Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Safety First!

From the time we are very little, our parents drill this into our head. The safety first mantra hits us on all aspects of our life and working in the telecommunication industry is no exception.  Even though we often assume that we are safe, it is important to sometimes step back and reexamine how we do our job with a safety conscious mind.

Even in the winter months, it is important to remember to wear sunscreen.  We offer a great sunscreen towelette by PT Technologies that is compact, quick drying, non greasy and protects against UVA & UVB rays.  The towelettes have minimal odor and do not contain any alcohol.  Also, the formula will not stain clothes!

Comstar Supply also stocks a wide range of safety signs as a courtesy to our customers.  We like to think of ourselves as a one stop shop and that includes your safety materials!  We have signs ranging from reflective flagman to left lane closed and right lane closed to work area ahead and men working.  We also stock a variety of sign stands like the traditional four leg stand, the compact sign stand, and the stacker sign stand.  If there is a specific sign you need and do not see on our website, just ask!  We are usually able to meet specific state and local sign requirements!

Other safety equipment we keep in stock includes reflective cones and vests.  We also stock reflective stop/slow paddles and a variety of caution tape.  In the past we have even helped our customers purchase arrow boards!

Here are Comstar, we have even taken measures to make our operations and facilities safer.  Over the past year we have formed a Safety Committee which meets monthly to review how we can improve aspects of our operation.  The Safety Committee has reviewed and made changes with our forklift safety, warehouse safety, first aid procedures and more!

So next time you are on the job site, take a minute to step back and make sure you have everything that you need to keep yourself and your workers safe and if there is anything we can do to help you do your job while keeping safety first, just let us know!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Wishes

The long weekend coming up means an excited buzz in the office.  Everyone is anticipating a delicious dinner tomorrow with all of the fixings including good times with family and friends.   But before we go off on our holiday, I thought it would be nice to thank the people who make our job here at Comstar possible each and every day.

I am thankful for the opportunity to work with a group of manufacturers who are there to support our endeavors and our customer needs.  Dealing with company reps, account managers and customer service personnel on a daily basis, I rely on them to give me the information I need to help my customers.  They do this time and time again and while I make a point to regularly say thank you, I can only hope that they know how much I appreciate them and everything they do for us.

I am also thankful for my co-workers.  As I mentioned in a previous post, we are truly like a family.  I have never worked any place where the employees had such great relationships as we do here at Comstar.   I am thankful that my co-workers make me laugh when things are stressful; I am thankful that they help me when things are busy.  I am thankful that the warehouse staff works extremely hard to move product out the door and almost always come through when I am in a bind. 

And of course, I am extremely thankful for the wonderful group of customers that we get to deal with everyday.  The relationships that we build with our customers are one of the most important aspects of our business.   Comstar is truly grateful for every order – big or small – and I hope that we can continue to build our relationships and gain your confidence and business.

So to our manufacturers, co-workers, and customers, I wish to say thank you.  I hope everyone has a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday and I look forward to helping you in the coming months and year!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Family Orgins Make All The Difference At Comstar

What makes Comstar Supply different and stand out in a crowd of distributors? I would  like to think it is the family atmosphere that motivates us all to have that whatever it takes attitude to get a job done, and get it done well!

Webster offers several definitions of a family, one being a group of things related by common characteristics. Comstar Supply is a family in every sense of that plus the traditional definition of the word.

When Earl started Comstar in 1994, he did so with the support of his family. His son, Chad, grew up surrounded by his Comstar family. Now serving as President of Comstar Supply, Chad works closely with his mother, Gwen, to ensure the success of the business.

The Punchard family roots extend deep into Comstar. Andrew Constagliola serves as the Senior Vice President of Operations and Adam Rogers serves as Project Manager at Comstar Supply.

The family ties go beyond just the Punchard’s. Patti Bellino, Adminstrative Assistant, is also the aunt of Ralph Del Conte, Inside Sales, and Rich Del Conte, Driver. Allen Thierolf, our Warehouse Manager and his brother Kevin both work hard in our warehouse to move orders and supplies and Mike McGovern, Vice President of Finance took over the position when his sister vacated it several years ago.

Beyond the intricate blood lines of Comstar’s family tree, there is also the implied family that comes from working together as a team. The unique relationships that exist between the staff at Comstar allows us to joke around and tease each other one minute and work hard and lean on each other to get the work done the next minute. We support each other in many aspects of life. This allows everyone to help one another when needed which in turn enables us to work harder and more effectively to serve our customers.

We take pride in the fact that we do things a little differently (and hopefully better!) than our competitors! We will happily custom cut and parallel any HDPE order up to 1 ½  inch diameter and beyond that, we can order the custom reel lengths and put ups from the manufacturer at no additional charge. What does this mean for you? If you call up and want a 3 way parallel times 250 feet of 1 ¼ inch Corrugated innerduct, no problem. If you need two of the runs to be orange and one to be green, also no problem. We will custom cut fiber optic cable at no additional charge so whether your run is 1000 feet or 10,000 feet, we will happily serve your needs!

