Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

Jan 12, 2021

Sean BernardBy Sean Bernard

Last year was like none other and one that we all hope never to endure again. The impact on our personal and professional lives has been dramatic, simultaneously universal and unique to each of us.

We have all heard about and experienced the heartache of not spending time with and not celebrating milestones with our extended families, not being able to take those planned vacations, and having to deal with the stresses and challenges of virtual learning with our kids. On the professional side, if you didn’t realize that our industry is very social before, we all understand that now. From cancelled industry events (golf tournaments, EFC conference and tradeshows, etc.) to the lack of in-person sales calls/planning sessions with customers, we have all had to adjust to a new way of advancing our business.

With all that said, when you remove the negatives and look for positives that have come from this pandemic, you can find them. Here are four highlights.

1. New and creative ways to reach customers

One of the most dominant changes was a move to virtual meetings. While not the same as in-person, many people made this shift fairly seamlessly. With the exception of what will be known as the phrase of 2020 — “You’re on mute!” — virtual meetings got better and better as the pandemic roared on. This allowed us to maintain some semblance of personal interaction and led to interesting conversations when kids, pets and spouses got involved, or conversations turned to interesting objects hanging on the walls of our home offices.


Industry members also got very creative with their customer interactions. Notably, some held interactive virtual customer events by sending out “care packages” prior to the event so that the group could partake in an activity. As well, many virtual tradeshows were very impressive in their complexity and effectiveness.

In a number of ways, these virtual meetings were a saviour of our sanity.

2. IT investments/improvements

While the tradeshows and virtual events mentioned earlier fall into this category as well, another of the big steps forward that we saw in 2020 was investment in IT. The shift from in-person to virtual meetings and sales calls required a serious review of current IT capabilities. From hardware to software, IT infrastructure suddenly became a top line priority to many companies within our industry.

In speaking with a senior executive in our industry about this topic, he said “We were forced to take all of the IT investments that we had been talking about for the last five years and implemented them in five days.” The complexity of this evolution is impressive, and while none of this happened without its challenges, the industry as a whole adapted well.

3. Opportunity to extend our reach

As National Chairman of EFC’s Young Professionals Network, I along with our amazing committee members had great plans for events across the country this year. This changed when the pandemic hit. Fortunately, along came EFC’s amazing support team with creative ideas for overcoming this obstacle. With the leadership and input from everyone on the committee, we put together our very first national event, the “High Five to the YPN,” which drew attendees from coast to coast.

This event celebrated our five-year anniversary by bringing back and honouring our founders, Jason Prevost of Leviton Canada and Swati Patel of EFC. We incorporated an interview portion where I was fortunate enough to pick the brains of these two amazing industry leaders, followed by breakout rooms where attendees held discussions and shared their thoughts on topics ranging from adapting to work from home to the future of the industry. It was a great event that we were all very proud of. Had the pandemic not come along, I’m not sure we would have even considered doing it virtually, but with the resulting national participation I’m glad we did.

4. Less time on the road = more time at home

The biggest positive of this pandemic would be all the time that we got spend at home with our families. Last week, I participated in an annual holiday gathering with some of our industry’s most respected and experienced executives, which went virtual for the first time. Personally, this is an evening that I look forward to every year as the stories that are told, the new relationships that are formed, and the many laughs that are shared are what make this industry so unique and incredible. A key theme in participants’ comments was gratitude for the extra time at home with their families. While I spend more than a few nights in hotels and plenty of time in the air for my role, my typical travel year is nowhere close to what some of our industry leaders face year in and year out. The stories of getting to spend time with new grandkids, sharing new experiences with family members at the cottage, and generally just being home really put things in perspective. This year will leave us with many memories we won’t want to forget.

Looking back at 2020, it will be universally remembered as a time full of concern, fear and change. However, positives are not hard to find. We are all looking forward to a return to normal sometime in 2021 and getting to see our extended family and industry friends again.

Sean Bernard is National Sales Manager for Ideal Industries (Canada), Corp. and National Chair of EFC’s Young Professionals Network.

Nexans Webinar - Key 2021 Electrical Code Changes Impacting Wire and Cable

Nexans Free WebinarJoin NEXANS for a free webinar with Isaac Müller, Applications Engineer for Nexans as he reviews and discusses the changes to the 2021 Canadian Electrical Code related to wire and cable. This free webinar will take place Wed, Jan 27, 2021 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST.

This webinar includes:
- Updated rules to protect cables (12-514,12-516)
- New conditions of use for wire & cable (Table 19)
- An opportunity to ask your questions

 


Click here to register today.


