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.

Jean-Pascal TricoireBy Jean-Pascal Tricoire

The challenges facing industry at the moment are tough: supply chain disruptions, recurring lockdowns and lingering travel restrictions, to name just a few. We’re all trying to find the balance between overcoming these challenges while working to a future where we are more resilient, sustainable and efficient.

But today’s efforts are not enough. We’re being too conservative. More of our collective energy needs to be spent on the practical “how” — the “how can we get there with immediate actions.” 

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RittalIt is April 1, 1961, when an international success story begins in a small weaving mill in central Hesse — the standardization of enclosures. Rudolf Loh founds the Rittal company and changes the industry with one idea. The standard enclosure is used in millions of product solutions in over 90% of all industries worldwide. Rittal is the innovation and world market leader for enclosure technology and IT infrastructure.

10,000 employees worldwide work on new innovations, industry solutions and business models. A small steel manufacturing company has become a global digital enterprise. 

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David GordonBy David Gordon

Electrical distributors are at a unique moment in time where they have an opportunity to leverage technology to utilize the data it can unleash to accelerate profitability and sales cost-effectively.

Being in an information age is only beneficial if the information is utilized. Enhanced sales models, sales opportunities and servicing systems are combining to help differentiate distributors. Aside from a distribution divide being created by digital and supplier selection, analytics can either widen or tighten the divide.

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GDP - January 2021Real gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.7% in January, following 0.1% growth in December. This ninth consecutive monthly increase continued to offset the steepest drops on record in Canadian economic activity observed in March and April 2020. However, total economic activity was about 3% below the February level before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both goods-producing (+1.5%) and services-producing (+0.4%) industries were up in January as the 20 industrial sectors were nearly evenly split between expansions and contractions.



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Swati Vora-PatelBy Swati Vora-Patel

April has been a flagship month for new milestones: it has been one full year since many of us began working from home; Zoom and other such virtual platforms have been in play for a year to keep us connected – and the reliance on digital systems has heightened over the past year to populate the influx of online catalogues and eCommerce sites.

April also marks one year since I took over the reins of EFC’s Supply Chain Network to support the electrical industry’s digital transformation journey. 


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Changing Scene

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adorne® Furniture Power Centers are now available with USB Charging.      
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Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible ...
E.B. Horsman & Son (EBH) is delighted to share the news that Tim Rourke, former President ...
Rexel announced that Patrick Berard will step down as Chief Executive Officer on September 1, ...
Source Atlantic has been named as a new distribution partner for ABB’s electrification products in ...
Despite ongoing current account deficits and the corresponding need for foreign borrowing, Canada's ...
E.B. Horsman & Son has transferred Bogdan Botoi from his PAC BC Manager position to lead ...



The Atlantic & Ontario YPN regions have joined forces to present YPNs with this professional development webinar. 

Date : May 5, 2021
Time : 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm EST
Location Zoom meeting
Cost : $20 (plus taxes)

More than ever, interpersonal relationships are a crucial factor in the success or the failure of an organization but also in the fulfillment of its individuals. Far away from being an easy competence to develop, soft skills might be the determining factor that will make the difference in your professional career. This webinar will give you tools to help boost your motivation and your performance in order to reach your goals, both professionally and personally.

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Bogdan BotoiE.B. Horsman & Son has transferred Bogdan Botoi from his PAC BC Manager position to lead EBH’s newly formed Industrial Services Group (ISG) as Manager.

With his vast knowledge and experience from the PAC world and his engineering background, Bogdan will lead the ISG team in continuing to provide value-added services such as proof of concept design support, MCP design, training, and other technical services and support for our customers.




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Canada's International Investment Position, Fourth Quarter 2020Despite ongoing current account deficits and the corresponding need for foreign borrowing, Canada's net foreign asset position continued its upward trend in the fourth quarter to reach an unprecedented level of $1,360.6 billion. For a third consecutive quarter, the increase (+$248.1 billion) was attributable to higher foreign equity prices and was moderated by the revaluation effect resulting from fluctuations in exchange rates.

Over the quarter, changes in market prices led to a $345.3 billion increase in Canada's net foreign asset position. Major foreign stock markets outperformed the Canadian stock market in the fourth quarter. 

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VerozzaUnderstanding the challenges of time-sensitive job situations, VEROZZA has introduced a Quick Ship Program for their most popular high-performance downlight collections. The program includes the ARIOBASIC and TAKEO 4.0, products, which will ship within 5-business days of receipt of order.

The process of selecting the correct fixture is easy. Select a housing and trim that include a few customized features to create the fixture Product Code. Orders can be placed at or by phone at 833.VEROZZA.

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BridgeportBridgeport Fittings’ patented Mighty-Align® Steel Slip EMT Couplings eliminate the need for additional components when installing Prefab EMT racks. The couplings can also be used to join two lengths of conduit in tight, limited space applications.

Bridgeport Fittings’ center set screw feature provides the UL-required conduit stop while a convenient sight window allows for visual inspection of proper assembly. The steel slip couplings’ ability to back out the center screw allows the coupling to be temporarily placed on one conduit end while the other conduit is moved into position. The slip coupling can then be slid into place, joining both conduits.


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Peers & Profiles

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As of February 2021, Martin Stephenson is the new President and CEO of Signify Canada. Given that ...
This past December Jennifer Green was honoured with Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Award for ...
Rob Dewar is President of AD Canada as of this past January, when AD announced it had made the ...
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 ...


David NathanielBy Line Goyette

Six years ago in February 2015, I interviewed David Nathaniel and called the profile I wrote “A Talent for Being There at the Right Time.” We met again this past February, this time virtually (without a cup of his wonderful expresso coffee). What follows is a summary of our conversation — “A Talent for Still Being There at the Right Time — Part 2.”

My first question to David was, what has happened in those six years? “Everything,” he said, and he started to laugh. “Obviously, we faced a lot of disruption from LED technology. 

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Rob DewarBy Line Goyette

Rob Dewar is President of AD Canada as of this past January, when AD announced it had made the strategic decision to establish AD Canada as a distinct business unit, serving the more than 150 members of its three Canada-based divisions. I recently had the chance to virtually meet Rob. I met a passionate leader about his new challenges.

“There are many projects in progress and specific to the Canadian industry and industry players. Interesting initiatives for the fall of 2021 will be announced shortly”. As Rob Dewar confirmed...

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