Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

 

Oct 17, 2018

Kim QuelchLine Goyette

A few weeks ago Kim Quelch, National President of Electro-Federation Canada (EFC)’s Young Professionals Network, invited her male and female colleagues to share and publicize their expertise among all members of the industry. Like many, she arrived by chance in the industry. After graduating from university with a Bachelor of Commerce and a speciality in marketing, she began her career in a packaging and software company. 

“The part of the software industry I was in was a predominantly male industry and I didn't feel the support of senior management to facilitate our integration. In addition, I found that the size of the business limited the professional challenges ahead of me,” says Kim.

Informed of an opportunity by a friend, she had a first interview at Standard and knew from the beginning that she had just found the place and the industry where she would make a career. “It was the beginning of LED technology. Everything changed — business models, margins, competition.” 

It was a unique opportunity for young people and women to take their place in a new and vibrant industry. Kim’s career has been growing steadily for 10 years. She has since completed an MBA, during which she learned to work with people of all disciplines and circumstances before getting involved in the Young Professionals Network (YPN). Its goal is to attract young people to an industry where young people are increasingly present and whose knowledge is valued. 

What impact would you like to have in your business? Industry? Society? 

When I started in this industry just under 10 years ago, I remember thinking, “What have I gotten myself into? How am I ever going to fit into the Old Boys Club? As the years went on I realized how much passion I had for the industry and that so many others shared this same passion. 

The industry is changing and it is my goal to help share that enthusiasm in a message to our future leaders, really making them realize that there are a wealth of opportunities and technological changes that are occurring in the industry today that they can be part of. Unless they are coming out of a trade school or are part of a family already in the industry, most new graduates are not thinking of a career in our industry. Making them aware is our responsibility, now more than ever. 

I also hope that the awareness and relevance that we are trying to bring to the YPN group will stand the test of time, to a point where one day it may not be needed in the same capacity as today because the lines will be blurred between young and experienced individuals working together for common goals. 

What is your biggest work-related challenge right now? 

I would definitely have to say my biggest work related challenge in the last five years has been getting and keeping talent. The electrical industry is a small one and is not considered very “sexy” by young, up-and-coming professionals. There is such a war for talent in our industry these days. The more it changes, the more difficult it becomes to find top talent.  With the disruption that is occurring, we need to be open to stepping out of our companies and industry to recruit. Being forward thinking of the types of talent we will need in the future and what will make them happy is so important. When a company recognizes the value in their employees and strives to keep them happy and engaged, it is a win-win for both parties. 

What industry developments interest you the most?

How do you see the industry benefiting from it/them?I am most interested to see how IoT will affect our industry. For me, IoT is exciting as it changes the purpose of lighting. Emitting light no longer becomes the primary purpose of a fixture or a lamp. Instead it will become a hub for data collection and analysis. It is exciting to also think of the partnerships that this technology will foster. It will force us to think out of the box and out of the industry when it comes to strategic and long-term planning. As exciting as this is, I also think that IoT will bring with it the struggle of privacy protection and usage of this data. I don’t think our industry is quite prepared for that today, which I think could pose some potential challenges in the future. 

Describe one way in which you effectively separate work from family and personal life? 

This is a tough one! At Standard one of our core values is to have fun and I take this to heart. We spend so much time with our colleagues during a week that they essentially become family as well. I like to think of it as having two families, my Standard family and my personal family, and I have fun and give 110% of my attention and time to whichever family I am with. 

With technology as it is today, it is hard to disconnect. It has become just too easy to check that last email at the dinner table or respond to a text from your boss or one of your colleagues at 10:00 pm. Separating the two is an individual choice. I consciously make the effort to do this as much as possible. This really has to be a two-way understanding between the company and the employee. 

Who has been a source of inspiration or a mentor to you?  

This is tough to summarize as I feel so many people have impacted my life. Personally, I would have to say my parents and my grandmothers. They taught me about dedication and love and also how to be persistent and empathetic. My grandmother brought over six kids from Myanmar during a very difficult time and without that persistence and dedication my family would not be what it is today. 

Professionally, I would have to say the executive team at Standard. They have always believed in me and pushed me out of my comfort zone, which has helped me to get to where I am today. I’ll never forget a trip I took with David (Standard CEO David Nathaniel) and Jason (Executive Vice-President Jason Prevost) after working at the company for maybe three months. Sitting in the airport, having a conversation the three of us I drifted and started to look up at the lighting that was above us. When I looked back down David had a smile from ear to ear and said to me, “Welcome to the family.” 

Why did you get involved with YPN? 

I remember my first EFC Christmas reception in Ontario nine years ago. I was young, 25, with six months experience. I am walking into this room and all I saw was dark suits. It was intimidating the more I attended the industry and attended events. In our on-site team there are many young people and women, and I wondered why people did not come into our industry. YPN is a great opportunity to open your eyes. We knew when the network is gone, both worlds are really merging.


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

 

SignifyThe electrical and lighting industries were shocked this week with the announcement that Signify purchased the recently renamed Cooper Lighting Solutions from Eaton.

