Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Off The Top - September 2021


What a wild ride it’s been for all of us at Comstar in 2021, and we’ve still got 3 months left in the year! 

When we published our last newsletter back in March, Comstar had just begun to think about bringing people back into the office and out on the road as we looked forward to some sense of normalcy in our everyday work lives. Fast forward six months later, I’m happy to report we’re back to near full capacity in the office and finally catching up in-person with customers and prospects alike.

Yet it seems like the tides continue to shift as the country struggles to adapt to the virus. We’re seeing it in the rising number of COVID cases, and we’re experiencing it in disruptions to the global supply chain. As you’ll read in this edition of our newsletter, China recently announced a shutdown one of the world’s busiest container ports due to a virus outbreak. If that wasn’t enough, “container prices have soared, with the benchmark cost of shipping a container up more than 220% over the past year.” Because of these issues, it makes more sense than ever for our customers to have a plan B of pre-approved material in case of any more significant interruptions to production or the supply chain.

However, the most exciting news for us was in August, when we announced that Comstar Supply was sold to USTC Corp., which is backed by Washington, D.C.-headquartered global investment firm Carlyle Group. USTC, a leading value-added distributor of telecommunications materials, supply chain solutions, and technical expertise, also recently purchased Walker & Associates, and combined, we will be a growing force in the broadband distribution space.

USTC matches the employee focus and principles we support, which is to value the people who do the work as well as the work they do. This shared creed, on top of creating new and exciting opportunities for our employees, were crucial initiatives for this partnership. In addition, we’re also keeping our brand and leadership team, and will still have the autonomy to shape our growth decisions.

So, what does this mean for our customers? Greater scale and increased buying power with the combined companies. Access to seven distribution centers domestically. New products and capabilities including material, product design, and value-added distribution of passive and active equipment and tooling. And a combined company that creates the largest Prysmian fiber distribution partner in the world.

For me, this opportunity is all about hyper growth. It was critical for us to gain a partner who was willing to invest in the business and support our growing customer base. As you all know, Comstar is backed by a special group of employees, but there was a ceiling for us given our company structure and limited capital resources. The partnership with USTC catapults the combined companies into a leadership role as a domestic distribution powerhouse that will continue to outperform competitors by placing a focus on customer service and support.

A maxim of mine that we’ve preached to our team is that change is inevitable. The foundation for us to react to market conditions, withstand weather-related storms, literally, and adjust to the changing needs of our customers, have steeled us in our ability to embrace opportunities. We were built to succeed in this industry, and we will continue to thrive in it. This opportunity with USTC allows us to scale the business while maintaining the company we have all come to know and love.

Nearly 30 years ago, my father founded this company to support the OSP broadband industry through honestly, integrity, and hard work.  I believe he would be extremely proud that we were able to grow it to the point of adding such strong international and domestic partners in USTC Corp., and the Carlyle Group.

As always, I appreciate your faith and trust in us, and look forward to fulfilling your OSP material needs.

Thank you for your unwavering support.

Warmest regards,


Chad R. Punchard
Comstar Supply, Inc.

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