Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

May 16, 2019

Éric DeschênesBy Line Goyette

Difficult to deflect Éric Deschênes from his passion: understand to find solutions. Understand the technology, of course, but also the social implications of technology and business models that can maximize the adoption of these technologies. It’s what led him to study engineering and has set the direction of his professional career for 26 years.
“I studied mechanical engineering because what interests me is the structured approach to finding the solution to a problem.” He also developed, through his participation on many boards of directors, a more human side by giving back to his community, which has helped him see the social aspects of technology. His professional life is also driven by the development of new business models.

After graduating in mechanical engineering from the École Polytechnique, Éric’s first job was at Emerson Electric as an applications engineer. He worked in several market segments: wood, food, petrochemical, mining, pharmaceutical. He progressed rapidly and at 32 was leading a sales and applications team in the telecommunications segment. In 2003 he was recruited by Schneider Electric, where he developed his knowledge of automation, industrial controls and power distribution, and won success in sales, marketing, engineering and strategic acquisitions. In 2010, he was entrusted with the direction of the energy division, and in 2014, added the division of strategic segments and end users to his portfolio. In 2017, he was appointed North American Vice President, Mining Metals & Minerals, and led a North American sales team (Canada, United States and Mexico). He was recruited by ABB Canada at the end of 2017 and commented as follows: “I had the opportunity and the privilege to succeed John Sencich.”

Why this new challenge? Three reasons motivated his choice:

• the exceptional credibility of the sales force of Thomas & Betts (ABB)
• the acquisition of GEiS by ABB — the fifth or sixth acquisition of his career, which gives him an incredible opportunity to use his engineering knowledge and experience to reinvent the business model
• the ability to work with a recognized leader, Nathalie Pilon

Éric continues, inexhaustible, “ABB is a business model centred on the needs of the customer. The process of collaboration and transparency put in place allows us to talk not just about products, but about an architecture that goes from the substation to the electrical outlet at home.”

Eric is responsible for ABB’s Canadian Electrification Products Division. His new challenges? “In our business, we offer solutions to customers that they don’t yet know they need. The arrival an ABB-Hitachi (joint venture) power grid partnership will allow us to accelerate the digitalization of the public grid. We can speak of a ‘smarter grid’ that will become more digitized, more decentralized, and decarbonized. It's a win-win-win solution for everyone.”

The situation is unique to Canada. “Here we have public electricity supply companies, and their business model will necessarily have to evolve and change.” He goes on to explain, “The most complex system in the world developed by human beings is the electric grid. This system was developed to respond frequently to two peak periods of service daily and annually. In addition, energy efficiency must be on the agenda because for every three units of energy produced one is consumed and the other two ‘vaporize.’
“With the social transformations in front of us — among other things the increase in the number of data centres, adoption of electric vehicles, renewable energy, storage systems, and the arrival of microgrids — there is no doubt the public sector faces many new challenges in supporting these new players in the energy sector. It is likely that the current pricing model will have to change in order to adapt to this new reality.”

We see emerging here the development of new business models. “We are now able to help the electric grid to reinvent itself. This is good news for us all, from the point of view of end customers.”

An advantage to advancing this digitalization and architecture based on customers’ needs? “The acquisition of T&B by ABB helped us to understand the Canadian business model, including distributors. In Canada, our industry has about 880 distribution outlets and we serve about 650 of them. This T&B legacy is an asset for ABB. We are one of the only major manufacturers to have a distribution centre, here in Bromont (285,000 square feet), which allows us to provide excellent value to our partners and customers while remaining competitive. Our distribution centre has a 99.96% level of effectiveness, and when combined with our 'Signature Services' program the management of our distribution network is harmonious thanks to a unique partnership culture.”


Éric continues, “The acquisition of GEiS has enabled us to complete our offer of products and electrical distribution equipment of ANSI-NEMA standards. This acquisition now allows us to offer the most complete range of electrical distribution products and equipment in Canada. ABB is facing a unique and unparalleled business opportunity. Indeed, we can either reinforce the current business model, including a single manufacturer in electrical distribution by distributor, or change this business model and allow distributors to have more than one major line offered in a distribution network of electrical products. Regardless of the business model, this will continue to provide healthy and honest competition with a unique value offer for our customers and partners.”


He explains the added value this way: “The strategy we put in place can be explained in three parts: standard products, CTO (configure to order) electrical distribution equipment, and ETO (engineer to order) electrical distribution equipment. For standard electrical distribution products, we build on T&B’s legacy by offering added value — ‘one order, one shipment and one invoice’ — directly from our Bromont distribution centre. We also put in place the CTO electrical distribution equipment component, the first flagship product for which will be the lighting panel, which will be assembled in Montreal with Canadian steel. For the third part, ETO electrical distribution equipment for low and medium voltage products and motor control centres, we are evaluating the necessary structure as well as the supply chain required to set up and have it in pilot mode from 2020.”


Éric’s impatience to succeed in the implementation of the new business model and the new technological era is palpable. “People need to be asked to understand the role they have to play in accepting technology. We are talking about global warming and we are saying that imminent changes are essential in the generation, distribution and consumption of energy. We need to optimize everything around us, starting with the switch. AC power has won the battle, but in the near future we could have a DC bus at home. In addition, the Internet of Things will allow us, with intelligent products, to control the electric charge and thus optimize energy consumption at any time. We are in the 3D energy age: Decarbonize, Decentralize and Digitize energy. The technology is ready, it must be accepted and made available, and we must put in place the necessary business models to allow our public electrical grid to modulate and optimize in real time our demand for energy.” And Éric Deschênes will be at the front lines of these changes.

