Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

 

May 1, 2018

Serge LemvreBy Line Goyette

Serge Le Myre receives us on the premises of Eclairage Dimension Plus inc. (EDP), which since February 2016 has lodged in the heart of Montreal’s hip Mile-Ex neighbourhood. A long road travelled for a company born in Serge le Myre’s basement. We have already talked about the history of EDP, a professional lighting resource for architects, engineers, designers, master electricians, general contractors, and others. Today, we meet its president and founder.

Serge Le Myre is curious and open minded about his environment and trends that influence the marketplace and the community. Networking is at the heart of his business strategy. EDP develops and sustains its networks in all environments and at every opportunity. Serge tells the story of an informal and wide-ranging conversation over a glass of wine during a break in a trade show with the person who later will become the CEO of Acuity Brands, Vernon Nagel. Since then, he has maintained a beautiful relationship with Nagel, despite Acuity Brands becoming a US$3.5 billion giant in net sales.

The agency Serge runs now represents more than 50 lighting manufacturers, contributes annually to more than 1,000 lighting projects in the Greater Montreal Area, and employs more than 36 people who are fully dedicated to lighting and control. Last fall, 684 guests, architects, designers, distributors of electrical products, engineers and contractors participated in the company's 25th anniversary celebration. What was special about this event was finding people from all walks and all ages. The “Who's Who” of Montreal’s lighting and electrical industry were present and networking at the centre of the festival.

Serge lives and develops his company by listening to market trends that he says are intimately linked to demographic trends. “More and more young people are in decision-making positions. At 27-30 years of age, some lead major projects. So we synchronized our sales force on these demographic changes and the results were convincing (sales having doubled in three years).”

The pace could be dizzying, but Serge Le Myre reminds us that technology is evolving rapidly and he is determined to match this pace. “Specifying has become an important part of the business. It is a kind of virtuous circle in which the more visible we are in projects, the more we are able to interact with the stakeholders and develop business relationships. To reflect this change, Simon Lévesque, who is Director of Specification Sales and has been with the company since 2014, recently became a shareholder.   

The balance Serge wants to maintain between demographics and market trends also takes the form of mentoring within the company. Experienced people like Jean Legault and Gilles Lauzière contribute to each of their areas of expertise. “It is important to attract new talent, but we also need to retain and share the expertise that has accumulated over the years.” Benoit Martin, who until recently was an EDP shareholder, remains with EDP to ensure the pre-installation coordination with electrical contractors and to continue inspiring young people who join the company.

The workforce is multigenerational and diversified to better cover all aspects of the market. The company is involved in distribution, as well as with electric contractors, architects, engineers and designers. “It’s a challenge to have so many different people around the table,” says Serge. “Respect for everyone’s expertise and opinions is what guides us in this adventure. We don't just work together, we also celebrate. We’ve developed a team culture to better serve the customer. Technology is now more complex and to find the best solution for the customer we need to have more people interacting at the same time on a project and contributing their expertise.”

What if we could change something in our industry?

After thinking at length, he says it would be interesting if there were more women. “It comes down to the idea of diversity. The industry is too masculine, in terms of distribution and entrepreneurs. Lighting technology will accelerate these changes and we need to make room for women and young people quickly to synchronize our demographics with those of our clients.”

Serge Le Myre often talks about balance between the different segments of the market and EDP. I ask him how this balance is at the personal level. “My wife, also a partner of the agency, and our two children work with us. The main thing is to admit that the business is 24 hours a day, seven days a week and has become my life. Of course, we have outlets to manage stress, such as sports and travel, but I basically believe that balance is achieved by staying in tune with the development of markets and trends and having the pleasure of nurturing a group of unique people in the industry.”

Trust can sometimes be misunderstood, but can also be a great source of leadership. this is the path that Serge Le Myre follows. His confidence I himself allows him to present daring products for dizzying installations and others more sober. He also has confidence in the business community here, in the new generation, in this diverse group that is EDP, and in the industry and its ability to adapt to technological change and demographic change. A story to follow and to watch.

Line Goyette is Managing Editor of LDS; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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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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 ...
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Michael Gentile, President and CEO of Philips Lighting Canada, has had a long and distinguished ...

 

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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