Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

Looking BackWe often hear about how much the electrical industry is changing and how new and improved products and an ever broadening number of global manufacturers are disrupting how the wholesale market operates.

Old books, openThe best memory I keep from CEDA is the way that they accepted me when I came into the business. The welcome they gave to me, all of them men. (In those days there were not many women in business.) This welcome I will always remember. CEDA has played a very important role in my success.

Looking BackIn the 1930s to 1940s, CEDA’s Western Canada membership was very stable with old line independent companies like Horsman, Ashdowns, Brettell, Marshall Wells, Electrical Supplies Ltd., etc.

Looking BackPrior to the late 1950s there was little if any involvement in CEDA by the so-called “national suppliers.” They felt that the organization was more an association of local and provincial independently owned suppliers.

 

As 2017 marks the 150th anniversary of Confederation, we take a look back at an aspect of the history of wholesale sales in Canada.

 

 

old booksThe resource-based industries of the Maritimes are looking to electronics to make their operations more productive. This trend, in concert with the tremendous amount of work offshore oil development will provide, suggests a glowing future for distributors in the region. Kip Roberts, President of Harris and Roome Ltd., Halifax, points out that several industries are modernizing and much of their new equipment will be purchased from electrical distributors.

Looking Back

 

Electrical distributors must remain in both the electronic and electrical ends of the business to be successful, said Bryan Smith, President of Electrozad Supply Co., Windsor, from 1977 to 1982. “The electronics is the brains end of things. The electrical side is very important too.” Among areas where electronics have made a strong impact were programmable controllers, cable and instrumentation, which have gone completely electronic.

 

 

Looking Back

 

The public’s strong interest in energy-saving products should continue in the coming years, providing a boom for electrical distributors, forecasted Lew Searle of Amesco Ltd., Winnipeg. These products included lamps, ballasts, electrical furnaces (especially in new homes), and central air conditioning. He said the demand for air conditioners had increased sharply, indicating to him that air conditioning is no longer the preserve of the affluent. Upgrading gas furnaces was providing distributors with dividends as well, Mr. Searle said, noting that new panels, circuit breakers and other equipment were required.

 

Looking Back

 

Even in a principally agricultural province like Saskatchewan, the impact of electronics on the electrical distribution industry will be “very Big”, forecasts Ward Johnson, president of Ward Johnson Electric Ltd, Regina.

 

Old Looking Book Electrical distribution companies operating in British Columbia will continue to get larger while most smaller independents will gradually disappear, predicted Art Reid, manager, B.C. District, Wesco Westinghouse Sales & Distribution Co. of Burnaby.

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CEW 3 Perspective 400

We often learn how to look forward by first looking back, or at the very least we realize that despite our best efforts we have not truly advanced quite so much as we had thought. Sure, technology is rapidly advancing. That’s beyond question. But what about our approach to selling it? Have we changed that much in the last 20, 40, 60 years? Inevitably there have been advances and changes in marketing, the Internet causing the biggest shift, but many of the concerns and directives that have driven the distribution and marketing of industrial electrical products remain, or at least planted the roots of the concerns of manufacturers and distributors today. 

To gain perspective of the perceptions and directions of electrical product distribution in 1960, we turn to Edwin H. Lewis. In 1960 Lewis published “The Distribution of Industrial Electrical Products” in the Journal of Marketing.

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Looking BackLooking BackIn the 1930s to 1940s, CEDA’s Western Canada membership was very stable with old line independent companies like Horsman, Ashdowns, Brettell, Marshall Wells, Electrical Supplies Ltd., etc.

Small electrical distributors just were not acceptable for membership as they did not carry the main-line manufacturers’ goods, publish a wiring device catalogue, or employ four to five salesmen as CEDA requested.

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