Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

October 17, 2019  

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. Her confidence in the future of our industry and our market’s ability to meet these challenges never wavers. 

I often meet Carol at industry events, but this conversation takes place in EFC’s new offices in Toronto. The new premises feature an inviting, open space with several meeting rooms and casual spaces to promote collaboration and to provide an engaging facility for member meetings. Carol points out that every aspect of lighting is showcased in these rooms, profiling the latest in lighting technology to reflect the innovation that our industry leads. The lighting systems have been donated by members and demonstrate the impact our industry has on sustainability and worker productivity. These are the remarks of a marketing professional who has had a long, successful career with lighting manufacturers. In fact, it was in this segment of the industry that her career began. 

“Out of university, I saw a posting for a marketing assistant. The job description was appealing, and still sounded good after the interview. I then went for an interview with the company president. While the job still sounded appealing, I wasn’t sure I could get along with him. This president ended up being my mentor and taught me a lot. He had a tremendous work ethic, and I am where I am today because of him. I was 20 something when I joined, and he took a risk in hiring me. I was lucky to be with leaders who were open and ahead of their time.”
Carol had no background in the industry. The first challenges she encountered remain fresh in her mind, and the lessons she learned still serve her today. “My greatest challenges were to learn the marketplace, establish relationships, and understand the drivers. I spent time developing my career and expanding my network. I eventually spent 32 years between Canlyte and Philips, now Signify, and had so many positive experiences. The companies invested in training, promoted me within the organizations and encouraged me to participate on industry committees.”

One of the first committees Carol participated in was EFC’s Supply & Distribution Council. “Being part of EFC helped me tremendously. My career would not have been the same without it. I developed a strong network, learned from other industry professionals, and gained visibility into the full electrical market.” Carol spent 10 years volunteering at EFC, later chairing the Supply & Distribution Council and was eventually Chair of EFC’s board.

Carol’s career included positions in marketing, channel management and sales management. Then the opportunity at EFC arose. “I was happy where I was — by nature I am very loyal — but three or four people tapped me on the shoulder. By this point I already had a lot of EFC experience. It was a big decision, so I talked it over with my husband and decided to make the move.”So, what made her move in that direction? “Part of it was that I could learn more about different products and other aspects of the industry. I was also looking forward to interacting with board members on issues that are important to them. I’m learning something new each and every day and am proud of the initiatives we’ve already undertaken, including the rebranding and the office move. I am a marketer. When I came in, I decided we needed to rebrand EFC. We asked the board for funding, and they agreed. The rebranding promotes how EFC supports this thriving community of members, providing essential programs and services to help them grow, lead and compete. It is about keeping EFC current and showing an accurate reflection of who the membership really is.”

“Before assuming my position at EFC, I had been a board member and it had been very intimidating, very formal. When I assumed my current position, I interviewed every board member (32) to find out what they liked, their issues, and what they were looking for as a board member. They all said ‘networking and learning’. These powerful people are here to learn more, so at every meeting we try to incorporate some form of learning and we encourage participation. As President and CEO, I want direction from the board, but it’s also important to me that they are happy.” 

As our conversation continued, I asked Carol a series of questions.

What is success?

“For me, success is making a difference, no matter where. For EFC, we want to be the voice of the most innovative electrical community that is powering a changing world. We are about sustainability, smart homes, smart cities, electrification and a host of other important trends… we have a lot to contribute to society.”

What challenges are you facing?

“For the association, the challenge is ensuring value for our members. What will make the members renew each year? At EFC, there is a place for everyone to learn, grow and contribute. Our vision is to be the last association standing because we provide greater value. That’s why another one of our first initiatives was the dashboard. I want everybody to know what our key metrics are, what we measure and how we strive to get better.” 

If you could change one thing about our industry, what would it be?

“We need to stop apologizing about being the electrical industry, saying we are not very sexy, or that it’s an ‘old boys’ network. We are truly powering a changing world; we need to have deeper conversations about how we contribute to this changing world. It’s a very exciting time to be part of the electrical industry!”

And I can’t certainly not argue with her on that point! 

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

 

 

Impact of the Manufacturing DeclineThis study quantifies the impact of the manufacturing decline on the wages and employment rates of Canadian workers in their local labour markets. The estimates, drawn from census data from 2000 to 2015, indicate that the decline in manufacturing employment had a sizable adverse effect on the wages and full-year, full-time employment rates of men — especially less educated men. In contrast, relatively few groups of women appear to have been negatively affected by the decline in manufacturing employment. 

 

 

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Jeff MowattBy Jeff Mowatt

“It drives me crazy when my salespeople complain our prices aren’t competitive.” This was a manager who brought me in to work with his team. He continued, “How do I get my team members to stop selling on price?” After years of training numerous sales and service teams (whose prices weren’t the lowest), I’ve discovered five simple strategies for making price less relevant.

 

 

 

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In the residential sector, investment in single dwelling construction was down 2.0% to $4.9 billion, while investment in multiple dwelling construction (which includes doubles, row homes and apartments) declined 2.5% to $4.5 billion.

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HRAIBranch management is one of the most vital roles in a multi-location distribution company.  Unfortunately, they are often thrown to the wolves when it comes to training and management directions.  We want to change all that.  The goal of this seminar is to help new, and experienced, branch managers learn how to operate a profitable location from the ground up.  We have been offering this course privately through sponsoring trade associations for the past 5 years. Now, it’s open to everyone.  

 

 

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The new warehouse will better accommodate HPS’ growing product sales and provide improved shipping leadtime in select regions. The Reno warehouse is triple the size of the Compton facility at 36,000 square feet, and it will house an expanded number of product SKUs.

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Looking Back

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