Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

September 30, 2018

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.

However, with the end of World War II in 1945, and with the return of men from overseas, the optimism of business upturn was very evident. In Western Canada, provincial governments were intent on pushing rural electrification. This was the turning point in the rapid growth of the electrical industry, and so newcomers entered the distribution field.

Still CEDA would not accept small distributors. CEDA’s Secretary Manager maintained that to join they had to buy/sell the main line merchandise, yet when the distributor approached the manufacturer, the reply was, “Join CEDA and we will sell to you.” A catch-22 situation. For some years small enterprising distributors had to either buy in the USA of from small manufacturers. However, some commercial and residential manufacturers saw the potential of specialty distributors and sold to them.

In the early 1950s, with the rapid expansion of all phases of the electrical industry, CEDA finally accepted membership from smaller distributors who by now has established a firm hold in their communities.

In the early days CEDA always held their annual meetings in Niagara Falls at the General Brock Hotel. Later they diversified to various locations in Ontario and Quebec, and in 1959 they ventured west to the Banff Springs Hotel, Alberta for their 25th Anniversary convention. It was not until the 1970s that a regular policy of moving the conventions across Canada was implemented.

For much of the 1950s and 60s, CEDA held a fall convention for Western members only, meeting regularly in such places as Banff, Minaki, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, and Jasper. Finally those Western only meetings were cancelled in favour of concentrating attendance on the annual meeting at which attendance by manufacturers was rapidly increasing.

CEDA conventions have enjoyed remarkable growth and is the only industry convention (in Canada) that has manufacturers and wholesalers in attendance in large numbers.When we look back to the early days of CEDA, it is gratifying to see the progress that has been made. As one who has worked with six CEDA managers from 1950 on — Dick Edmunds, Norman Franks, Doug McKellar, Norm McKellar, Dick Taylor and Stan Wild — it was these men who did the spade work that backed up the elected Directors that has made CEDA such a successful association.

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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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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.

Read More

 

 

 

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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

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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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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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