Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

July 28, 2017

Photo, Southwire's Jean-François BourquiBy Jean-François Bourqui

Diversity and inclusion (D&I) is a term that companies are starting to zero in on, and as a result, is quickly becoming a trend. Creating a diverse workforce and an inclusive work environment for employees is a priority for many forward thinking organizations, which are focused on sustaining successful and long-term multi-generational businesses.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “diversity” as the state of having people who are different races or who have different cultures in a group or organization. “Inclusion” is defined as the action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure. However, in a business sense, the meaning and need for D&I are so much more. D&I in some ways are like bacon and eggs. They are not the same, but together make up a winning combination. In an ever changing global business environment, where technologies and customer experience are becoming the way of the future, having a diverse and inclusive environment will be the winning formula. This will help companies be proactive and stay ahead of the curve when making important business decisions that will impact their futures.

Companies that embrace a diverse workforce will have increased adaptability, broader service range, variety of viewpoints, and more effective execution due to the increased level of talent, skill set and experiences that they bring. This will result in increased efficiencies relating to performance and productivity, as well as innovation which in turn will also lead to positive employer branding when recruiting future talent.

Companies that embrace inclusivity understand that one size does not fit all, and that fostering a culture of equity is an essential part of being successful. An inclusive culture gives every employee a voice and encourages them to share knowledge and best practices with one another. When employees feel part of a team, and part of a common goal where they are contributing and being heard, it leads to enhanced collaboration, enhanced morale, and enhanced efficiencies in the workplace. This leads to progressive results and directly impacts a company’s bottom line in a positive way.

MasterCard is a prime example of a global company who has a very strong focus on D&I. MasterCard created an internal group of networks they call Business Research Groups (BRGs). BRGs are available for all MasterCard employees around the world. There are currently 9 different BRGs in place with 50 chapters and 2,500 members worldwide. One of MasterCard’s BRGs that exists today is called YOPROS (Young Professionals).

Twenty to thirty percent of the global workforce is made up of employees who are born between 1978 and 1995. This age group of professionals plays a very important role as influencers and drivers of business decisions across all industries today, and in the future. WLN (Women’s Leadership Network) is another BRG. It seeks to advance women’s careers and performance through a culture of mentoring and coaching. SALUTE is a BRG that provides global support for active and veteran military personnel and their families by facilitating a successful transition into MasterCard’s corporate culture.

The other MasterCard BRGs include WWAVE (Workers With Accumulated Valued Experience), LEAD (Leveraging Employees of African Descent), Latin Network (Employees of Latin Descent), Pride (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender), East (Exploring Asian Societies and Trends), and ADAPTability (focuses on needs of employees with disabilities).

All BRGs have the common goal of providing its employees with a platform to network, share information, build relationships, and create a team environment that will contribute to their professional growth. These BRGs exist to help MasterCard achieve their goal of understanding complex and constant changing dynamics in the global marketplace. It allows them to leverage the unique strengths, views, and experiences through BRGs to help create growth, innovation and success. However, measuring the success of D&I is not so cut and dry. Sure, diversity initiatives can be measurable (e.g., by 2018, Company “XYZ” wants 30% of our workforce to be Millennials), but inclusion is a little more challenging to measure. One of the most common ways to measure inclusion success rate is through employee engagement survey feedback.

Bottom line, companies with D&I initiatives outperform their peers by a fair margin. Numerous research studies (McKinsey’s research, Catalyst research and Deloitte Australia research) validate this point. So the big question is, if you are a business leader or a future business leader, are you motivated enough to take the necessary steps to develop a D&I strategy for your organization?

Jean-François Bourqui is a Regional Sales Manager for Southwire Canada. Jean-François graduated from the University of Ottawa with a Bachelor in Commerce specializing in International Management in 2006. He has spent his entire 10.5 year professional career with Southwire Canada working in various roles such as Account Manager, Sales/Pricing Analyst, Customer Service Manager and Outside Sales Representative.

Chart showing the continuum of diversity and inclusion cultures

Figure: Bersin by Deloitte D&I Benchmarking Data, 3/2014




ABBDuring E.B. Horsman & Son’s (EBH) Annual General Meeting on March 5, 2019, ABB Canada was presented with the 2018 EBH Supplier of the Year award by Tyson Carvell, VP of Marketing. The award was received by Ed Atkinson, ABB Commercial & Construction Sales Manager for BC, on behalf of Rob Ruys, ABB Regional Manager for Western Canada.

Each year E.B. Horsman & Son monitors the sales and operations of each of their 600+ supplier partners. 

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SouthwireIn March 2018, Southwire announced the investment of more than US$9 million back into the lives of employees through one-time employee bonuses, expanded parental leave and a strengthened commitment to education through the Bridge Scholarship Program, a one-time opportunity for eligible hourly employees seeking to further their education through a two-year degree, four-year degree or technical certification. One year later, 64 employees have been awarded the Bridge Scholarship.  

“Building organizational capability is vital to maintaining our great culture and driving business results,” says Kelley Park, Executive Vice President of Human Resources.

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CEW 6 HR 400People with low levels of coping skills are at higher risk for mental health issues and mental illness than those with high levels. Gaps in coping skills inhibit the ability to solve problems and to make healthy and effective decisions.

To examine how coping skills can predict health outcomes, Dr. Bill Howatt facilitated a doctoral research study that examined the question: “What role does an individual’s coping skills have in predicting psychological and physical health outcomes?” The study found that coping skills mattered and were, in fact, a moderator that partially explains why some individuals had better physical and psychological health outcomes than others. The study concluded that when combining a person’s coping skills with their perceived stress levels, coping skills were significant in predicting which employees were at more or less risk for health issues.

