Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

Feb 24, 2020

Michelle BraniganBy Michelle Branigan

We are in an Age of Disruption. Extant and emerging technologies are driving significant evolution in the way work is done across all sectors of Canada’s economy and no industry, including electricity, will be immune.

Think of the technologies and businesses that have changed the way we live, work and connect with each other. Uber. Airbnb. Spotify. Facebook. Twitter. Duolingo. The list is long and what’s fascinating is that these are companies that did not exist 20 years ago. Yet these are common words in our lexicon today. For those of us who still miss Blockbuster (okay, guilty), it has been a sometimes jarring experience to see long established giants go by the wayside due to their failure to innovate.

In the electricity sector smart grids, cyber security, privacy concerns, automation, carbon capture and storage, and the electrification of transportation are just a few drivers and technologies that are reshaping the industry’s landscape and moving the goalposts for workforce development at the same time.

While automation and artificial intelligence (AI) may eliminate very few occupations completely in the next decade, it will affect portions of almost all jobs to a greater or lesser degree, depending on the type of work they entail and the variability of tasks.

Anticipating the impacts of these changes is not always easy, be it as an employer, an educator or a policy maker. But it is vital that employers — and employees — are aware of how these changes will affect the demand for workers in the sector, how jobs will be impacted and the skills profiles and training requirements of future workers in the sector. We know from our research that the electricity sector of tomorrow will require workers with strong digital and data analysis skills. Yet according to EHRC’s latest report, Work Transformed, most workers in the sector have only slightly or somewhat developed digital skills. Whether their jobs will be displaced or transformed by technology, workers will require some new training or upskilling to adapt to new requirements. Although many people are concerned that jobs will disappear as a result of automation and AI (and in some cases they will), the reality is that some innovations will create entirely new jobs that did not exist before.

Both employers and employees have a role in ensuring workers have the skills need to succeed. Organizations need to be prepared to adapt the change, and that means asking questions about organizational structure, competition and their willingness to innovate. Nobody wants to be the next Kodak.

Are you ready? Here are some of the question you need to ask yourself:

  • What are the technological changes that will affect my sector?
  • What will be the effect of these changes? 
  • How will new technologies change labour demand? Will I be able to access the workforce I need? Do I need to invest in training for my current workforce? What are their specific skills and how will they need to evolve? How do I compete for top talent?
  • When are these changes expected to occur? 
  • What is my skill set? Will I be impacted in my role as a result of new tech brought into the company? Am I ready to upskill or retrain?

While there is still much debate in this industry as to how quickly the sector will evolve, I would position that the time to act is now. Waiting to see how things will “play out” is not an option. As Geoffrey Chaucer so sagely wrote, “Time and tide wait for no man.” Let’s add technology to that list.

Michelle Branigan is CEO, Electricity Human Resources Canada.

 

 

Rob McIntyreRob McIntyre

The use of reels is fundamental to the safe and efficient handling, transportation and distribution of wire and cable to the end user. The properties of wire and cable require reels to be robust and have certain structural specifications to ensure wire and cable goods are not compromised between the time they leave the factory to when they are installed on site. Wire and cable must be protected from any kind of mechanical damage, ingress of moisture, dirt and chemicals. Close attention must be paid to the temperature ratings of wire and cable; therefore, storage must be in an environment consistent with the rating.

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Stephen LeeCEW caught up with General Manager of EiKO’s Canadian division Stephen Lee, who was kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to share his perspective on the industry.

EiKO is a global fixture, lamp and, more recently, controls manufacturer headquartered in Shawnee, Kansas. Additional locations include European operations in Frankfurt, Germany; APAC operations in Taiwan; and Canadian operations in Barrie, Ontario. EiKO also has five distribution centres in North America located in Ontario, Alberta, Kansas, Nevada, and New Jersey.

 

 

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Q4 GDPGrowth in real gross domestic product (GDP) slowed to 0.1% in the fourth quarter, owing to a decrease in business investment and weak international trade. These declines were offset by increased household spending. Final domestic demand edged up 0.2%, after rising 0.8% in the third quarter.

The annual growth rate of Canada's real GDP was 1.6% for 2019, a deceleration from the 2.0% growth in 2018. By comparison, real GDP in the United States increased 2.3%.

 

 

 

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Changing Scene

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ElectrofedDo you or an expert you know have an electrical topic that requires the attention of a greater audience? Are you and your company leading innovative strides and can benefit from sharing your expertise? Have your Product Section expertise and innovation recognized as a thought leader!

Electro-Federation Canada (EFC) is currently accepting proposals for product section members to be featured in an electro|POD podcast series to promote the innovation and best practices EFC’s various Product Sections are collaborating on.

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Mary ShawNorth American electrical industry veteran Mary Shaw has been announced as the executive director of ETIM North America, a non-profit association charged with promoting and maintaining the ETIM global technical data classification standard in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

ETIM North America (NA) is one of 22 ETIM federations around the world dedicated to propagating the ETIM classification model to assist manufacturing and distribution companies with the exchange and digitization of product information throughout the supply chain, to end users and to engineers and architects.

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Legrand Lighting ControlsLegrand, North and Central America (LNCA) announced the acquisition, subject to closing, of Focal Point, a Chicago-based privately held manufacturer of architectural lighting products.

This acquisition is Legrand’s fifth addition to its Lighting Sector and marks the company’s elevation to a full solutions provider in the architectural lighting space. Legrand provides a high degree of autonomy to its lighting companies and supports Focal Point's business leadership team in the pursuit of innovation and growth. Legrand’s scale and infrastructure will allow Focal Point to deliver innovative lighting solutions to their customers, faster and with capabilities that are more robust.

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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 ...

Éric DeschênesLine Goyette

A new figure at the head of the electrification business unit and ABB Canada, Éric Deschênes is not a newcomer to the electrical industry. A long journey that we have already highlighted by emphasizing his passion for finding practical solutions that optimize the adoption of technologies. We met with him recently to discuss his new leadership role at ABB Canada and his projects. First, he would like to point out that recent changes to ABB Canada’s structure, as elsewhere in the world, have been made to decomplex the customer relationship. “The corporate matrix has been lightened to get closer to the customer,” says Éric.

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