Pandemic StudyThe year 2020 was filled with surprises. One of them was business solvency.

Insolvencies were down by almost one-third year over year during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic and were relatively stable in the third quarter. At the height of this century’s previous economic shocks, insolvencies rose by 10% or more. A new study looks at insolvencies during the largest economic upheaval of our lifetime.

 

 

 

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Douglas BaldwinBy John Kerr

My father asked me to lunch one day and told me he wanted very much to meet with someone in the electrical industry who meant a lot to him, and whose friendship he wanted to share with me. This lunch, in 1982, was with Doug Baldwin.

As lunch progressed, I discovered these men shared many bonds after having met years before in Winnipeg. Doug was with Federal Pioneer at that time, my father with Triangle Conduit & Cable. It seems they hit it off and my father’s wry sense of humour was trumped only by Doug’s. 

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Wholesale Sales - November 2020Wholesale sales grew for the seventh consecutive month in November — up 0.7% to an all-time high of $67.4 billion. Five of seven subsectors reported stronger sales, led by the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector and the building material and supplies subsector. Notably, the increase reflects higher domestic sales of Canadian goods, as both imports and exports of key commodities fell in November.

Wholesale trade volumes increased 0.9% in November.

 

 

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Sean BernardBy Sean Bernard

Last year was like none other and one that we all hope never to endure again. The impact on our personal and professional lives has been dramatic, simultaneously universal and unique to each of us.

We have all heard about and experienced the heartache of not spending time with and not celebrating milestones with our extended families, not being able to take those planned vacations, and having to deal with the stresses and challenges of virtual learning with our kids.

 

Read More


 

Changing Scene

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Driven by ever increasing level of sales approaching $6.25 billion dollars across the expanding ...
Signify Canada has announced David Grinstead, Market Leader, Canada, Signify will retire at the end ...
Bartle & Gibson has announced that Greg Stephenson has officially joined the ...
Sean Bernard and Heather Jackson continue their progression through IDEAL Canada's leadership ...
Teledyne Technologies Incorporated and FLIR Systems, Inc.jointly announced that they have entered ...
What will it mean for Canada when Joe Biden officially becomes president of the United States of ...
Sonepar Canada is pleased to announce the appointment of Roger Gray as Texcan Ontario’s new Branch ...
Westburne Canada has announced the appointment of Rick Di Danieli to the role of Director, ...
Halco Lighting Technologies, a lighting manufacturer with a portfolio of lighting solutions ...
 

 

Martin Stephenson Signify Canada has announced David Grinstead, Market Leader, Canada, Signify will retire at the end of the month. "We thank David for his contributions, passion and dedication to the company and industry," said the company via press release.

Martin Stephenson will take on the Market Leader, Canada role in addition to his current position as Head of North American Systems & Services at Signify. He reports to Kevin Poyck, Market Group Leader, Americas.

 

 

 

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Greg StephensonBartle & Gibson has announced that Greg Stephenson has officially joined the Electrical Supply Division (ESD) of the AD Canada Electrical Divisional Board effective January 4th, 2021.

Greg is the Senior Vice President Electrical at Bartle & Gibson, based in Edmonton, Alberta. He is now entering his 27th year in the Electrical Industry and he originally began his career working for another proud AD Member, McLoughlan Supplies Ltd in St, John’s NL. During his career, Greg has also worked for many key suppliers such as, Eaton, Thomas & Betts and Siemens.

 

 

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Peers & Profiles

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Ariane Cardinal is Director of Planning, Purchasing, and Distribution with Stelpro.   ...
Following Groupe Stelpro’s recent acquisition of floor heating system manufacturer Flextherm, Yves ...
Electrimat is an independent Quebec-owned company that has specialized for 40 years in the ...
In July, Eaton announced that Vice President, Channel – Electrical Sector, Matt Cleary would be ...
Mission Technical Solutions is a recently established sales agency founded by industry veteran ...
Omid Nadi, Trade Marketing Manager with Ledvance, is a Ryerson University grad coming out of their ...

Ariane CardinalBy Blake Marchand

Ariane Cardinal is Director of Planning, Purchasing, and Distribution with Stelpro. Ariane owns a bachelor’s degree in Engineering, although she said, “I always knew, when I was doing engineering, that I wanted to have a career more oriented towards management.”

After earning her degree, she did an internship with a company in the gas industry based out of Paris, France, which is where she was introduced to supply chain management. Ariane noted she was interested in the problem-solving aspects of supply chain, which meshed well with her engineering background. 

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