Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

Jan 3, 2019

Electrical Economy WholesaleWholesale sales rose 1.0% to $63.8 billion in October, more than offsetting the 0.7% decline in September. Sales were up in four of seven subsectors, representing about 68% of total wholesale sales.


The machinery, equipment and supplies, and the personal and household goods subsectors contributed the most to the gains in October, while the motor vehicle and parts subsector posted the largest decline.


In volume terms, wholesale sales increased 0.9%.


Increase attributable to higher sales in four of seven subsectors


The machinery, equipment and supplies subsector rose 2.8% to $13.4 billion in October, a third increase in four months. Sales were up in three of four industries, led by the farm, lawn and garden machinery and equipment industry (+9.4%), its first increase in four months. Imports of industrial machinery, equipment and parts (+1.5%) and manufactured machinery sales (+2.9%) also increased in October.


Sales in the personal and household goods subsector were up 3.1% to $9.3 billion on higher sales in the pharmaceuticals and pharmacy supplies industry (+5.2%).

Wholesale sales in the miscellaneous subsector increased 1.6% to $8.5 billion. Sales were up in three of five industries, led by the paper, paper product and disposable plastic product industry.


The motor vehicle and parts subsector declined 1.7% to $10.6 billion, falling to its lowest level since November 2016. Following a 0.2% increase in September, sales in the motor vehicle industry decreased 2.8% to $8.2 billion in October. Imports of passenger cars and light trucks declined 5.8%, a second consecutive drop.

Sales in the building material and supplies subsector decreased 1.2% to $9.3 billion, the second decline in three months. Two of three industries were down, led by the lumber, millwork, hardware and other building supplies industry (-3.5%).


Higher sales in four provinces


In October, sales increased in four provinces, which together represented about 71% of total wholesale sales, led by Ontario and Quebec.


Wholesale sales in Ontario rose 2.3% to $33.0 billion in October, their highest level on record following two consecutive monthly declines. Sales were up in four of seven subsectors, led by the machinery, equipment and supplies (+5.9%) and the personal and household goods (+7.6%) subsectors.

In Quebec, sales increased for the third time in four months, up 1.2% to $11.9 billion. Higher sales in the building material and supplies (+10.8%) and the motor vehicle and parts (+10.6%) subsectors contributed the most to the gain.


Lower sales were reported in all four western provinces, led by Alberta. Wholesale sales in Alberta declined for a third consecutive month, down 2.4% to $6.6 billion, their lowest level since December 2017. The machinery, equipment and supplies (-4.6%) and the building material and supplies (-6.6%) subsectors contributed the most to the decline in October.


Following three consecutive monthly gains, sales in Manitoba declined 2.8% to $1.6 billion, led by lower sales in the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector (-12.4%).


In British Columbia, sales declined 0.6% to $6.6 billion, led by the building material and supplies subsector. The miscellaneous subsector led the decline in Saskatchewan, where sales fell 1.4% to $2.2 billion. This was the second consecutive decrease for both provinces.

Inventories increase for the seventh time in eight months


Wholesale inventories increased 0.9% to $88.0 billion in October, the seventh gain in eight months. Increases were reported in six of seven subsectors, representing about 83% of total wholesale inventories.


In dollar terms, inventories in the food, beverage and tobacco subsector (+3.6%) posted the largest gain, following a 1.8% decline in September. All three industries rose, with the food industry contributing the most to the increase.


Inventories grew 1.4% in the building material and supplies subsector, the seventh gain in 2018. The majority of the rise was driven by the electrical, plumbing, heating and air-conditioning equipment and supplies industry.

Higher inventories in the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector (+0.8%) were led by the other machinery, equipment and supplies industry.
The inventory-to-sales ratio was unchanged at 1.38 in October. This ratio is a measure of the time in months required to exhaust inventories if sales were to remain at their current level.


Source: Statistics Canada, www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/181220/dq181220a-eng.htm.

 

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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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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John Wade’s tenure of over 25 years working in the electrical industry in various capacities were ...
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 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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CEW 6 ShowReport 400Leaders 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. ACW attendees also took part in keynote sessions and seminars focused on realizing the tremendous productivity and performance improvements that digitalization delivers for companies of any size and from any industry.

In his keynote address at the event, ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer explained how ABB was shaping its business for leadership in digital industries to support its customers in a time of unprecedented technological change and digitalization. He was joined by Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Antonio Neri. 

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Changing Scene: 

Cree logo 2 400Cree, 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.

The agreement continues Cree’s strategy, announced in February 2018, to create a more focused, powerhouse semiconductor company, providing growth capital for Wolfspeed, its core Power and RF business, and equips Cree with additional resources to expand its semiconductor operations. The deal also enables Cree Lighting to gain additional global focus, channel support and investment as it becomes a growth engine for the IDEAL team.

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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 ...

 

 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.

To begin, Susan was born in Sri Lanka and immigrated to Canada at a young age. She went to high school in Canada and attended the University of Waterloo where she earned undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Upon completing university Susan began her working career with Deloitte, which she describes as a great starting point as she was surrounded by highly driven and intelligent individuals. She welcomed being in a position that was demanding and helped nurture a strong work ethic. Her work with Deloitte also instilled a great interest in acquisitions, which would serve her well as her career unfolded.

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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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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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