Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

September 13, 2016

John W. Kerr

Data + strategy = growth. At this time of year the team at Kerrwil is in the final stages of producing its annual research and benchmarking study. Data is flying everywhere around our office and the discipline to have it focused, organized and guarded above all else keeps us pretty consumed. 

But what also happens at this time of year are calls from distributors and manufacturers alike asking for information, for help in segmenting their clients, and for deeper understanding of brand preferences and perceptions from the numerous segments of electrical buyers and specifiers. 

The need for more detail and more currency is greater this year than ever. The changing and challenging market, new product innovations and the shifts in the channel driven by lighting technologies for the most part are some of the drivers for this. 

The insight we gain here too can guide and support our editorial teams and we hope guide the industry.  

The need for benchmarking has never been greater, and that’s why we launched our study so many years ago. That said, never did we think at the time we did this we would be at the centre of these numerous requests and involved in providing insight, information and additional research to the electrical market. 

While the focus is on market data specifically (share, size), we are increasingly being asked what lines are being sold by whom, can you identify for us, what additional channels are in our markets or serving our end users, have you heard this specific new supplier is selling direct? Can you segment the market mix and product mix to help us identify where we need to have focus? 

Perhaps this time of year is in fact busy as budgets, planning and looking forward to next year begins. 

Have you recently analyzed where you look at and who you are selling to versus who is there? Do you have a handle on how your competitors are doing and how the lines and suppliers they represent are evolving with new products and customers? Can you quantify the trading area you are in, and have you been honest enough to in fact define that trading area? 

One trend we see in our recent discussions for the first time in a long time is a return to basics in marketing. Companies are looking beyond the tools of a broad-based unqualified reach to focus, be tactical and measure against a real benchmark. Caught in that cross fire, it appears, is the debate on the real value of social media and its cost versus real immediate return on a more direct approach. 

Today with the amount of data out there, the technology to manage it and the need to bring it all in play, manufacturers and distributors alike are looking for the edge and realizing that finally it’s good marketing and promotion practices that need the investment. The need to drive populate and comply with CRM platforms is a factor as well. 

Here’s a sampling of what others are asking for and what they are looking at. 

  1. What is the market size and total available market for my branch and/or product?
  2. What end-users are present in my market and how big of a potential target am I missing? 
  3. Who else is selling electrical equipment and to whom?
  4. How do I really understand my metrics on the web?
  5. Lead generation data — where to get company specific data that can be levered and quantified?
  6. How many electrical contractors are there in my market and if they are not buying from our company where are they going? 

For us the biggest take-away is the single fact that the majority of distributors in this country are overspending on who they know without understanding the true potential, and underspending on who they don’t know. Many have invested heavily in ecommerce with no plan to promote it beyond their core clients.  

The market is as dynamic and fluid as it ever has been, with more competitors, ever increasing complex new products that require more support, and a changing end user who researches and reacts quickly and who may gradually look at other ways to obtain products and solutions. 

Solid market data and real benchmarking tools may be something that should be at the forefront and perhaps that’s why the phone continues to ring. The demand too will grow as manufacturers will demand more data and want to know more about their customers, how they buy, and where, what they want, and how to build a relationship and preference.


John W. Kerr is Publisher of CEW and Principal of Kerrwil Publishing Ltd. 

 

In-House or Managed EDI: How to Determine the Right Fit for Your Business

IDEA  EDIElectronic data interchange (EDI) is the most commonly used B2B eCommerce technology. Based on standards, this computer-to-computer exchange of business documents between trading partners increases efficiency while cutting costs by simplifying processes across the entire supply chain.

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CEW-31-UNEnvironment-WorldAccreditation-400.jpgClimate change poses very real risks to people and the environment. Extreme weather events like the destructive storm we just saw in Ottawa that left thousands without electricity for days, and damaged homes and critical infrastructure, are a stark reminder that we must take action, now.

Countries around the world agree – achieving a more sustainable future is a top priority. Commitments like the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the landmark Paris Agreement and the ISO London Declaration, bring nations into a common cause to undertake the ambitious efforts it takes to tackle one of our time’s most critical challenges.

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Selling ServicesBy David Gordon, President, Channel Marketing Group

As every distributor knows, there is a labor and driver crisis in every market. It affects hiring warehouse staff as well as drivers. Today’s competition for labor is further exacerbated by competitive environments that can pay $20 / hour plus benefits (aka Amazon and others.) Further, within the electrical industry, many electrical contractors are faced with their own staffing challenges.

Industries have talked about fee-based services and many industry leaders are seizing upon the opportunity to diversify their income stream, improve profitability AND add a valuable service to their customers.

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Eplan Elements CollaborationWhy Use Elements Collaboration

Elements Collaboration represents a new alternative to conventional Project Data Management softwares. It is is a low cost and effective alternative to your dedicated PDM. Here's why:

EPLAN is built from the ground up with features you value in a Project Data Management software. As such, it is faster and can be better integrated to your workflow. This means that you can potentially save on the cost of an additional software without sacrificing productivity.

