Careers at WESCO International
WESCO operates as a distributor of products, and as supply chain and logistics company, providing a range of services with a view to making the logistics processes of its customers more efficient.
Wesco International has four operating segments, organised by geographic region:
- United Sates;
- Mexico; and
- Other International.
These segments are engaged in similar distribution, supply chain, and logistics activities. Their activities are merged into a single reportable segment.
WESCO was established in 1922 as subsidiary of the Westinghouse Electric Corporation, a manufacturer of electrical goods and products based in Pittsburgh. The Company, initially operating under the name WESCO Distribution, functioned as the in-house distribution unit of Westinghouse Electric Corporation for several decades, tasked with selling and distributing the company’s components to customers in the electrical and industrial fields.
In 1994 WESCO was acquired by private equity firm Clayton, Dubillier and Rice for $340 million, as part of a leveraged buyout. The firm later sold the Company for a reported $1.1 billion to The Cypress Group in 1998, following which the WESCO International holding company was formed. A year later, WESCO listed a portion of its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, raising $175 million in its initial public offering.
Today, WESCO is among the leading distribution and logistics companies in the US, ranking 357th on the Fortune 500 list. The Company has operation across North America, as well as in Europe and Asia, and employs more than 9,000 workers worldwide. The Company continues to trade on the New York Stock Exchange and has a market capitalisation of $2.6 billion.
Benefits at WESCO International
Business model of WESCO International
WESCO provides a broad range of services to customers across multiple sectors. The Company principally serves customers across the following markets, where supply chain and logistics systems play an important role:
- Industrial, including original equipment manufacturers, natural resources companies, and mining firms;
- Construction, including construction and contracting firms, engineering companies, transport infrastructure companies, and repair and maintenance businesses;
- Utility and Commercial, including energy companies, water treatment companies, real estate developers, and transmission companies; and
- Institutional and Government, including various municipal, state, and federal government bodies, public organisations, schools, and healthcare institutions.
WESCO states that it has a customer base of more than 80,000 active customers. Its top ten customers accounted for approximately 11% of its sales in 2015, with no one customer accounting for more than 2% of sales for the year.
WESCO principally serves markets across North America, notably its native US, as well as Mexico and Canada. The Company also serves customers in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, although these operations comprise a small part of the Company’s annual sales.
WESCO provides value to its customers in the following ways:
- Its reputation and industry standing, with the Company established as a leading provider of supply chain management and logistics services, particularly in the US, having a track-record for providing efficient and reliable services to customers across multiple sectors;
- Its extensive distribution network, with the Company operating approximately 500 geographically dispersed branch locations, both domestically and internationally, as well as nine distribution centres in the US and Canada, giving the Company extensive distribution capabilities;
- Its broad portfolio of offerings, with the Company offering a range of products, services, and solutions, as well as value-added services, that seek to maximise productivity, minimise waste, and improve efficiencies across its customers’s systems; and
- Its relatively low-cost pricing structure, with the Company having one the lowest operating costs as a percentage of sales in its industry.
WESCO operates a website at www.wesco.com, through which it provides information on its various products, services, and geographic operations. The Company does not operate an online sales channel. It does, however, operate an online government partner portal and an online remote project management portal.
WESCO principally serves customers through its sales and service staff, who operate out of the Company’s international network of full-service branches and deal directly with customers. This includes 350 branches in the US, 125 branches in Canada, nine branches in Mexico. The Company also operates branches in Aberdeen, Scotland, Dublin, Ireland and Manchester, England that support sales efforts in Europe and the Middle East, as well as branched in Singapore, China, and Thailand that support the Company’s sales across
Additionally, WESCO operates its own network of distribution centres, including five in the US, and four in Canada, as well as an office in Mexico which performs much of the same distribution functions.
WESCO provides some self-service offerings to customers and partners in the form of its online portals, which allow for some account and project management without the need for interacting with members of WESCO’s staff.
The Company, however, principally interacts with its customers directly through its teams of geographically dispersed sales and service teams. These members of staff work closely with customers to establish their individual needs and budgetary requirements, creating detailed service contracts. WESCO seeks to provide localised customer service, technical support and sales coverage, through its branch network, tailoring individual branch products and services to local customer needs, and establish longstanding customer relationships.
New and existing customers are able to contact members of the WESCO sales and support teams over the phone, by post, and through an online contact form, in order to receive a personalized response to queries. The Company also operates several social media accounts – including with Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter – through which it can interact directly with customers, and provide timely updates as to its operations.
WESCO operates as a distributor of products across multiple categories, and as a provider of supply chain management and logistics services, principally serving customers across the industrial, construction, utility and commercial, institutional and government sectors.
The Company’s main product categories include general electrical and industrial supplies, wire, cable and conduit, data and broadband communications, power distribution equipment, lighting and lighting control systems, control and automation, motors, and safety.