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Changing Scene

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  The OmniCable Toronto branch recently completed its first customer order after opening ...
The Hannover Messe Trade Fair in Germany, held this year at the beginning of April, is the world’s ...
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The Stratford and District Chamber of Commerce has presented its 2019 Business Leader of the Year ...
The company’s wholesale locations will be branded Robinson Supply, and the lighting and bath ...
GE has completed the sale of its Current, powered by GE business unit to American Industrial ...
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In preparation for the retirement of Gabriel Massabni in 2020, Jason Prevost has joined Leviton as ...
During E.B. Horsman & Son’s (EBH) Annual General Meeting on March 5, 2019, ABB Canada was ...
Desdowd Inc. has been chosen to serve as Thermon’s manufacturer's agent for the province of Quebec ...

CREECree, Inc. has signed an agreement to sell its Lighting Products business unit, which includes the LED lighting fixtures, lamps and corporate lighting solutions business for commercial, industrial and consumer applications, to Ideal Industries, Inc. for approximately US$310 million before tax impacts, including up-front and contingent consideration and the assumption of certain liabilities. Cree expects to receive an initial cash payment of US$225 million, subject to purchase price adjustments, and has the potential to receive a targeted earn-out payment of approximately US$85 million based on an adjusted EBITDA metric for Cree Lighting over a 12-month period beginning two years after the transaction closes.

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EHRC WLNElectricity Human Resources Canada is delighted to have announced its new partnership with Women Leadership Nation™ (WLN) on International Women’s Day.

Electricity Human Resources Canada is delighted to have announced its new partnership with Women Leadership Nation™ (WLN) on International Women’s Day. This strategic alliance will offer EHRC members and Leadership Accord signatories with training, development and strategy support in their efforts to make progress in closing the Gender Gap.

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ABB Showcases Its Vision of Leadership in Digital Industries at ABB Customer World 2019

Show ReportBy Line Goyette

Leaders and innovators from business, government and the education sector gathered for this ABB premier collaboration event. More than 11,000 delegates attended the bi-annual ABB Customer World Houston 2019 from March 4 to 7 in Houston, Texas. ABB’s latest pioneering technologies were displayed over 150,000 sq ft of a colourful, buzzy display of futuristic conveyor belts and robots, an ABB Formula E Generation 2 car, and much more groundbreaking technology.

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Peers & Profiles

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On a regular basis, our publications profile members of our industry through their responses to a ...
First and foremost, sitting down with Susan Uthayakumar feels more like sitting down and conversing ...
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National ManufacturingExcellence in Manufacturing Consortium EMC’s Advantage through Excellence: Future of Manufacturing Conference is a 2½ day event exploring the competitive advantages, opportunities and successes that can be achieved by manufacturers through a variety of learning forums — up to 40 workshops, panel sessions, keynote presentations and best practice plant tours — providing delegates with outstanding opportunities for benchmarking, peer networking, learning and sharing of hundreds of best practices. An estimated 500 to 900 manufacturing leaders and stakeholders from across Canada are expected to attend. 

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Rick McCartenBy Rick McCarten

I think it was Bill Gates who said the Internet will not have an effect on society short term, but will have a profound effect on us long term. 

Long term versus short term fascinates me. Making the call for one over the other can determine the success (or failure) of companies today. 

Using Bill Gates’ long-term Internet effect example, means that business decisions about the Internet will not necessarily show short-term gain, but will show “profound” gain in the long term.

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CEW 3 Perspective 400

We often learn how to look forward by first looking back, or at the very least we realize that despite our best efforts we have not truly advanced quite so much as we had thought. Sure, technology is rapidly advancing. That’s beyond question. But what about our approach to selling it? Have we changed that much in the last 20, 40, 60 years? Inevitably there have been advances and changes in marketing, the Internet causing the biggest shift, but many of the concerns and directives that have driven the distribution and marketing of industrial electrical products remain, or at least planted the roots of the concerns of manufacturers and distributors today. 

To gain perspective of the perceptions and directions of electrical product distribution in 1960, we turn to Edwin H. Lewis. In 1960 Lewis published “The Distribution of Industrial Electrical Products” in the Journal of Marketing.

To fully define electrical product distribution in 1960, Lewis broke his study into several categories. We will follow his direction and provide his insights on the industry in each of the categories he identified.

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Looking Back

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The best memory I keep from CEDA is the way that they accepted me when I came into the business. ...
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Bnei AkivaBy Blake Marchand

Lior Levy, along with Josh Kantrowitz, led a team of 21 students earlier this year as they travelled to Hartsville, South Carolina for the annual Bnei Akiva Habit for Humanity trip, in partnership with Legrand. As a frequent supporter of Habitat for Humanity, Legrand donated the funds required to purchase the construction materials for the project.

Ms. Levy, a pre-med student from Toronto who recently received her BA in Biology while attending Yishiva University in New York.

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Looking BackLooking BackIn the 1930s to 1940s, CEDA’s Western Canada membership was very stable with old line independent companies like Horsman, Ashdowns, Brettell, Marshall Wells, Electrical Supplies Ltd., etc.

Small electrical distributors just were not acceptable for membership as they did not carry the main-line manufacturers’ goods, publish a wiring device catalogue, or employ four to five salesmen as CEDA requested.

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Copper $US Dollar price per pound

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