Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

 internetBy David Gordon

With so many people growing up with astounding computer skills, a number of distributors are wondering how to utilize these skills in future business plans.

Most distributors got “pushed” into an ERP (enterprise resource planning) computer system because they thought it was a good way to print invoices. Some loaded their product data from people who aggregate product such as Trade Service, and some hand-typed the product descriptions, prices and unit of measures. Eventually, some moved to IDEA in hopes of matching data with their manufacturers so they could order, receive advance shipping notices, invoices and eventually sought to reach for the brass ring of three way matching thus gaining productivity.

Many distributors built, or had built, a web storefront where they learned, to their horror, that all that gibberish product data they had in their ERPs was not readable by customers seeking to buy product through their storefront. 

So, many have worked like beavers to clean up their product data and add pictures and better descriptions so that someone coming to their web storefront could actually order product without talking to anyone in that distributor's firm (or they’re subscribing to get attributed/catalogue data from IDEA or Trade Service). The reward, for some, was that customers still price shopped the distributor.

Third parties sell electrical products

 

Amazon (along with others) spent a boatload of money making it really easy for people to buy products and they did something else ... sell add on products through suggestions to the buyer. So Amazon made room for some of the larger electrical distributors to sell product, and the vast majority of distributors thought they would see poaching across defined territories. That meant to some that distributors that they no longer had protected territories. And this is becoming more of an issue with the launch of Amazon Supply.

Orders float in. Quotes quadruple and more 

Much to the surprise of some, internet sales grew slowly and then began to pick up. Some orders were redirected from Amazon and the distributor took on another partner, shrinking their margins. Quotes abounded, quadrupling or more in comparison to orders. But if the customer came through Amazon, many distributors were stuck with fees. Margins take another hit.

The question for many distributors was how to get rid of those fees.

The courtesy quote

A couple of electrical distributors I know have started offering a time-limited “courtesy quote” on their websites. The time limit is usually several hours. The potential customer is allowed to click on a button that makes them think that their order has been saved and is in a file to be regenerated, added to or for an order to be placed.

When the potential customer is unable to find the quote and only the header, they are directed to call the distributor's Web department. 

The customer is told that their quote was a “virtual quote” and that they are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused the customer. They direct the customer to go back to the distributor's site and give log-in instructions. 

Human connection is established. And by the way, a chance to upsell.

The distributor's web department brings up the quote and in the background on the customer’s screen suggested items appear that other people have purchased with their order. Obviously the web department's job is to add two or more highly priced items to the order, thus increasing the total profit on the order.

Does this work for you and your company?

David Gordon is President of Channel Marketing Group. Channel Marketing Group helps manufacturers and distributors in the construction and industrial trades generate ideas to accelerate revenue through strategic planning, marketing planning and coaching and market research initiatives. He can be reached at 919.488.8635.

 

David Gordon New 400Everyone is an expert in pricing. It’s either too high or too low based upon your role. Salespeople like it low. Management wants it high. The customer wants it “right” which, usually means “competitive” or “It’s reasonable for the value I am receiving.”

And the term “value” is intriguing as it infers that you understand
• the value that you bring
• the value that your product / service brings
• the competitive landscape (which also includes alternatives and inertia)

But I digress. 

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LDS Magiclite LS 400Magic Lite has announced the signing of Lightspec Canada Inc. as their Specification Sales Agent for the GTA.

As the Canadian Division of Lightspec, LLC, NY, this agency is headed by Steve Danzig as President and Neil Whiteford as Sales Manager. This talented sales team has over 150 years combined experience with Lighting Design, Applications, Lighting Controls, Distribution and Project Management. They are committed to bringing attentive service and expertise to their clients for their designs, projects, lighting requirements and acting as their trusted advisor and partner.

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COVID-19By Atul Minocha, Dawn Werry, and Kimberly Miller

When the pandemic first hit, the industrial manufacturing sector was changing daily. Now, at the start of the recovery phase, the whole industry is adapting. Some companies have had to find completely new markets for their products, while others have started making completely new products. Across the board, supply chains have been disrupted. Buyer behaviours have changed and go-to-market strategies have had to adjust in order to keep business moving. Here are four ways industrial manufacturing companies can recover from COVID-19:

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Gurvinder ChopraBy Gurvinder Chopra

In June 2019, the U.S. grid regulator, NERC, issued a warning that a major hacking group was conducting reconnaissance into the networks of electrical utilities. Just one month later, several major industrial firms announced they had been victims of a state-sponsored hacking campaign.

A year later, hackers targeted over 75 organizations around the world in the manufacturing, media, healthcare, and non-profit sectors, as part of a broad-ranging cyber espionage campaign.

 

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Value of Building Permits - JuneThe $687 million Oakridge Centre mixed use redevelopment project in the city of Vancouver helped raise the total national value of building permits 6.2% to $8.1 billion in June, to a level comparable to pre-COVID levels. Overall, seven provinces reported gains for the month.

Residential permits rise

The total value of residential permits was up 7.0% to $5.3 billion, with gains posted in six provinces. British Columbia posted its third largest value on record for residential permits in June, up 20.4% to $1.3 billion due to large projects such as the Oakridge Centre redevelopment. 

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The 2019 report highlights all areas of sustainability at Southwire and showcases the company’s most significant impacts by focusing on its five key tenets – Growing Green, Living Well, Giving Back, Doing Right and Building Worth.

 

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“Gianluca is widely known and respected for his technical and business skills both within CSA Group and in the global TIC market, making him an excellent choice for this role,” said David Weinstein.

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Robin Billingsley"It is with heavy hearts that we inform you of the passing of our longtime Marketing Manager, Robin Billingsley," said Beghelli General Manager, Bruno R. Ardito in a heartfelt letter to Beghelli customers.

"Robin had been battling breast cancer for the past few years and on July 23rd, Robin’s battle ended at 40 years young. We have had the pleasure of working with Robin for 13 years and in those 13 years, she executed many of the products and programs we have today. Robin truly represented Beghelli/Beluce ideals, philosophy and vision. 

 

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Obviously with the global pandemic there has been increased focus on PPE and other sanitary products like hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, as well as Ultraviolet light that kills germs. LDS has published several reports from industry organizations that have recently conducted research studies on the effectiveness of T-UV lamps on neutralizing the COVID-19 virus. 

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