The Company’s supply chain and value-added services include supply chain management, logistics and transportation, procurement, warehousing and inventory management, as well as assembly of products and system installation. WESCO serves around 80,000 customers across the its principal markets of the US, Canada, and Mexico, as well as across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
WESCO works in conjunction with a range of companies, that assist in enhancing and extending the Company’s own capabilities. These partners include:
- Supplier and Vendor Partners, comprising suppliers of equipment, tools, and materials used in the provision of the Company’s services, as well as suppliers of various services that support, facilitate, or supplement the Company’s own services;
- Government Partners, comprising an international network of strategic government contractors that are qualified to provide services to government customers alongside the Company, organised under the WESCO Government Partner Network; and
- Strategic and Alliance Partners, comprising a range of companies and organisations with which the Company shares resources and collaborates on various joint projects.
WESCO has launched a number of partnerships in recent years. This includes a supplier partnership with Ironclad Performance Wear, a distribution deal with AIMS Power, and a provider partnership with Jones Lang Lasalle.
WESCO’s key resources are its intellectual properties, its supply chain and product portfolio, its logistics and distribution infrastructure, its IT and communications infrastructure, its partnerships, and its personnel.
WESCO owns and leases a range of properties. This includes approximately 500 branches, of which around 350 are located in the US and 125 are located in Canada, with the remainder located in Chile, Mexico, the UK and Singapore. Approximately 16% of the Company’s branches are owned facilities, and the remainder are leased. WESCO also operates nine dedicated distribution centres in the US and Canada, that are key to the Company’s logistics operations.
WESCO has trademarks, patents and service marks registered with the US and Canada, and has filed additional trademark, patent, and service mark applications in various foreign jurisdictions, including Mexico, Chile, the UK, Singapore, China, Hong Kong, and Thailand. Searches of records published by the US Patent and Trademark Office identified two patent applications filed by WESCO companies, entitled ‘Knock down drum truck’ and ‘Conduit space recovery system’.
WESCO incurs costs in relation to the management of its supply chain and procurement of products, the operation and maintenance of its logistics and distribution infrastructure, the maintenance of its IT and communications infrastructure, the management of its partnerships, and the retention of its personnel.
In 2015 WESCO accrued cost of goods sold in the amount of $6.02 billion. Its selling, general and administrative expenses – including the payment of salaries and benefits to its workforce of 9,300 employees, as well as costs associated with advertising, and shipping and handling – totaled $1.06 billion for the year, representing 14% of revenue.
WESCO generates revenue through the distribution of products across multiple categories, and the provision of supply chain management and logistics services, which are categorised into the following service lines:
- Technical support for operational and transactional process improvements;
- Inventory optimisation programs, including just-in-time delivery and vendor managed inventory;
- Collaborative, cross-functional, cost savings services;
- Dedicated on-site support services;
- Consultation on energy-efficient product upgrades; and
- Safety and product training for customer employees.
In 2015 WESCO generated annual revenue of $7.52 billion, down on the $7.89 billion recorded by the Company in 2014. This decrease was attributed largely to a general decline in sales. The vast majority of the Company’s annual revenue was derived from its United States operating segment, which generated $5.67 billion for the year.
info: John has been the Chief Executive Officer and President of WESCO since 2009, and has served as its Chairman since 2011. Engel first joined the Company in 2004, serving as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of before being assuming his current executive role. Engel began his career at General Electric, where he held a range of management positions between 1985 and 1994, when he joined Allied Signal as Vice President and General Manager. In 1999 he joined PerkinElmer, serving as Executive Vice President and Senior Vice President for several years, before moving to Gateway as Senior Vice President and General Manager.
info: Timothy has served as Interim Chief Financial Officer at WESCO since 2016. He has been Corporate Controller of the Company since joining WESCO in 2006, and was appointed Vice President in 2012. Hibbard has held a number of senior leadership and executive positions since the 1990s, principally in the industrial sector. He served as Vice President of Finance at Automotive Remanufacturers for a spell, before joining Greenfield Industries in 1998 as Division Controller of the company’s Mining and Construction Division. He quickly went on to serve as the company’s Vice President and Controller, a role he held until 2000, when he was appointed Director of Finance for the Advanced Materials Solutions Group at Kennametal. Prior to joining WESCO, Hibbard served as Kennametal’s Corporate Controller and Chief Accounting Officer.
info: Kim (“Windrow”) has served as Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at WESCO since joining the Company in 2010. Windrow has held senior human resources roles at multiple companies since the 1980s. She began her career in 1979, when she joined Cain Sloan, working her way through the Company’s ranks to the position of Personnel Director. She left the company in 1988 to join Willis as Senior Vice President of Human Resources. After 12 years in this role, Windrow moved to The MONY Group, where she served for three years as Senior Vice President of Human Resources. Prior to joining WESCO, Windrow was Senior Vice President of Human Resources at The McGraw Hill Companies.
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