Most orders of items that we have in stock are turned around and shipped out same day. Our shipping department has great relationships with reputable national freight companies to make sure your order arrives on time to your location. If you require special shipping arrangements such as an appointment, lift gate or pallet jack, also not a problem,  just let us know! Our warehouse staff is made up of hard working, dedicated individuals who often come in early or stay late just to make sure our customer needs are met! It is not unusual to see them taking a box to the UPS box after our regular pickup or seeing them stay late to wait on a truck because a customer needs their supplies. They truly embody the whatever it takes attitude that drives the Comstar family.

Our customers are, of course, the most important part of our family! We like to take the time to know our customers personally and often times we learn about their own families and lives. Our customers truly are an extension of the Comstar family! And just like we would with our own families, we all strive to make sure that everyone’s needs are met and fulfilled and everyone is happy!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hot Products! Triple D Horizontal Directional Drill Line

Our customers love the Triple D line of Horizontal Directional Drill products.   Manufactured in New Jersey, Triple D specially engineers their tools to be the best quality and most cost effective options on the market.

Triple D offers a complete HDD line including reamers, bits, swivels, crossovers, lead rods and sonde housings for Vermeer and  Ditch Witch directional drills.

The backreamers are machined from solid alloy steel.  Some reamers, such as the Solid Body Fluted Reamer includes a built in option for 15K, 25K, or 50K HDD Swivel or drawback bar.    This reamer is available with either shark or rotary teeth and comes as large as 14 inches in diameter.    Triple D also manufacturers  Stacked Plate Reamers,  Clay Reamers, Wing Reamers,  and Tapered Barrel Backreamers.  Replacement conical and shark style teeth are also available for purchase.

Triple D also manufacturers lead rods for both Vermeer and Ditch Witch drills.  The Vermeer rods are built with heat treated 4340 Nickel Steel which gives a significantly stronger lead rod for use under HDD projects.    The Ditch Witch style lead rods are built with heat treated 4140 chrome-moly steel for strength and durability.  The crossovers are manufactured from chrome-moly steel and have 152,000 PSI tensile strength.  Crossovers are available in a variety of sizes for both Vermeer and Ditch Witch.

Some of the hottest Triple D products that we have been selling are the paddle bits.  These bits are manufactured from domestically produced Ballistic Armor Plate.  Triple D does not use low cost castings or inexpensive high carbon steels.  Many of these paddle bits also feature a Tungsten Carbide Embedding Hardface process that results in two to eight times better wear than typical hardfacing alloys.

Triple D manufacturers several type s of paddle bits including the chisel bit, the tapered bit, the radius button bit, the button taper bit, angled ripper bit, button chisel bit, and angled conical claw bit.    Each of these bits are designed to meet the needs of many different soil conditions.  These bits are available for both Ditch Witch and Vermeer rods in a variety of sizes. 

To complete the job, Triple D also offers a  line of tools including steel tampers, soil probes, swivels and more.

Our customers love the craftsmanship that is evident in all of Triple D’s products.  The Triple D product line is a better quality product at a more reasonable price making it a perfect match for contractors who are looking to get the job done and stay on budget!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Comstar Supply Comes Down With a Case of Phightin Phils Phever

It is happening again. Comstar Supply employees have come down with a case of the phever!

As Philadelphia faithful, we are passionate and support all of our city’s sports, but right now we are breathing baseball! Over the past week, morning conversation has been a recap of the previous night’s game.  Lunch time debates center around pitching match ups and bad referee calls.  We have the phever!

Almost everyone in the Comstar family is HUGE Philadelphia Phillies phans but we all approach our fanhood a little differently.

Chad, our President, is the biggest phan of all.  A season ticket holder, he values the game!  A Brad Lidge print hangs in his office, he proudly wears his team polo shirt around the office and he is the first to jump on the post game discussions.

Ralph, our Warehouse Manager/Inside Sales, also proudly wears his  Philadelphia Phillies polo to work on game days.   He highlights the Phil’s accomplishments by saving and displaying special inserts from the Daily News.

Mike, who handles our accounting and office, shows is Phillies pride by displaying a framed photograph he took last year at the World Series parade in Philadelphia and a framed copy of the Daily News cover from the World Series Championship in 2008.

The guys in the warehouse also get in on the spirit!  In addition to coming to work in their favorite Phillies’s tee, they also have an ever changing shrine to Philadelphia sports highlights hanging in the warehouse.

I pride myself on being just as much of a phan as the men here at Comstar by showing off my team pride by decking out a corner of my office with a team flag, rally towel, stuffed Phanatic and team calendar!

