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North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NCMEP) Assists Electrical Supply Company in Jolting Their Business Continuity


Southland Electric Supply Company is a second-generation family-owned business based in Burlington, North Carolina, founded in 1987. Southland distributes electrical supply products, including industrial & commercial circuit breakers, motor control centers, E-houses, transformers, motor starters, switchboards, panel boards, variable frequency drives (VFDs), programmable logic controllers (PLCs), fuses, etc. and rebuilding all of the aforementioned products. Southland takes pride in delivering quality service and dependable products through six regional offices throughout the southeastern United States. 

The Challenge

In 2021, Southland realized they were one of the many businesses without a solid business continuity plan and sprang into action. Christine Elder, the owner of Elder Consulting Group, recommended that Southland apply for an Emergency Assistance Program (EAP) grant for business continuity training. Elder connected Southland General Manager Greg Martin with Regional Manager Mary Tillery from NC State University Industry Expansion Solutions (IES), an NCMEP network member and part of the MEP National Network™, to achieve their goals.

We consider IES and NCMEP strategic partners and will continue to apply for assistance. We are blessed to have been selected as a participant and plan to use resources for current/future planning business development/retention and general operational improvements.
— Greg Martin, General Manager of Southland Electrical Company

MEP's Role

Through Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding, the North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NCMEP) created the EAP to provide services that support manufacturers' ability to respond to the coronavirus and improve their competitiveness as the market adapts to the coronavirus disruption “We learned of NCMEP’s EAP through a contact I had in Charlotte named Jeff Woolard, an IES regional manager," Elder continued.

Southland used the EAP grant to implement a more robust leadership program, work on risk identification and business continuity to work toward an ISO certification for manufacturing companies and government contracts. IES provided Southland with a risk analysis and GAP assessment to identify pain points and then created a custom business continuity plan. Elder said, “IES is so good at detecting what a company truly needs and tailoring that with the solution they provide.

By working with IES, Southland has adopted a “big picture” perspective - considering all disruption possibilities carefully. Elder disclosed, “One of the practices Southland participated in early on was an exercise called '3X.' Southland was learning to think about the business as three times the size it currently is: three times the staff, three times the payroll, three times the customers, three times the revenue and build your business plan around that."

Created October 4, 2022