The former Eaton Lighting division was scheduled to be spun off from Eaton via an IPO late this year / early next year.  While rumored earlier this year to be up for sale, rather than being spun off, there were no takers for the business. Although, it was reportedly considered by some.  According to Signify, discussions with Cooper Lighting, and Eaton, began a month ago. The interest could have been provoked by the Q3 slowdown in the lighting market with Signify sensing an opportunity to make an acquisition, perhaps at a discount.

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Rick McCartenBy Rick McCarten

For a long time now, many experts have been pointing out how companies should be expanding their service offerings beyond their product sales. Companies are wrapping services around their product and packaging — everything from special deliveries, warranties, repair and technical assistance to 24-hour service. This “servic-ization” helps differentiate companies from their competitors. How big is this going to get? Some reports have this trend becoming the core of our future economy.

 

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Carol McGloganBy Line Goyette

With Industry 4.0 on our doorstep, we are facing significant technological and resource changes, some of which question our industry’s core values. Artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, digitization, transport electrification, diversity and inclusion are among the inescapable changes that will affect our industry head on, both in its best practices and its business models. We have several advantages to help us deal with the changes, including an unwavering advocate for our industry: Carol McGlogan. She is the first woman to hold the position of Electro-Federation Canada’s (EFC) President and CEO. 

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CEW IDEAL Nationals 400

The IDEAL Nationals are underway with an 18 member Canadian Team supported by the IDEAL Industries Canada crew. This year over 55,000 electrical contractors and electricians competed worldwide so this is the cream of the crop competing here in Orlando .

The 2019 IDEAL National Championship is a highly charged, no-holds barred competition to determine the best electrician in North America and includes teams from China, Australia and Mexico.

To make it to Orlando, contractors have to qualify first and numerous qualifying events were held throughout Canada.

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GDP Rose 0.1 PercentReal gross domestic product edged up 0.1% in August, following no change in July. Goods-producing industries were up 0.2% after two months of declines, led by a rebound in manufacturing, while services-producing industries edged up 0.1%. Overall, there were gains in 14 out of 20 industrial sectors.

On a three-month rolling average basis, real gross domestic product rose 0.5% in August, compared with a 0.8% increase in July.

 

 

 

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Changing Scene

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ImarkDuring the recently held IMARK Canada 2019 meeting in Niagara Falls, executives from 14 of the leading manufacturers in the Canadian electrical and lighting industry participated in the IMARK Canada Product Stampede on September 13th.

Select manufacturer executives had precisely five minutes to present a key product with superior growth potential to the members of IMARK Canada. Distributor member executives then rated each supplier based on the quality of the presentation and the perceived sales potential of the product being demonstrated.

 

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OmnicableOmniCable would like to thank the electrical distributors and industry partners who attended OmniCable Toronto’s open house on October 23, 2019. OmniCable opened its Toronto branch back in April 2019. Toronto is OmniCable’s first branch outside of the United States. The Toronto facility, which is approximately 50,000 square feet, is OmniCable’s 13th branch and services electrical distributors throughout Canada.

During the open house, attendees toured the facility, met OmniCable Canada and US teams, enjoyed light refreshments, and walked away with giveaways.

 

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Ilsco and Adanac SalesILSCO Canada has announced the appointment of Adanac Sales as agency of representation for the ILSCO brand in the province of British Columbia.

This partnership exemplifies ILSCO’s dedication to collaborate with companies that share ILSCO’s commitment to providing excellent products and service to the electrical industry in British Columbia.

 

 

 

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ABBTotal orders -1%1, order backlog +3%

  • Steady revenues and book-to-bill2
  • Operational EBITA margin2 11.7%, +20 basis points; impacted 70 basis points by stranded costs
  • Income from continuing operations, net of tax $422 million, -1%
  • Net income $515 million, -15%
  • Operational EPS2 $0.33, -7%3
  • Cash flow from operating activities $670 million, +19%, solid cash delivery expected for the full year
  • Björn Rosengren appointed Chief Executive Officer, effective March 1, 2020

 

 

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Peers & Profiles

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Stephanie MedeirosBy Blake Marchand

For Stephanie Medeiros, this is an exciting time for Canada’s electric vehicle industry because it is approaching a tipping point. “One or two percent of vehicles in Canada are electric, but you’re going to see this change rapidly. There are different factors that come with that, but to make it a reality you need to have a charging infrastructure in place. One of the factors involved with that is establishing standards for charging, as well as settling on a uniform method for charging — ultimately, constructing a landscape that closely resembles that of internal combustion.”

 

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City Electric Supply - Jon LlewellynJon Llewellyn is the Branch Manager City Electric Supply’s Nanaimo, BC location. “I've worn many hats within this great organization,” Llewellyn told Canadian Electrical Wholesaler. Beginning as a Van Driver, Jon worked his way through several different positions at City Electric Supply after a 10-year career in the trades as a Drywaller. Starting as a driver, Llewellyn would move into the warehouse, and on into Inside Sales, which would turn into an Account Manager position before he would land in his current role as Branch Manager. The ability to learn on the job is an essential skill in an evolving industry, particularly one that is heavily technical. Something Llewellyn has certainly embraced.

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Looking Back

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Copper $US Dollar price per pound

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