Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

July 21, 2021

By John Kerr

Looking back to early 2020, the industry entered the first quarter with a sense of a solid year ahead, one that would easily eclipse 2019, and then in mid-March the brakes went on and relatively quickly.

On both the supplier and distribution sides, many took a reactionary stance and then quietly planned their next moves. Thinking differently, adding stock and doubling down on inventory, looking at alternative shipping methods and figuring out how to stay close to the customer are among the attributes of those that pivoted well and have come out of the dark in great shape.

This time has prompted new thoughts and new mindsets, and like the financial setbacks of years before perhaps this time we may remember and be managed by this more than ever before. Moving to adopt online and digital strategies were quickly the rage. In fact, on one day alone in late June 2020 we counted 36 webinars taking place. Many suppliers and distributors added to their marcom budgets, and the ad spend increased across the board replacing travel and entertainment expenses with good old fashioned marketing methods that drove awareness.

Perhaps the COVID era will be defined as the period where we accelerated, we moved, pivoted and made it work for the most part salvaging a year of anticipated prosperity into only a nominal loss. Some firms came out of this much stronger with gains in share, awareness, and preference.

Commitment to marketing seems to be an underlying strength. Those businesses that understood this as part of their company DNA have grown coming through this. They continued their messaging and leveraged integrated components to get there. Less on promotions and push button tactics but more about unique product or service features as lead tactics, and because of this when they did add a webinar or virtual event they had great traction. I have two key observations from this time:

• those that continued to market, promote, communicate and build bridges to their clients are winning today with big time gains in revenues

• there was an opportunity lost among those that invested so heavily in e-commerce and digital interfaces built around tactics to convert who they knew and not gain new customers.

The e-commerce platforms serving the Canadian market are good, some short on attributed data and product descriptions but for the most part the customer experience is world class. While COVID accelerated it for some, the others who already had this built failed to pounce on the e-commerce opportunity that is approaching $800 million this year. Now do not get me wrong. There were some huge winners here but they all shared in gaining and valuing new customers as much as converting current ones to online buying. What COVID did is reinforce the fact customers control when they engage, and in today’s environment that could be anytime.

This brings me to sales teams. In this time the debate of the role of salespeople has been front and centre. What is often forgotten here is the reality that clients rely on loyalty more often than not and those relationships built on years of effort matter. What’s often forgotten too is that people buy, companies don’t. There is a big but here though. COVID has accelerated the need to invest in more technical support in sales ones that on demand have the answers the end users and customers need immediately. We have spoken on this point for some time and the COVID period has once and for all driven home the fact mores sales support and technical expertise will also win the day moving forward.

Every previous financial set back has its lessons, many of them long forgotten, but this time perhaps because of the severity, speed and time perhaps these 488 days we have spent on the edge the lessons learned will be remembered and acted on for years to come.

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

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash https://unsplash.com/

Swati Vora-PatelTalent availability continues to be a key concern among business leaders in the electrical industry: in fact, over 60% of EFC members surveyed said they do not have a robust talent pipeline in place. This pipeline is even further constrained as a result of ongoing employment challenges spurred on by the pandemic.

A global phenomenon known as “The Great Resignation” is underway which reflects a wave of workers who are strongly considering leaving their jobs in search for work that is more closely aligned with their interests with employers who provide flexible accommodations and serve a strong purpose. 

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Building Permits - September 2021The total value of building permits rose 4.3% to $10.1 billion in September, led by Ontario (+6.3%). Construction intentions in the residential sector were up 8.2%, while the non-residential sector decreased 3.2%.


On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), building permits increased 3.4% to $6.9 billion.

Ontario drives residential permits up

High-value permits for two new condo buildings valued at over $300 million in the cities of Mississauga and Toronto helped push Ontario's multi-family permits up 40.4% to $1.7 billion in September. 