 

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BirdRecently, Bird Construction Inc. was pleased to announce that it has been selected to lead the design and construction of a state-of-the-art, net-zero plant protein processing facility for Phyto Organix Foods Inc. in Strathmore, Alberta. The value of the progressive design-build contract is approximately $125 million.

Bird will lead the design and construction of the facility and the 3D connectivity to the processing equipment. The 100,000 square foot facility will be the first net-zero plant protein processing facility in North America, employing industry-leading technology solutions to recycle and reuse water, leverage low emission energy sources, and reduce overall energy consumption. 

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Statistics CanadaReal gross domestic product rose 1.1% in February, the largest monthly growth rate since March 2021. Inflationary pressure remained in April 2022, when the Canadian Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 6.8% year over year, a slight increase from March 2022 (+6.7%).

After surging by nearly 340,000 in February, employment rose by an additional 73,000 in March as Omicron-related restrictions eased, and was little changed in April. After reaching a record low of 5.3% in March, the unemployment rate edged down 0.1 percentage points to 5.2% in April.

 

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Become a Wiser Approved Installer

SchneiderGet access to exclusive benefits, product discounts and resources that will help you drive more business, and lower energy bills for your clients.

 

 

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AD and TORBSAAD and Torbsa Limited are announcing an agreement to merge the two groups. The merger is expected to close July 1, 2022. Established in Ontario in 1966, Torbsa is a shareholder-owned group made up of twenty-seven independent building supplies distributors, with 48 locations across Canada.

Rob Dewar, president of AD Canada, discussed how Torbsa's strong leadership and financial success made the buying group an ideal match for AD. Rob Dewar, president of AD Canada, discussed how Torbsa's strong leadership and financial success made the buying group an ideal match for AD.

 

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IDEAThe Industry Data Exchange Association, Inc. (IDEA), in collaboration with the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED), announces the launch of the Harmonized Data Model (HDM) Advisory Council.

The Harmonized Data Model (HDM) initiative is defining a unified data model in IDEA Connector that enables manufacturers to easily syndicate to multiple formats and empowers distributors’ eCommerce experiences with more consistent, normalized product data.

 

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AimliteAimLite is proud to announce that its Products Warranty has been awarded certification by the National Lighting Bureau’s (NLB) Trusted Warranty Program. The NLB Trusted Warranty Program recognizes excellence in lighting companies that meet objective quality standards and practices regarding their warranty administration.

In order to obtain that certification, AimLite was assessed based on five criteria: formal warranty process, warranty language, length of business/warranty insurance, technical evaluation, and claims review evaluation. By complying with the five evaluation criteria, AimLite clearly demonstrates its commitment to providing quality products and services to its customers.

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EIN FE LEED 400

Franklin Empire Inc., the largest independently owned electrical distributor in Canada, and MONTONI are excited to launch the construction of the company’s new headquarters designed to support future growth. This family-owned 4th generation company is also celebrating its 80th anniversary this year. In summer 2023, Franklin Empire employees will move into their new facility of nearly 190,000-square-feet, conveniently located along Autoroute 40 at the junction of Autoroute 13 in Saint-Laurent and close to the Ericsson and VSL campuses developed by MONTONI. The building, which will be targeting a LEED certification, will triple the firm’s warehouse space and double its office area, while improving the customer experience and providing employees with a work environment adapted to the new reality of today’s job market.

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S&C Electric CompanyS&C Electric Company recently announced Anders Hultberg as its new president of S&C Electric Canada Ltd. Hultberg will assume his new role as the existing president, Angelo Gravina, transitions into retirement.

Hultberg’s vast industry experience includes developing and executing strategies and aligning complex operations to achieve sustainable business growth. Before joining S&C, Hultberg was the senior vice president and managing director of the high-voltage business for North America at Hitachi Energy (formerly ABB Power Grids). Hultberg’s 27-year career with ABB provided him with a variety of operational experience in production, operation, marketing, sales, and R&D. He also held numerous ABB leadership roles across the world, including the past nine years in Canada.

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Larry SternThe Industry Data Exchange Association, Inc. (IDEA), the electrical industry-endorsed technology service provider and eBusiness standards body, announces its 2022 Board of Directors. Larry Stern, President of Standard Electric Supply, is the IDEA Board Chair for the coming year.

“Larry’s experience and strong leadership are a driving force to tackle industry challenges and pursue IDEA’s roadmap. Today, with the increasing complexity and the increasing volume of data that needs to be exchanged, IDEA is focused on our mission to facilitate the exchange of complete, high-quality transactional and eCommerce product content and serve as the standards body for the electrical industry.” said David Oldfather, President and CEO of IDEA.

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