The Phillies are now off to Los Angeles to take on the Dodgers for a re-match of last year’s National League Championship series.  All of Comstar will be watching and hoping for a repeat of last year's series and a trip to the World Series.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Comstar is Crazy About Comfits

There has been a great deal of buzz lately over the Comfit Coupler.  Relatively new players on the HDPE coupler scene, Comfit couplers are an affordable, easy way to join smooth wall HDPE.

Comfit couplers are designed to be used for both pulling and blowing applications.  Their push fit method of installation makes them simple to assemble and easy to use when in the field.   These couplers do not require any additional special tools for installation! 

The Comfit is leak tested to 230 psi and comes in sizes for duct  1 inch through 2 inch.   The couplers are also resistant to corrosion and most chemicals.

The biggest news about these couplers, however, is that Condux International is now the exclusive supplier of Comfit in North America.   As such, Comstar Supply can now offer our customers more competitive pricing on these couplers thanks to our relationship with Condux!

So next time you need couplers, give Comfit a try! They easily push onto the end of any smooth wall HDPE and are available for quick shipment!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hot Product – Maxcell Innerduct

One of our hottest products lately has been Maxcell Innerduct. Maxcell is a fabric innerduct that has cells sewn into it for easy cable installation. It is designed to conform to the shape of cables placed within it, reducing wasted space in the conduit.

According to Maxcellinnerduct.com, Maxcell is installed two times faster than traditional innerduct and requires up to 30% less manpower for installation, significantly reducing the project cost. Additionally by using Maxcell, you can fit up to three times as many cables per conduit than you could when using traditional innerducts.

Maxcell comes in several varieties including standard, fire-resistant, and detectable. Standard Maxcell is available in a variety of configurations from 2” to 4” and in 1, 2, and 3 cell configurations. Standard Maxcell has a melting point of 419 degrees, is resistant to ground chemicals and petroleum products and is pre-lubed.

Maxcell is used by a variety of industries include the CATV, Telecom, and Power industries. Maxcell has also been successfully installed by municipalities, colleges and universities, and by the military and government.

Here at Comstar Supply, we stock the standard 3” 3-Cell Maxcell Innerduct. By purchasing master reels, we are able to maintain a constant inventory and offer our customers custom cuts. We strive to keep several thousand feet in stock at all times so we can provide shipment either same day or next day to our customers.

If there is a custom length of Maxcell that you need, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to accommodate you! If you need any other configuration other than what we stock, please call as well! As a distributor, we have access to the all of the configurations and varieties to meet your needs!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"The Larry-Mobile" - Comstar's Mobile Showroom

Have you seen it? What we affectionately call the Larry-Mobile is the newest vehicle in the Comstar Supply fleet.

Larry Anderson, our VP of Sales, can be seen driving around Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey in what is essentially a mobile show-room. His black van with sharp white letters and the Comstar Supply logo is stocked with the must haves for the job site and some of our best selling and even lesser known products.

Whether it is a duct rodder, paddle bit or pulling grip, the van is equipped with it all. Larry has an extensive background in the telecommunication and utility industry and is always more than eager to show off our company’s product line.

The van enables Larry to visit customers and let them see, touch and in some cases, even try out our products. It is also a great resource for demonstrating new product lines. This was the just the case when Triple D unveiled their HDD line of reamers, bits and cross overs. Customers got a hands on feel for the quality of the Triple D products.

If anyone on the east coast is interested in having Larry stop by and visit with the van, please do not hesitate to contact us! And if you see the Larry Mobile out and about, be sure to honk and wave!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Newly Designed Comstarsupply.com

If you're reading this blog it means that you have visited our newly redesigned website. Over the past three months, we have spent countless hours behind the scenes designing, organizing, and updating the information on www.comstarsupply.com.

Two and a half years ago when we first started our first e-commerce site, everyone here at Comstar had great expectations. We knew that by reaching out to customers on the web, we would open ourselves up to a whole new world of potential clients and situations.

We have reached customers all over the world with sales as far away as the Philippines, New Zealand, UAE, and Chili. Closer to home, we have sold to customers in 42 states and have even established close relationships with new customers right in our own backyard.

Our customers have gone beyond the communication industry. We have sold muletape to a fire safety academy and duct plugs to a ski resort.

We look forward to continuing our online growth in the coming months. As we move forward, you'll soon be able to access PDF spec sheets for every available product. Products will also be cross linked, so if you're purchasing a duct rodder, you'll be offered the opportunity to add accessories or a repair kit to your cart at time of purchase. We are also looking forward to offering our customers private catalogs, enabling you to log onto our site and access individual price and product lists.

Any feedback on the new site is welcome! What do you think of the layout and newly designed navigation? Are there any features you'd like to see? We're open to suggestions and look forward to hearing from you!


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New Website Design

Starting September 1st, 2009 Comstar Supply will be switching over to a new website design. This new design will be full of many new features to help you find the information you are looking for easier and faster.

Let us know your thoughts! We look forward to hearing from you!