Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

 September 4, 2018

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. It was not until the late ’50s when Canadian Westinghouse Co. entered the supply end of the industry (and became an active member on a national basis of CEDA in 1958), that CGE and Northern became active also.

It was around 1960 that I began my association with CEDA. One of the first things that impressed me was the enthusiasm and acumen of the members in British Columbia. This extended to all of Western Canada as my own business responsibilities increased. The members spent much time coming to grasp with industry problems: supplier services, terms of payment, product improvement, customer credit, etc. Sometimes it was necessary for us nationals to gently remind the members in their enthusiasm of the “Do’s and Don’ts” of the Combines Legislation.

I think that the independent distributors gave us nationals a lesson in connection with how to get the most out of suppliers. We nationals had provided our own specialists in such lines as wire and cable, lighting, power apparatus, etc. as a service to our customers. The independent members taught us to use the specialists that were available through major suppliers. Needless to say many of our specialists gradually disappeared.

CEDA conventions were notable to me for their hard working approach, not particularly noticeable in some other industry conventions in those days. The group participation and discussion was particularly impressive and productive and discussion helped many members in the running of their businesses. It is from that foundation that today’s good conferences have grown.

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OlsonBy Katrina Olson

A recent CEW article by David Gordon caught my eye. The headline was, Are Your Sales and Marketing Teams Inhibiting Growth?

As a marketing consultant, writer, and trainer, I recognized the challenges and barriers that David was writing about. We agree on many issues (and their causes) facing electrical distributors and marketers. But I also hear from marketing people all the time that the C-Suite is hindering their efforts which, in turn, hinders the company’s growth.  

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Study


A confirmation: the winds of change are now howling.

Several years ago, in a workshop at Electro-Federation Canada’s annual conference, a roundtable session described and debated the numerous disruptive technologies that are forcing us to think differently.

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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.

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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Laura Dempsey

Owen Hurst

Laura Dempsey has been working as an outside sales representative for E.B. Horsman & Son for over 15 years, and is a member of the BCEA U40 network of young professionals. She lives in Langley, BC and is proud of her position and work with E.B. Horsman, particularly as she is the second Dempsey generation to work for the company.

Laura’s mother Shelly has worked at E.B. Horsman for over 25 years, and instilled in Laura a determination to succeed. Laura followed in her mother’s footsteps after witnessing how much her mother enjoyed her work and the people she works with at E.B. Horsman.

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Laura Dempsey

Line Goyette

I've known John Sencich since CEW began publishing. He agreed from the outset to be part of the newsletter’s Editorial Board. His contribution was regular and sustained. Always present to answer my technical questions, and refer me to the right person for additional information as needed. Always available despite his role as senior leader of an influential company.

Over the past five years, many industry insiders have cited John Sencich when I asked them to name someone who had made a difference in their lives or had inspired them as a leader.

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DIgitalDigitalization is set to take a strong hold of all business models, transforming how companies access, monitor, engage with and service customers. Today’s customers are not passive consumers; they rely on real-time digital access to information to make purchasing decisions. Businesses must consider how to apply digital technologies and digitized data to connect with customers to help reshape their paths to purchase. This digital lens provides improvements to business functions, operations and overall processes by creating stronger insight and knowledge so businesses can take action.

The path towards digitalization has put the electrical supply channel at an important crossroad: the entire electrical value chain (suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, customers) will need to strongly consider how to move from a traditional model that has served the market well for decades, towards a new model that is connected, smart and highly efficient. But how does the industry evolve from a traditional model to an integrated ecosystem?

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The annual EFC Scholarship Program reflects an industry that understands its responsibility to attract future talent. In the face of technological, demographic, and socio-economic evolution, the employment landscape is in constant transformation resulting in substantial challenges for companies as they work to define and redefine their recruitment practices. Furthermore, as competition for the brightest and the best of the next generation of business leaders intensifies, it’s more important than ever to engage young people. 

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