Plus Systems Logo Newsletter 2001-01       Go Back
January 15, 2001


Brock McVey recently ordered the Trade Service Web Customer Service Center. The status of the interface with Power Plus is that the batch downloads of static data as well as a couple of reports that should assist in the start up process, have been completed. The on-line transaction processing program is about 40% completed and should be ready for testing in a few weeks.

Speaking of Trade Service, you may have heard of a related company, Trade Power. The latter was formed a year ago to focus on e-commerce. In addition to the Web Customer Service Center, Trade Power has also developed a "portal" that allows contractors to search an overall electrical supply catalog and submit quote requests to distributors that they select. The portal also provides the mechanism to send the quotes back to the contractors either in the form of an Excel spreadsheet or a direct interface into their Estimation system.

As part of their business plan, Trade Power acquired Estimation, the largest provider of business systems to electrical contractors. As a further complement to this strategy, Trade Power has also recently acquired Trade Service Systems (TSS). TSS is the software company only. Trade Service Corporation (once called "Publications") is a separate firm.

Later this year, PSI will become a sales agent for the remainder of Trade Power's products. Currently, we only market Array and the Web CSC.

Recap of significant user news in 2000.

New systems: Brock-McVey of Lexington, KY migrated to an NX5621-31 Clear/Path system. Hines Lumber of Chicago installed an LX5410 Clear/Path. Hein Electric in Milwaukee upgraded to an LX5220, and Bearing Headquarters, headquartered in the Chicago area with over 40 branches, installed an LX5620. They are currently evaluating installing the current Power Plus package along with WCSC and the Data Warehouseing modules we market for Informediate.

The year 2000 also saw the addition of one new Power Plus user - JR Electric, a startup in the Flint, Michigan are. In addition, PSI sold three Trade Service Array systems in 2000 - to M-J Electric in Naperville, IL West Side Electric & Industrial Supply in Elgin, IL; and Great Lakes Lighting in St. Paul, MN.

BJ Electric of Madison, WI and Brock-McVey both ordered the Web Customer Service Center.

Idlewood Electric saw major growth with it's acquisition of the former American Electric in Chicago. Hein Electric opened a new location in Brookfield, WI and moved it's corporate headquarters there.

People News: Those of you who remember Twila Nawak, who worked for Plus users Standard Electric, Advent Electronics and Share Corp (as well as a three year stint with Unisys), will be glad to hear she recently received a long awaited kidney transplant and is doing fine.

Meanwhile, another former user, Sam Battista, of West Chester (PA) Electric which was acquired by Tri-State Electric, which in turn was later acquired by Dutch giant Hagemeyer, is still on the waiting list for a new kidney. Sam is actually on a waiting list here in Illinois, where the organs are apparently more plentiful. Sam reports that Tri-State will be soon moving to Hagemeyer's international computer system, which he hopes is better than the Prophet21 system they are currently on. Sam says "going from your system [Power Plus] to Prophet21 was like going back into the Dark Ages".


Total support calls (including faxes and e-mails) came to 1681, virtually identical to 1999. The average initial response time was 21 minutes, compared to 17 minutes in 1999.

Broken down by functional area, the percentage of calls was as follows:

Order Processing
Operating System/Hardware
File Maintenance
Accounts Payable
Accounts Receivable
Fax Module
Sales Analysis
General Ledger
All others

Idlewood Electric recently installed a Unisys PRC3000 Uninterruptible Power Supply. Please keep in mind that, in addition to Clear/Paths, PSI is also a dealer for Unisys servers, UPS's and other supplies.