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John KerrBy John Kerr

Consolidation is a natural evolution in any industry: technology changes, customers demand more, and the need to drive costs all contribute to this activity. The Canadian electrical market is mature but opportunities still exist in its related segments.

The reality is we are entering a new stage driven by how we define ourselves and how we respond to customer needs. We all understand segmentation today more than ever and desire to provide end users with greater value. 

 

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Gross domestic product by industry - August 2021Real gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.4% in August, led by increases in accommodation and food services, retail trade and transportation. The continued easing of public health restrictions and further reopening across the country increased demand across many close contact service industries.


Overall, 15 of 20 industrial sectors were up as growth in services-producing industries (+0.6%) more than offset a decline in goods-producing industries (-0.1%).

 

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Changing Scene

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Electro Federation Canada (EFC) is pleased to recognize the 2021 EFC Marketing Award ...
Sean Dunnigan, President of Techspan Industries Inc., is pleased to announce the appointment of ...
BCEA U40 group invites you to their Professional Development virtual series...     ...
Family Enterprise Canada is proud to announce Gerrie Electric Wholesale Limited is the Recipient of ...
AD’s Electrical-Canada Division virtually welcomed members and supplier partners for its five-day ...
Expanding its North American footprint, leading control and automation manufacturer RTI today ...
Premise LED Inc. is a Canadian based lighting manufacturer and market leader dedicated to supplying ...
Graybar Canada, a leading distributor of electrical, communications and data networking products ...
Nick Foster, Leviton Canada, has been appointed 2nd Vice Chair on EFC’s Atlantic Region ...
This year’s EFC Conference hosted over 500 members from all across Canada for two full days of ...
 

 

AD GrowthAD’s Electrical-Canada Division virtually welcomed members and supplier partners for its five-day 2021 Virtual North American Meeting on Oct. 25 - 29, 2021 with the goal of facilitating strategic conversations that help the division devise new ways to stay ahead of the competition.

The event facilitated over 1,200 face-to-face meetings with 40 member companies and 62 supplier companies, cultivating relationship, allowing participants to share best practices and enabling open communication.

 

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EvolutionExpanding its North American footprint, leading control and automation manufacturer RTI today announced that it has named Evolution Home Entertainment Corp., a wholesale distributor of residential technology products, as the second RTI distribution partner for the Canadian market.


Evolution serves over 500 dealers across Canada, who now have the opportunity to get certified for the full line of RTI smart home control and automation products. With products shipping nationwide from its warehouse in Concord, Ontario, Evolution will also offer training and local dealer support to its dealers installing RTI systems.

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SignifyThird quarter 20211


• Signify's installed base of connected light points increased from 86 million in Q2 21 to 92 million in Q3 21

• Sales of EUR 1,643 million; Comparable Sales Growth of -4.8%, impacted by global supply chain disruptions

• Order book increased by 90% in Q3 21 vs. Q3 20

• LED-based sales represented 83% of total sales (Q3 20: 82%)

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Greg WalkerThe Continental Automated Buildings Association begins a new chapter with the appointment of Greg Walker as CEO, succeeding Ron Zimmer. Greg has been with CABA for almost 8 years working closely with the Board of Directors and leading the CABA research program and general operations. 

Mr. Walker is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) with over 15 years of experience working with associations, government agencies, universities, not-for-profit and Fortune 500 organizations. He holds a B.A. and B.Sc. from the University of Windsor and an M.Sc. from Dalhousie University.


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Peers & Profiles

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 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 ...

 

 

Kerith RichardsBy Alyssa Kerslake

This past July, Kerith Richards, who has worked for Service Wire Company for the last seven years, was selected as one of tED Magazine's prestigious "30 under 35" winners. 

"I was so surprised and totally honored. It meant a lot to me that my boss, and my company, thought highly of me to nominate me - and then to be compared and chosen from the other surely incredible nominees was pretty cool, too," said Richards of earning the distinction. "I was running out of time, I'll be 35 at the end of this year, but I feel like I'm just getting started in this industry." 

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