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Wholesale and Distribution International Magazine Article

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Article Written by Jeff Borgardt

For electrical and industrial wire and cable specialist AZ Wire and Cable, offering customers a large inventory, convenient locations as well as speedy value added services are among the top factors for its success.

 

As a customer-focused redistributor, AZ Wire and Cable buys direct from the factories, then supplies the electrical distribution and wire and cable specialist markets. By serving as a middleman in this way, it can provide better service than factories. “Factories can’t offer the value and services we can,” Vice President Todd Anixter says. “Our customers call us and get what they want when they need it. We can cut to length with no extra charge.” Receiving this level of service from a factory would require customers to wait between three days to two weeks, while AZ Wire and Cable offers same and next-day service, he explains.

 

How can the company ship so fast? “We take a big inventory position and invest in heavy copper items that other wire specialists won’t carry. It’s on the floor ready to ship the same day we receive the order,” explains Eric Anixter, vice president. “We have 20 cutting machines across the country ready to cut wire and cable.”

 

“Our vendors are leaders in the wire and cable industry,” the company says. AZ’s inventory includes a complete line of wire and cable standard and special constructions on manufacturer’s bulk reels and industry standard put ups.

 

Eighty percent of AZ’s sales come from THHN building wire, aluminum building wire, tray cable, portable cord, mining cable and welding cable. It also provides a full line of electronic, alarm and security and low-voltage cables.

 

“We are primarily an industrial and specialty wire and cable house,” Eric Anixter says. “We inventory all of the industries’ standard items but also carry the B, C and D items.  That’s how we fit, we blend and complete our customers’ wire and cable inventories.”

 

AZ provides striping, coiling, paralleling and special packaging services. It also offers 24-hour emergency and weekend services. “We provide all of the value-added service and we have no minimum order or cut order charge,” says Todd Anixter. “That’s big.”

 

The company’s 100,000-square-foot corporate headquarters is located near Chicago in Northbrook, Ill. Since 2004, the company has added four 30,000-square-foot sales and distribution centers in Houston, Phoenix, Charlotte and Denver, with an additional sales office in Tampa Bay. “Our warehouses are set up with the goal of making same and next day shipments to all of the domestic major markets,” says Darren Anixter. The company is growing quickly and plans to open three more locations over the next five years with sites in the Northeast, Midwest and West coast.

 

Family Business

In 1988, AZ Wire and Cable was founded by President Jim Anixter and Bob Zywicki, both of whom served at Anixter International of Glenview, Ill.

 

Jim Anixter is the son of the late Alan B. Anixter and nephew of William R. Anixter, who started Anixter International in 1956. Jim Anixter’s three sons and daughter all serve as AZ Wire and Cable vice presidents. Sons Darren, Todd and Eric Anixter run day-to-day business operations focusing on sales, inventory and distribution. Daughter Courtney handles the administration and is involved on the financial side.  Each has been in the business from eight to 22 years.

 

“Being family owned allows for easy collaboration,” Eric Anixter says. “Decisions are made quickly as a group and we move forward. We don’t always agree, but at the end of the day we are still family.”

 

For tech support and maintenance, AZ Wire and Cable works with many companies in the industry, such as Legend Technology Services of Chicago.

 

“Our challenge is to obtain more customers and increase market share providing our customers with more products, value and services,” says Darren Anixter.

 

AZ Wire started in business as buyers of factory special constructions, overstocks and discontinued items. Today, however, it carries a full inventory of more than $20 million, including rare and hard-to-find stock. “We have a massive inventory because you can’t sell from an empty wagon,” Jim Anixter says. “We are a young growing company on the way up. We just opened up a facility in Denver this year. Our approach is one success at a time.”

 

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Value Added Services:

  • •  $20 Million of Wire & Cable Inventory
  • •  National Coverage
  • •  4 Regional Distribution Centers
  • •  No Minimum Order Charge
  • •  No Cut to length Charge
  • •  Same Day Shipping
  • •  Same Day Pick Up
  • •  Striping Services
  • •  Parallel Services
  • •  Special Packaging
  • •  Special Reel Sizes
  • •  Coiling
  • •  24/7 Emergency Services