Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

June 29, 2021

Catalyst For ChangeBy John Kerr

At this time of year my colleagues and I here at Kerrwil are in the final throes of producing Pathfinder, the annual benchmarking report we publish in collaboration with Electro-Federation Canada (EFC). After reviewing the changes and the recent acquisitions and moves of the past year through the lens of COVID, I share below some notes on milestones of the past year. They provide context for what I see as a new direction the industry may be taking.

• EFC actively pursues as members automation distributors, EV smart charging equipment suppliers, and electrical engineering service providers.

• Deschenes, already having a strong plumbing and HVAC business, adds electrical expertise to the company by acquiring Powrmatic (November 2020) and Daltco (February 2021).
• Rexel invests in acquiring WESCO’s Utility business in Canada (February 2021).

• Guillevin moves aggressively to acquire both WESCO Datacom business (February 2021) and Quebec-based Dubo (March 2021).

• Gerrie Electric invests in an 80,000 sq. ft. warehouse and distribution centre (April 2020).

All these moves made with the final announcement August 6, 2020, that WESCO’s merger in Canada was reality following the initial announcement in December 2019.

I won’t comment on the individual moves by all these companies as they speak for themselves, but when we look at them collectively we might see the future.

Reading into this more it became evident to me that the effects of COVID, the speed with which the industry responded to them, and the changes they have brought have only completed a shift in the thinking of distributors across Canada.

While the effects of COVID on the workforce, supply chain, pricing, social governance, and government policy, became quickly evident, the move to greener energy, and smart home technologies were driving change before March 17, 2020. Said another way, we got here faster because of COVID but the path was already set.

In the past year there was a mass move to digitalization with online transactions growing upwards of 400% here in Canada, while many channel partners digitalized customer pick-ups at lockers opened by cell phones.

Counters became less the place to be, replaced by more flexible pick-up times and delivery strategies, smarter logistics, and a digital customer experience focus.

End users are driving more sustainability with moves to greener alternatives while moving to reconfigure offices as employees remain hunkered down at home.


Perhaps the milestones show us to look to connectivity as a new driver, and to product mix changes at the electrical distributor, such as more sensors and more types of control.

Clearly now it’s the power of the digital interface, the drive for more technical mindsets and approach, a move to training and product knowledge, and a desire for some to broaden their product solutions offerings.

This time of COVID will be marked not only for its disruption but for an accelerated transition among electrical distributors to green technology, energy efficiency and automation (both home and manufacturing) as the new product drivers moving forward. Logistics and supply chain mindsets are now closer to the customer, more efficient and more digital. Let’s look too, to market mix changing in future — electrical vehicles are becoming a reality alongside control technology that drives everything from HVAC to lighting, from security to systems monitoring. Bigger projects like the growing footprint of datacentres and larger logistics facilities will continue affecting the product, customer mix and market mix moving forward. Let’s all watch the utility space, the security market, and connectivity of data. Will these be the new markets for electrical wholesalers?

Underlying all this are the people and the teams that drive these businesses. Moving forward, the selling propositions will be more integrated and complicated, driving a need for people who understand the balance between technical expertise customer connections, relationships, and service.

There is lots going on if we read between the lines.

John Kerr is Publisher of CEW; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Photo: Chris Liverani on Unsplash https://unsplash.com/

Contribute Your Product Knowledge to Develop the Industry’s Harmonized Data Model (HDM)

IDEA Harmonized Data ModelHave you heard about the industry’s Harmonized Data Model (HDM) initiative? IDEA, in partnership with NAED, is calling all product experts to get involved and be recognized by the industry. People who join the Product Expert Task Force will impact the future of the electrical distribution channel.

In the next 6 months, subject matter experts (SMEs) will be harmonizing the categorization for dozens of product categories. It’s an opportunity for industry experts to participate as a SME in the HDM initiative.

 

 

 

For more information Go Here.


 

 

CEW-31-UNEnvironment-WorldAccreditation-400.jpgClimate change poses very real risks to people and the environment. Extreme weather events like the destructive storm we just saw in Ottawa that left thousands without electricity for days, and damaged homes and critical infrastructure, are a stark reminder that we must take action, now.

Countries around the world agree – achieving a more sustainable future is a top priority. Commitments like the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the landmark Paris Agreement and the ISO London Declaration, bring nations into a common cause to undertake the ambitious efforts it takes to tackle one of our time’s most critical challenges.

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Selling ServicesBy David Gordon, President, Channel Marketing Group

As every distributor knows, there is a labor and driver crisis in every market. It affects hiring warehouse staff as well as drivers. Today’s competition for labor is further exacerbated by competitive environments that can pay $20 / hour plus benefits (aka Amazon and others.) Further, within the electrical industry, many electrical contractors are faced with their own staffing challenges.

Industries have talked about fee-based services and many industry leaders are seizing upon the opportunity to diversify their income stream, improve profitability AND add a valuable service to their customers.

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CEW Schneider Electric Logo 2022 400

Schneider Electric recently announced it has won the Energy & Sustainability 2022 Microsoft Partner of the Year Award. Schneider was honored among a global field of top Microsoft partners for its innovative EcoStruxure software solutions provided to customers that were powered by Microsoft technology, including Azure Cloud and Dynamics 365.

