Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

 

June 29, 2018

DIgitalBy Rob Nadler and Swati Patel

Digitalization 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?

The goods news is that digitization is somewhat familiar territory for the electrical industry. The industry has made great strides in the digitization of electrical products. Intelligent products such as lighting, controls, sensors and breakers are increasingly connected with Cloud-based systems and IoT platforms to provide users with new levels of data access, control, flexibility and application. The use of digitally astute electrical products support the automation of robotics, artificial intelligence, blockchain and autonomous vehicles other cross-functional operations, transforming how companies design, manufacture, distribute, deliver, install and service to meet customers’ needs. 

“Let’s Get Digital” research 

Electro-Federation Canada (EFC) has conducted a research study that looks at the value-add of digitalization in the Canadian electrical industry, specifically as it relates to supply chain networks. The resulting report emphasizes the service factor. Digitalization offers an opportunity for the electrical channel to advance its service abilities by embracing new technologies that digitize processes so that we can access, engage, customize, connect and collaborate with customers and other value chain partners. 

In EFC’s study, 75% of survey respondents recognized service as a key driver for digital transformation. Service is widely understood as our channel’s main strength: the personal connections that we have with customers are very important. These relationships have allowed us to work with customers to identify business opportunities, build strategies and provide services that cannot be matched by new market players.

But a word of caution: these connections run the risk of becoming weakened if we don’t address changing customer needs, which are being fuelled by B2C digital experiences that are forcing B2B practices to evolve. The prowess of digitalization has the potential to render legacy services obsolete. Sensors, robotics, artificial intelligence, blockchain, autonomous vehicles, and other technologies will alter how operational functions are performed and serviced. 

The threat of digital inaction could have huge consequences. In recent years, digitally native competitors have surfaced with a keen eye towards the wholesale distribution market. The Globe and Mail published an article that noted that “Amazon’s interest in the B2B wholesale and distribution market is said to stem from the inefficiencies that exist within the space. Amazon Business is purpose-built to address the concerns of B2B purchasers and professional procurement teams concurrently.” (Source: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-commentary/amazons-next-mountain-b2b-procurement/article37519274/). 

Digital transformation among electrical channel partners must happen now: “The race to digitalization is no longer coming, it’s already here. There is no longer time to delay in implementing strategies and executing tactical plans…there is still a general feeling in our industry that we have time. We don't.” (EFC member survey respondent)

Our industry’s goal must be to collectively transform the electrical supply chain into one that is more agile, transparent and robust. Explore these another opportunities in EFC’s “Digitalization” research report, and learn what our channel and your business will need to consider for digitalization to gain adoption. Request your copy at www.electrofed.com/market-insights/industry-research.

Rob Nadler is Executive Vice President at Stanpro Lighting Systems Inc. and Aimlite. Swati Patel is EFC’s Director, Research & Communications.

 

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.
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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 ...
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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?

Read More

 


 

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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