Line Goyette is Managing Editor of CEW; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Latest Articles

  • Prev
Consumer UVC germicidal devices are entering the market rapidly because of an increased demand for ...
We all understand how important PPE is keeping us safe during this pandemic. While we continue to ...
The coronavirus disease, COVID-19, caused by SARS-CoV-2, is a rapidly evolving global risk that ...
Manufacturing sales increased for the third consecutive month, rising 7.0% to ...
This article provides a concise summary of selected Canadian economic events, as well as ...
During any regular year, September marks a period of transition. We experience changing routines as ...
I joined the electricity sector after working for over a decade in other sectors, and my only ...
Canada has for many years been well served by independent agents. These representative firms are a ...
Last week Wesco held its first call detailing its results post merger with Anixter. This meeting ...
A little over a year ago I met Louis Beaulieu, Executive Director of Ouellet Canada, at ...

COVID ULConsumer UVC germicidal devices are entering the market rapidly because of an increased demand for sanitizing and germicidal capabilities in the face of COVID-19. But are they all safe?

UVC radiation (the most energetic in the UV spectrum; 180nm to 280 nm) is proven to have sanitizing and germicidal effects, and first proof of effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2 is emerging. Like many high energy devices, however, there are risks due to UVC exposure. For example, UVC over-exposure can cause damage to the eyes and skin, based on wavelength, intensity, proximity to the source, and time of exposure.

Read More


 

Investment In Building Construction - July 2020Total investment in building construction increased 1.8% to $15.1 billion in July. Residential sector investment increased 4.9% to $9.9 billion, while non-residential investment decreased 3.7% to $5.3 billion.

Construction activity has rebounded in the last few months, with investment in building construction remaining slightly lower than February 2020 levels, before COVID-19 construction restrictions were first put in place. On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), investment in building construction increased 2.0% to $12.4 billion.

Read More


 

 

Swati Vora-PatelBy Swati Vora-Patel

Personal protective equipment. We understand how important PPE is keeping us safe during this pandemic. While we continue to do our part to protect ourselves and those around us, counterfeit PPE is on the rise and has found its way into the supply chain: fraudulent COVID-19 testing kits, N95 masks, respirators, and even fake vaccines, which all pose a significant threat to the health and safety of unsuspecting global citizens.

Counterfeit activity and intellectual property crimes remain a growing issue in Canada and around the world. 

Read More


 

Changing Scene

  • Prev
What better way to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Rittal System Ltd. in Canada than to be ...
Electro-Federation Canada (EFC) is pleased to announce the 7th Annual 2020 Marketing Awards Program ...
Leviton announced that Jean Belhumeur, president and chief of operations of Leviton Canada, will ...
Ouellet Canada is proud to announce the acquisition of Britech, a manufacturer and supplier of ...
Recently Tim MacDonald, President of Ideal Supply announced the appointment of Mike Smith to the ...
Liteline Corporation has announced the addition of Martin Parilak to their Canadian Regional Sales ...
The Task Force for a Resilient Recovery recommends five bold actions to help Canada “build ...
Late April 2020 ECM Industries acquired ILSCO. Since that time, they have been integrating the two ...
Since 1993, E.B. Horsman & Son(EBH) has been a proud supporter of BC Children’s Hospital ...
Southwire has aquired Construction Electrical Products (CEP) of Livermore, CA. Serving the ...
 

 

Martin Parilak  Liteline Corporation has announced the addition of Martin Parilak to their Canadian Regional Sales Team.

"Martin brings over 20 years of well respected electrical industry knowledge and experience to Liteline. Through his time spent in successful and progressive roles, as both a distributor and agent, Martin's experience will greatly compliment Liteline's growing product lines and will be of benefit to our agent network and customers of Western Canada," said National Sales Manager, Steve McMullen.

 

 

Read More


 

New Project 1Ouellet Canada is proud to announce the acquisition of Britech, a manufacturer and supplier of electric radiant heating systems in Canada.

Britech specializes in heating cables (floor, concrete and snow melting), electric thermal storage heating and self-regulating heating cables (roof and gutter de-icing).

"With this acquisition, we are demonstrating our commitment to growing and consolidating our relationship with our current customer base. It also allows us to continue offering quality products, innovative product design and industry-leading brands," said Louis Beaulieu, General Manager with Ouellet Canada.

Read More


 

 

Canadian College Task ForcesThe Task Force for a Resilient Recovery recommends five bold actions to help Canada “build back better” after the COVID-19 pandemic. Colleges can take the lead, to help meet the skills gap, and support communities transition to the low carbon economy.

What are the goals for the coalition? Rapidly implement and scale new curriculum and research initiatives relevant to a resilient recovery. Champion resilient recovery projects in line with the recommendations of the Task Force for a Resilient Recovery...

 

Read More


 

 

 

 

EBH DonationsSince 1993, E.B. Horsman & Son(EBH) has been a proud supporter of BC Children’s Hospital Foundation (BCCHF), helping provide the bestcare for children across British Columbia.

In EBH’s 120th Anniversary year, their employees,suppliers, and customers worked together to doubletheir annual fundraising efforts and donated over $100,000 to BCCHF. This significantly contributed to EBH reaching its cumulative donation of $1 million dollars!

 

 

 

Read More


 

Copper $US Dollar price per pound

Kerrwil Publications Great Place to Work. Certified December 2019 - December 2020

538 Elizabeth Street, Midland,Ontario, Canada L4R2A3 +1 705 527 7666
©2020 All rights reserved

Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy Policy (effective 1.1.2016)
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Kerrwil