What if you’re not able to become certified by a large vendor of datacom systems? Or you may be certified, but your customers don’t want to pay for such a high-end system? Other customer’s needs might be better served by mixing products from various manufacturers. However, this means you won’t get the warranty from any of them.

According to Ray Barajas, who buys a great deal of networking products for Semans Communications, San Carlos, Calif., there is a solution. But you may not have heard of it.

“Most smaller companies don’t have the money to spend on high-end voice-data installations with equipment supplied from one of the big manufacturers, but we still have to provide a quality system that meets current standards,” says Barajas. “That’s why we go to Graybar and buy products made by Allen Tel—for these low-profile accounts.”

Allen Tel offers a warranty on its products, and its equipment is compatible with many cable manufacturers. Allen Tel grew up in the telephone business, withe products such as magneto portable telephones, microphone arms, paging speakers, and program equalizers—in other words, everything Graybar customers wanted.

“It’s a great solution for us, because it allows us to serve all sizes of customers, and all kinds of needs,” says Barajas.

As a full-service networking contractor, the 16-year-old Semans provides data cabling, fiber optics, and telephone work to its customers. This includes a variety of services—from installing an outdoor telephone to programming a PBX to installing fiber optics and state-of-the-art copper network wiring.

Although Semans carries an electrical license and a membership in NECA’s San Mateo County Chapter, the company usually subcontracts its power work out—preferring to focus on the phone and datacom work.

As purchasing manager, it’s Barajas’ job to keep all the material flowing smoothly through the busy office.

This means quite often there are significant quantities of Allen Tel Products delivered via Graybar trucks. Unlike some datacom lines, Allen Tel products are carried at all Graybar locations. There’s an interesting story behind how that came about.

Graybar is the only distributorship to carry Allen Tel products. This exclusive arrangement began in 1952. The Allen Tel executives say their company’s goal has always been to meet specific communication needs that require special products and custom-designed items.

Allen Tel gives Graybar the ability to offer custom communications products that are not available from other manufacturers. That’s why the relationship has lasted for 48 years.

“Going through Graybar greatly reduces our sales and marketing expenses,” says Ray Adrian, executive vice president at Allen Tel. “Those savings, and others inherent in the way we operate, are passed directly through our pricing schedules.”

This allows the company to maintain high-quality products at lower production costs.

“And with Graybar, it’s pretty easy to get these items. All of their counter locations carry Allen Tel, so, in a pinch, if one of our crews needs this stuff in a hurry, I can send them to the nearest Graybar—instead of having to send a truck out to them,” says Barajas.

“Our expertise is to follow the market trend. When a new standard is set, we develop products that meet or exceed new standards—while offering the same warranties and guarantees as other manufacturers,” says Adrian.

Allen Tel offers Graybar and its customers another big advantage: the ability to produce unique, custom products. Allen Tel also offers a complete training program with certified trainers, via a nationwide network of manufacturer’s representatives —many of whom have obtained the RCDD designation from BICSI. Allen Tel course offerings are approved for BICSI continuing education credits. Contractors can obtain training from Allen Tel by speaking with their local company representative or contacting the nearest Graybar facility.