The Microsoft Partner of the Year Awards recognize Microsoft partners that have developed and delivered outstanding Microsoft-based applications, services and devices during the past year. Out of over 3,900 submissions from more than 100 countries across various categories, Schneider Electric was recognized for providing outstanding solutions and services in energy and sustainability.

In 2021, Schneider’s EcoStruxure solutions helped customers reduce their carbon emissions by 84 million tonnes which amount to 347 million tonnes saved or avoided since 2018.

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CEW Ideal logo 400IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. recently announced that IDEAL ELECTRICAL will serve as the exclusive electrical partner of RIVET Work, a provider of workforce management software for specialty contractors. The partnership brings electrical contractors transformative visibility, access to labor and equipment planning tools and real-time utilization of company assets that result in improved profit margins.

Commercial and industrial electrical contractors nationwide are maintaining and scaling incredible infrastructure requiring complex planning, scheduling, communication and collaboration as phases and tasks progress. The RIVET platform provides automated forecasting for project teams that plug into job rosters, schedule gantts and location-aware maps for back-office managers to assign the right people to planned positions. Schedulers and equipment teams can even attach the dispatch of tools and equipment so contractors know where equipment is, and who’s using it, in real time. RIVET can also be used to quickly review worker profiles, field labor requests and create interactive job maps, as well as transfer workers where they are needed on demand.

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Changing Scene

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Adding continued investment in Canada to its core foundation of innovative Design, installation ...
AD and Torbsa Limited are announcing an agreement to merge the two groups. The ...
AimLite is proud to announce that its Products Warranty has been awarded certification by the ...
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AD and TORBSAAD and Torbsa Limited are announcing an agreement to merge the two groups. The merger is expected to close July 1, 2022. Established in Ontario in 1966, Torbsa is a shareholder-owned group made up of twenty-seven independent building supplies distributors, with 48 locations across Canada.

Rob Dewar, president of AD Canada, discussed how Torbsa's strong leadership and financial success made the buying group an ideal match for AD. Rob Dewar, president of AD Canada, discussed how Torbsa's strong leadership and financial success made the buying group an ideal match for AD.

 

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CEW-32-EFC-TomMason-400.jpg

Electro-Federation Canada (EFC) is pleased to announce that Tom Mason has been appointed Vice President, Marketing and Channel Development and will report directly to Carol McGlogan, President & CEO. This change has taken effect on June 20, 2022.

Tom will be responsible for the overall planning, development, and marketing of channel-related programs, including initiatives that centre on workforce development, talent management, industry research, events, and regional engagement. The Marketing and Events teams will report directly to Tom. He will also work closely with other partner associations to promote collaboration across the electrical channel in Canada. Tom will be responsible for also leading the National Advisory Council (NAC), an operational committee that takes guidance from the Board to help steer EFC programming.

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CEW-32-Nedco-NathalieParisel-400.jpg

Nedco/Rexel Atlantic is pleased to announce the appointment of Nathalie Parisel as General Manager, Quebec division effective July 4th, 2022.

Nathalie brings to the organization a wealth of knowledge in the Electrical industry and in leadership development.

Most recently, she ran her own consulting firm helping companies during their transformation journey to deliver profitable growth, sustainability and greater customer experience by building a talent pipeline. Prior to Parisel & Associates, she was Senior Vice President Canada, EES Division for Anixter. Over her 30-year career in the industry, Nathalie has worked in sales, marketing, customer service and engineering where she built high performing teams that achieve business objectives.

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EIN FE LEED 400

Franklin Empire Inc., the largest independently owned electrical distributor in Canada, and MONTONI are excited to launch the construction of the company’s new headquarters designed to support future growth. This family-owned 4th generation company is also celebrating its 80th anniversary this year. In summer 2023, Franklin Empire employees will move into their new facility of nearly 190,000-square-feet, conveniently located along Autoroute 40 at the junction of Autoroute 13 in Saint-Laurent and close to the Ericsson and VSL campuses developed by MONTONI. The building, which will be targeting a LEED certification, will triple the firm’s warehouse space and double its office area, while improving the customer experience and providing employees with a work environment adapted to the new reality of today’s job market.

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Peers & Profiles

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  The Sonepar Ontario Region is proud to announce the relocation of their SESCO Central ...
Charlie Harte is the Canadian President & CEO for LEDVANCE LLC, as well as holding the role of ...
 This past July, Kerith Richards, who has worked for Service Wire Company for the last seven ...
Illumisoft Lighting is an innovative company headquartered in Ottawa that focuses on suspended ...
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 ...

 

 

Larry SternThe Industry Data Exchange Association, Inc. (IDEA), the electrical industry-endorsed technology service provider and eBusiness standards body, announces its 2022 Board of Directors. Larry Stern, President of Standard Electric Supply, is the IDEA Board Chair for the coming year.

“Larry’s experience and strong leadership are a driving force to tackle industry challenges and pursue IDEA’s roadmap. Today, with the increasing complexity and the increasing volume of data that needs to be exchanged, IDEA is focused on our mission to facilitate the exchange of complete, high-quality transactional and eCommerce product content and serve as the standards body for the electrical industry.” said David Oldfather, President and CEO of IDEA.

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