Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

Jordan Prins


August 31, 2017

Jordan Prins is an account manager at Wesco Distribution in Abbotsford, British Columbia. He has been in the electrical industry for over a decade and is the second generation of his family to work in this field. Jordan has followed in footsteps of his father, Norman Prins, who was well established in the electrical industry for many years. He is still a great source of inspiration for Jordan and is there whenever Jordan needs advice or clarity on just about any issue.

CEW had an opportunity to ask Jordan about his career and the industry.

Why you are in this industry/business/company?

I work for a company call Wesco Distribution as part of the electrical industry. We are on the supply side of the business, where I sell stock from our warehouse from various manufacturers to electrical contractors. I also hunt down large tender opportunities in which I can supply product for new construction offices, high-rises, or residential homes.

Tell us a little more about your company.

Wesco Distribution has been in business since 1922 — almost 100 years old! Originally the company was named the Westinghouse Electric Company after George Westinghouse, a pioneer of the electrical Industry. I’m very proud to be part of such an established company that was so instrumental in the way we supply and consume energy.

What impact would you like to make in your career?

I love energy efficiency and the ability to supply products that helps to make our society more “green.” We’re at a threshold now where communities are becoming more conscious of our energy footprint, and being a part of supplying these products aimed at making a sustainable future certainly feels good.

What decisions do you find the most difficult to make?

With the hyper competitive market that is prevalent in British Columbia right now, and the multitude of jobs to bid on and pursue, it can be difficult to make the decision to pass on certain quotations. Prospecting the most profitable opportunities and spending time on the ones that you have the best possibility of getting can be stressful. Training and trust in your own ability certainly helps, but there’s always that looming thought that you’re barking up the wrong tree.

What is your biggest work-related challenge right now?

I live and work in an environment of substantial growth. This is good from a sales perspective, but tough on the workload side of things. There is a lot of business to be made, but structuring your time to be most efficient and effectively capitalizing on opportunities can be a challenge. Luckily Wesco has an incredible support network within the company, which certainly helps.

What has been the greatest achievement in your life so far?

As a certified Lean Green Belt, I have led several internal kaizens to improve process efficiency for Wesco. One such kaizen earned me an award in which Wesco Corporate flew me to Orlando, Florida to be presented with the award. I was able to reduce lead times on specific products and supporting documents by about 40%, saving the company a substantial amount of money each year.

What do you think is next for your industry?

Energy efficiency is going to be at the forefront of our industry. New products are being launched at a profound rate, and green buildings are becoming more and more prominent, whether through the use of LED technology, lighting and power control products, or even different voltage and amperage than have been traditionally used. I believe code and compliance are going to substantially change over the next few years to ensure new construction projects utilize these modern technologies.

What industry developments are you most looking forward to? How do you see the industry benefiting?

The culture of the industry is evolving. Boomers are retiring, and up and comers are developing reputations for themselves. I’m very excited to see how things settle over the next few years. Although our industry is very large, it is also very small when one considers that the people you work with at the beginning of your career will also be those whom you work with at the twilight of your career. I believe having those strong relationships will ultimately help with the continued growth of industry.

If you could change one thing about your industry, what would it be?

More industry events for the younger up and comers. But with that being said, already I see that changing. As part of the BCEA-U40 group, we do our best to put together networking events, or training seminars, or to just to get together and watch a baseball game. There’s even a U40 dodgeball tournament we put on. Building strong industry relationships early in your career is one facet that the industry as a whole needs to focus on.

Describe one way in which you effectively separate work from family and personal life?

It is certainly difficult to “turn off” at the end of the day, especially as an account rep. Sometimes the expectation is for you to be available all hours of the day and night. It’s important to take time for yourself and learn how to unwind. Personally, I flip my phone upside down to prevent myself from looking at emails that are coming in. It helps to put your mind away from work, even if only for an hour or two. As evidenced by Jordan's profle picture fishing is a nice way to get away from work.

Jordan is a talented individual that is well positioned for a long and fruitful career in the electrical wholesale business.

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