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.

 

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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Study


A confirmation: the winds of change are now howling.

Several years ago, in a workshop at Electro-Federation Canada’s annual conference, a roundtable session described and debated the numerous disruptive technologies that are forcing us to think differently.

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Looking 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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Changing Scene

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Effective January 1, 2019, Ramy Yousif assumes the position of Rexel Atlantic’s General Manager.
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 ...
AD, the contractor and industrial products wholesale buying/marketing group, reports a 10% increase ...
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Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium (EMC), a not-for-profit organization and Canada’s largest ...
Heather and Elaine Gerrie, co-presidents of Gerrie Electric, are this year’s winners of the ...
Tony’s energy and commitment to Westburne has enabled him to grow in a new leadership role in our ...

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 ...

Laura Dempsey

Owen Hurst

Laura Dempsey has been working as an outside sales representative for E.B. Horsman & Son for over 15 years, and is a member of the BCEA U40 network of young professionals. She lives in Langley, BC and is proud of her position and work with E.B. Horsman, particularly as she is the second Dempsey generation to work for the company.

Laura’s mother Shelly has worked at E.B. Horsman for over 25 years, and instilled in Laura a determination to succeed. Laura followed in her mother’s footsteps after witnessing how much her mother enjoyed her work and the people she works with at E.B. Horsman.

Read more: Laura Dempsey

Laura Dempsey

Line Goyette

I've known John Sencich since CEW began publishing. He agreed from the outset to be part of the newsletter’s Editorial Board. His contribution was regular and sustained. Always present to answer my technical questions, and refer me to the right person for additional information as needed. Always available despite his role as senior leader of an influential company.

Over the past five years, many industry insiders have cited John Sencich when I asked them to name someone who had made a difference in their lives or had inspired them as a leader.

Read more: John Sencich

Looking Back

  • Prev
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 ...

DIgitalDigitalization is set to take a strong hold of all business models, transforming how companies access, monitor, engage with and service customers. Today’s customers are not passive consumers; they rely on real-time digital access to information to make purchasing decisions. Businesses must consider how to apply digital technologies and digitized data to connect with customers to help reshape their paths to purchase. This digital lens provides improvements to business functions, operations and overall processes by creating stronger insight and knowledge so businesses can take action.

The path towards digitalization has put the electrical supply channel at an important crossroad: the entire electrical value chain (suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, customers) will need to strongly consider how to move from a traditional model that has served the market well for decades, towards a new model that is connected, smart and highly efficient. But how does the industry evolve from a traditional model to an integrated ecosystem?

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EFC 2018 Scholarship Program

This year Electro-Federation Canada (EFC) will award $156,250 across 62 scholarships supported by manufacturers, distributors and associations.

The annual EFC Scholarship Program reflects an industry that understands its responsibility to attract future talent. In the face of technological, demographic, and socio-economic evolution, the employment landscape is in constant transformation resulting in substantial challenges for companies as they work to define and redefine their recruitment practices. Furthermore, as competition for the brightest and the best of the next generation of business leaders intensifies, it’s more important than ever to engage young people. 

Read more...

 

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