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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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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IoT Breakthrough, an independent organization that recognizes the top companies, technologies and ...
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CBPE Capital has acquired a majority ownership position in Ideal Networks, a market leading ...
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  BRITECH Corp is a Canadian market provider of fully integrated heat tracing cables and ...
  Hammond Power Solutions Inc. has announced its intention to discontinue and close its ...
Murray Chamney, President, Intralec Electrical Products Ltd., has announced his retirement, ...
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Recognized for her career as a business leader and innovator, passionate about people, technology ...

 

 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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