dramatically expanded its capabilities in the past decade to better compete and to serve its customers.

The company has enhanced its technology leadership, using leading-edge information technology and logistics capabilities to raise the bar on performance and value for its customers and suppliers.
In addition, the company has completed a zone warehouse strategy that improves its ability to provide back-up inventory and hard-to-find items to customers within 24 hours. Reynolds explained that Graybar "has been bucking the trend" by using the economic downturn as a time to invest in its information technology infrastructure. Key improvements include deployment of Graybar's $90 million enterprise resource planning (ERP) program with IBM, SAP and Deloitte Consulting to help customers, suppliers, and employees better manage inventory, orders and collections, while reducing costs throughout the supply chain. The new ERP system will link Graybar's more than 250 branch, zone, and district facilities in the United States.

Additionally, Graybar -- ranked among America's Most Admired Companies by Fortune magazine and America's Top Private Companies by Forbes -- has

Expanded its product portfolio in the areas of security and industrial automation;

Developed the industry's leading third-party verification program, called VIP (Verified Independently for Performance);

Implemented a frequent buyers program called "epoint" to reward electrical and comm/data customers' loyalty; and,

Increased its nearly $500 million in inventory nationwide by 10%.

Reynolds announced the new branding initiative and the new brand mark to the company's 7,500 employees in an email before they met with company executives in their local facilities for a thorough briefing. Company executives also notified major customers and suppliers before announcing the change to the media at large.
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