Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

Aug 25, 2020

AgentsBy John Kerr

Canada has for many years been well served by independent agents. These representative firms are a crucial link for many manufacturers both large and small. In the annual Pathfinder review we look at brands and companies selling in Canada and link these back quickly to a representative network across the country. The profile of those using agents includes everything from larger multinational brands to smaller independent manufacturers.

Independent manufacturers’ representatives operate as independent sales agencies based in local territories that usually represent from 5 to as many as 40 different manufacturers’ products. Larger numbers of lines typify the lighting agencies. The most successful agents offer complementary products that work together in an electrical or lighting system, allowing a solutions sell positioning. Pathfinder estimates about 35% of all the electrical products sold in Canada go through representatives. 

Products represented include distribution equipment, enclosures, boxes, circuit breakers, fuses, wire and cable, termination equipment, fasteners, splicing equipment, wiring devices, controls, tools and metering equipment and lighting products. Representative firms have extended their offering to include lighting controls and automation, pole-line hardware and other utility equipment, voice/data/video equipment, and a wide range of electronic components for original equipment manufacturer applications. 

In Canada, the trade association is CEMRA (Canadian Electrical Manufacturers Representatives Association). With 52 members it represents the leading representative firms in the country, with 9 in the top 25 representative firms in Canada. As a reference point NEMRA (National Electrical Manufacturers Representatives Association) has just over 250 members. CEMRA reps employ an estimated 469 people. CEMRA members typically are electrical focused with some branching out to include lighting and other related products.

There are 151 electrical and lighting representatives in Canada across the typical electrical brand, lighting, control and power products and utility equipment.

Here is a snapshot of the Canadian representative landscape. Please refer to a list of all agents in Canada in Appendix D.

Figure 1- Agent Type by Province
Figure 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 2 - Number of Firms by Type of Manufacturers’ Representative in Canada
Figure 2

 















In Canada electrical and lighting representatives employ a total of 1,370 people, CEMRA employs 468 or 34% of the total.

Figure 3 - Percentage Breakdown by Employees by Type of Representative
Figure 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 






The largest representative firm in Canada has 43 staff. CEMRA and Lighting representatives’ firms employ 9 staff on average. Non CEMRA or non lighting rep firms are smaller at 4 employees while over all the average rep firm regardless of type is 7 employees.

Figure 4 - Non CEMRA
Figure 4

 














Presales for the 2021 edition of Pathfinder are now being accepted. Click here to order your copy. For more details on this report, visit www.electrofed.com/market-resources/pathfinder/

John Kerr is Publisher of Canadian Electrical Wholesaler.

Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash

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As pandemic-related restrictions were gradually lifted throughout the summer, the business climate began to improve slightly. For example, real gross domestic product grew 1.2% in August, the fourth consecutive monthly increase, which continued to offset the steepest drops in Canadian economic activity on record that were observed in March and April. 

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“As a distributor, we need to build capabilities around experiences, data and the technologies that are driving change… It’s important that we listen, experiment and help lead our customers forward.” Chief Marketing Officer, Distributor — from the book Innovate to Dominate: The 12th Edition in the Facing the Forces of Change Series

Mapping your company’s digital transformation begins with an outside-in approach. 

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COVID AirBy Angela Jamieson and Marc Laplante

The importance of clean air has been thrust into the spotlight with the emergence of COVID-19 and the rapidly spreading infections related to it. Examples have emerged around the world showing how aerosols may be playing a role in transmission; the choir practise in Washington State where over 80% of their members were infected (primary or secondary)1 after their final practice before shutting down for COVID restrictions, or the restaurant in Guangzhou, China where COVID-19 was theorized to have spread according to the air movement from an air conditioning system2. 

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Carol McGloganBy Carol McGlogan


When it comes to marketing and customers, some things never change, while some things are always evolving! The parts that never change for marketers are that we need to be where our customers are, when they need us, and with the right information. The parts that are in constant flux are our customers’ buying behaviours and the technologies available to intervene and influence the customer experience.

COVID-19 has forced us all into new habits both personally and in business. For instance, social isolation has caused us to rely more heavily on technology to fill in the gaps. 

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Changing Scene

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Peers & Profiles

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