Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

Looking Back

December 4, 2017

Copel was an organization that united 16 of Canada’s leading electrical distributors. It was during the 1969 convention of CEDA that E. Mullaly of Saint John and Jeannine Guillevin Wood of Montreal first discussed the idea of forming an organization of independent distributors. Other discussions were held and a meeting in August 1969 brought together a group of independent electrical distributors from across Canada to form a consortium that would enable them to combine resources, experience and purchasing volume to compete more effectively with national distributors.

In its time, Copel was the largest organization of its kind. Copel provided a broad range of services to its shareholders, including

  • supplier programs; purchasing agreements
  • financial services
  • national sales agreements
  • regular contact with large, multi-location industries
  • marketing
  • sales management training
  • other services to assist shareholders in serving their customers more efficiently and effectively

For its shareholders, and for the manufacturers associated with Copel, the organization provided a valuable forum for the exchange of ideas. Through its national network of independent distributors and their 130 branches across Canada, the organization offered manufacturers of electrical products an important national link to end users. As the largest organization of its kind in Canada, Copel was dedicated to provide service at competitive prices.

All shareholders carried a complete range of products representing leading manufacturers, and were constantly augmenting them to meet the changing requirements of the marketplace; increasingly the emphasis was on electronic products.

Copel’s long-term relationships with its many suppliers reflected mutual stability, reliability and trust. mm

The shareholders of Copel were

  • A&I Supply Ltd.
  • R.E. Electric, a division of Chester Industrial Tool Supply Ltd.
  • Daigneault Industriel Inc.
  • Economy Electric Supply Limited
  • Electrozad Supply Co. Ltd.
  • Electrozad Supply Company (Waterloo) Ltd.
  • Gerrie Electric Wholesale Limited
  • Gescan, a division of Chester Industrial Tool Supply Ltd.
  • Gescan, a division of Guillevin International Inc.
  • Guillevin International Inc.
  • Heap Nosworthy Ltd.
  • B. Horsman & Son Ltd.
  • Ideal Supply Company Limited
  • Independent Electric Co. Ltd.
  • Ward Johnson Electric Ltd.
  • C. Keddy Ltd; Lumen Inc.
  • McDowell Electric Ltd.

Each company was represented on the Copel Board of Directors. The needs of the organization were served by a permanent staff of six located in Montreal, and headed by Copel president Richard Taylor.

Since its founding, Copel grew and prospered; growth came through shareholder expansion and the acquisition of other distributors, but the emphasis was always on internal growth and there are no territorial restrictions.

Copel had the resources and people, inventory and services to meet every requirement. The Copel philosophy of people working together proved successful; for several years Copel outperformed the electrical wholesale industry. Participating shareholders, ranging in size from family-owned, single location, companies to firms with branches throughout several provinces, shared a commitment to professionalism.

In 1992, Copel merged with Affiliated Distributors (AD), which marked AD’s introduction to the Canadian market. Twenty years later (2012), AD merged with Independent Electrical Distributors (IED), doubling AD’s Canadian sales.

 

OlsonBy Katrina Olson

A recent CEW article by David Gordon caught my eye. The headline was, Are Your Sales and Marketing Teams Inhibiting Growth?

As a marketing consultant, writer, and trainer, I recognized the challenges and barriers that David was writing about. We agree on many issues (and their causes) facing electrical distributors and marketers. But I also hear from marketing people all the time that the C-Suite is hindering their efforts which, in turn, hinders the company’s growth.  

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2018 Electrical North American MeetingOn October 29-31, 2018, the AD Electrical North American Meeting drew over 1,000 attendees. This event attracted 151 first time attendees and representatives from over 362 companies in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Attendees benefited from a variety of agenda topics, including: Network Meetings, Emerging Leaders Session, and Country-specific Business Meetings. New to this year’s agenda was a SPA Optimization Workshop led by industry veteran Mo Barsema. In addition, members and suppliers also attended a panel discussion on managing and measuring your digital success.

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Changing Scene

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This past summer, from July 1 to September 15, AD Rewards ran the Redeem for a Dream promotion.
Electro-Federation Canada’s Marketing Awards program recognizes member organizations that ...
On October 29-31, 2018, the AD Electrical North American Meeting drew over 1,000 attendees. This ...

 

 EFC Announces 2018 Marketing Awards Winners

2018 Marketing Awards WinnersElectro-Federation Canada (EFC)’s Marketing Awards program recognizes member organizations that demonstrate marketing excellence and innovation within the Canadian electrical manufacturing and distribution industry. Winners of this year’s awards were recognized at EFC’s 8th Annual Future Forum, held earlier this month. (Shown in photo: EFC President and CEO Carole McGlogan with representatives from Bartle & Gibson, winners of the Integrated Marketing Award — distributor under $50 million.)Electro-Federation Canada (EFC)’s Marketing Awards program recognizes member organizations that demonstrate marketing excellence...

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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 ...
Sales of electrical supplies from full-line electrical distributors capture the geographic ...
Laura Dempsey has been working as an outside sales representative for E.B. Horsman & Son for ...
Michael Gentile, President and CEO of Philips Lighting Canada, has had a long and distinguished ...

 

 Young Leaders: Taylor Gerrie

Taylor GerrieOn a regular basis, our publications profile members of our industry through their responses to a Q&A. It’s a way of recognizing industry movers and shakers, and helping our readers get to know them better. 

Recently we launched an initiative with Electro-Federation Canada's Young Professionals Network to include profiles of up-and-coming leaders. We provided the list of questions below to Taylor Gerrie, Automation Account Specialist at Gerrie Electric Wholesale Ltd. in Burlington, Ontario. Here are Taylor’s responses.

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Susan Uthayakumar, President of Schneider Electric Canada: Driving Success

Susan UthayakumarBy Owen Hurst

First and foremost, sitting down with Susan Uthayakumar feels more like sitting down and conversing with a friend than conducting an interview with the Canadian president of one of the world’s largest electrical manufacturers. Of course, she exudes the confidence and knowledge her position demands, but equally identifiable are an open and engaging nature.

In a recent sit-down, we learned a little about Susan’s history and what drives her to succeed.

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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. ...
In the 1930s to 1940s, CEDA’s Western Canada membership was very stable with old line independent ...
Prior to the late 1950s there was little if any involvement in CEDA by the so-called “national ...
  As 2017 marks the 150th anniversary of Confederation, we take a look back at an aspect of ...

Looking BackThe best memory I keep from CEDA is the way that they accepted me when I came into the business. The welcome they gave to me, all of them men. (In those days there were not many women in business.) This welcome I will always remember. CEDA has played a very important role in my success.

One year our conference was in Hamilton, Ontario. Mr. Caouillette, our speaker, got lost and instead of going to Hamilton went to Toronto. I think that that was the longest cocktail hour that CEDA ever had… waiting for him to arrive. Certainly that night the head table and everyone were in good spirits.

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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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