Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

Feb 13, 2020

Swati Vora PatelBy Swati Vora-Patel

The Electrical industry is facing a runway of crossroads — and digital innovation intersects each one of the crossroads. Digital advancements in technology are transforming everything from product development and manufacturing to supply chain management and customer purchasing behaviours. While all of these changes have digitization at the core, there’s another factor that our industry needs to bring front and centre: People.

Building agility into your workforce

Our people must be agile and responsive to change. This agility needs to be at the core of each employee’s mindset but is also required at an organization’s cultural level. Companies such as Amazon and Google are digital natives and have a head-start; their business models and corporate cultures are built from the ground up to be agile. Strengthening our industry’s digital IQ within the electrical distribution channel will need to be a primary factor if we want to roll out digital products, processes and services. Change management will also need to be a critical part of our go-forward digital strategy.

This may seem like an overwhelming feat, but the good news is that our industry has already recognized the need to recruit and develop an emerging workforce to address “talent-agility” needs. In fact, a majority of EFC members (which comprise electrical manufacturers, distributors and reps) have pegged talent availability as the top game-changer affecting their business. Talent recruitment and workforce development programs are more critical than ever before. This is especially true when you consider the tidal wave of retirements that are expected to hit our industry in the years to come.

Building agility into your workforce strategy will be key to your company’s growth and success. This agility will need to be woven into your recruitment practices but must also extend to your workforce development efforts. You have a goldmine of employees who have a wealth of product knowledge, distribution experience, and have built important relationships with industry partners. Finding the resources to upskill* as well as reskill** current employees will be very important.

What’s next?

EFC has teamed up with PwC and is producing a new research study to explore how the Canadian electrical industry measures up when it comes to talent management — and what current employers must consider when building agility into their emerging workforce.

This study will examine a broad range of factors, some of which include:

• What are the highly-sought-after skills for future workforces?

• What talent management strategies might organizations want to consider for their workforce development efforts?

• What measures can businesses factor in to improve employee engagement?

• Which attributes will be core to strengthening the skillsets of management teams?

The EFC research report will be available this spring — launching first at the EFC Conference in Banff, Alberta. All members are encouraged to attend this year’s conference to gain first-hand insights into talent availability requirements for the emerging workforce. View this year’s conference program at

Stay tuned for future articles in this publication on key findings from the report.

Swati Vora-Patel is VP, Marketing & Channel Development, Electro-Federation Canada.

* Upskill: requires an employee to enhance their job performance by improving their current skillset.

** Reskill: provides employees with the ability to learn new skills so they can perform a

different job; employees are trained and utilized in a different role within an organization.



David GordonBy David Gordon

We’ve gone from looking at the coronavirus from afar to being in the middle of the coronavirus storm. It’s obviously changed the business and outlook for the year. While tragic, and disruptive, the phrase “this to shall pass” should be kept in mind.

Some thoughts regarding doing business in the coronavirus era:

1. Take care of your people.  If they are concerned about family, they are less focused on business. 


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Wholesale Sales - JanuaryWholesale sales increased for a second consecutive month, up 1.8% to $65.2 billion in January. While all subsectors reported higher sales, gains were concentrated in the motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories and the miscellaneous subsectors.

In volume terms, sales grew 1.7%.

Motor vehicle and agricultural supplies industries drive higher sales in January 

Sales in the motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts subsector grew 3.0% to $11.3 billion in January. 

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Dawn WerryBy Dawn Werry

It’s no surprise that the coronavirus is impacting manufacturing, with production site shutdowns and travel and meeting restrictions. In fact, last month, IHS Markit estimated that manufacturing was the third most impacted industry, behind wholesale and services.

This has hit manufacturers in various ways. Some companies, even those whose primary products or components are manufactured in the hardest hit regions, have seen little or no impact on their ability to meet customer demand. 

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Changing Scene

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LedvanceLEDVANCE has announced the closure of their Eastern Distribution centre located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and move its operations to their Versailles, Kentucky facility. Matt McCarron, Vice President of US and Canada Salesreleased the following statement:

In order to better serve our customers, LEDVANCE continuously looks at maximizing our business processes. As part of that effort, we have recently reviewed our supply chain in order to find synergies that will better service our customers.  Working with industry leading experts and distribution network is in the best interest of our customers, and our ability to maintain or improve our service levels.

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SouthwireOn March 23, 1950 Southwire was founded by Roy Richards Sr. Our organization, which would revolutionize the industry, started making wire and cable with just 12 employees and three machines.

Today, we celebrate 70 years of successful business, quality and service. From our humble beginnings, we have grown from 12 to approximately 7,500 employees and a footprint that has maintained its roots but grown into an internationally recognized organization with employees located in more than 40 cities in the United States and seven countries around the world.



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Peers & Profiles

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Sean Bernard is the Intelligent Controls Manager, Canada for Ideal Industries. Sean resides in ...
Christina Huang is a Senior Contracts Manager for Schneider Electric. She has a varied, technical ...
Jenny Ng is a Business Development Manager for the Power Solutions Division of Schneider Electric. ...
With over 60-years of experience in the lighting industry, CBC Lighting has established itself as a ...


Omid NadiOmid Nadi, Trade Marketing Manager with Ledvance, is a Ryerson University grad coming out of their Marketing management program.

“During my education I had a big interest in innovation, disruption, and data analytics,” he noted, which has influenced his career direction.

While he was in school, he spent four years in appliance sales, “that really gave me a foundation and an understanding of sales and communication.”

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