Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

May 31, 2019

EFCLast week, over 540 industry members and guests gathered at the EFC Conference in Quebec City, setting a new record for attendance. Below are some of the notable highlights from this year’s event.

During the business program, attendees heard from a line-up of engaging speakers who each shared their views on how businesses can adapt to change. Opening keynote speaker, Leonard Brody advised that those who learn to adapt and allow themselves to be “rewritten” for the modern day will survive and prosper. Alan Beaulieu from ITR Economics offered insights on current economic conditions and how the electrical industry must prepare for change. Denise Keating from DatAgility discussed the Amazon Effect and offered her take on how and why disruptors are targeting traditional channels — and what our industry can do to thrive in the digital age to remain the channel of first-choice for customers.

During the Canadian Manufacturers breakfast session, members came together to address Canadian manufacturing opportunities and concerns. A structure and plan for this committee will be developed and shared with members in the coming months.

A national Women in Industry breakfast meeting was also held during the conference to help shape EFC’s women’s initiatives — designed to break down barriers and promote success. EFC’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee will be developing programs to support the important initiative.

Members from EFC’s Young Professionals Network (YPN) participated in a panel to discuss the future of the electrical industry. Key insights from a survey, featuring responses by over 200 YPN members, were shared with audience members. Kim Quelch from Standard-Stanpro and National Chair of YPN led the panel discussion with fellow members Dave Branscombe (Independent Electric), Lori Bagazzoli (Viscor), and Jonathan Perlis (Standard-Stanpro & Chair of Quebec Region’s YPN committee). The group shared their perspectives on three key areas:

  • culture, with a focus on training and development and the need for more inclusion
  • technology (the need for increased product and process innovation)
  • change management within organizations as it relates to company structures, working environments and the preparation for future roles

This year’s Research Committee explored how electrification is changing how we power our societies, produce our goods and services, and how we live, work… and move. An industry whitepaper has been developed that outlines the end-use applications that are expected to be affected by the electrification movement and what opportunities our industry can benefit from on both the supply and demand side. Dave Klarer from NCS International and Chair of the Research Committee joined EFC’s Swati Patel to present key findings from the paper.

The Supply Chain Committee also led an interactive workshop to discuss how our industry must address digitization to transform the supply chain. Members took part in a live poll to share individual insights on the barriers and opportunities with the Industry Data Warehouse and Vendor Managed Inventory — and what role EFC should play in advancing the channel’s progress towards digital supply chain excellence. Results from this workshop will be reviewed by the committee and shared with members in the coming weeks. The session was led by Rick Pozniak, Rexel Canada and Chair of the Supply Chain Committee. He received strong support from ABB’s Rick Gingras and EFC’s Rick McCarten. Mary Shaw from IDEA, Chris Moon from Ideal Supply, and Mark Djerrahian from ABB also participated in this workshop.

Awards presentation
During a gala reception and dinner, four awards were presented:

  • Corporate Engagement Award — Rexel Canada
  • Industry Recognition Award — Murray Chamney, Intralec Electrical Products
  • Trailblazer Award — Salim Bhojani, Westburne
  • CEMRA Person of the Year — Ken Hooper, NEMRA

EFC Board chair changes

EFC held its Annual General Meeting during the conference plenary program. Peter Horncastle from Graybar Canada’s Peter Horncastle stepped down from his post as EFC Chair and Mark Schroeder from Rockwell Automation was named incoming Chair for 2019-2020.

NAC chair changes

EFC’s National Advisory Council (NAC) also underwent a change of chairmanship. Jean-Sebastien Bercier from Desdowd has served as NAC Chair for the past year. Pierre Legare from Viscor was appointed incoming Chair. NAC is a subset of the EFC Board and provides operational support by planning and developing programs that steer the Board’s strategic goals. NAC works closely with each EFC committee and regional groups to ensure consistent programming is provided to all members across Canada.

CEMRA chair changes

EFC’s CEMRA group (manufacturers’ agents) held its annual meeting at the conference. Greg Moylett from Intralec Electrical Products led the CEMRA group as Chair for the past two years and has now passed the reigns on to Mike Hodges from Adanac Sales.

Smart BuildingsIn an era of energy and digital transformation, the economics of building ownership are changing. According to a new white paper from the global Energy practice of Navigant, a Guidehouse company, energy, technology and service providers must innovate in the buildings sector or risk major disruption to their businesses.

Worldwide, an estimated 24 billion square feet of new commercial buildings is constructed annually — the equivalent of about 9,000 new Empire State Buildings. The new Navigant white paper concludes that while building owners have been deploying intelligent buildings solutions that rely on data for automation and control for decades...

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Alexander Couckuyt, Director of Operations for Southwire Canada, spent the majority of his formative years in Belgium where he undertook his schooling in Business Marketing and Sales before entering an Electrician Apprenticeship program, and working as a licenced electrician as well as an independent contractor for three years.

His work as a contractor would eventually lead him to his current position. Working with suppliers as an electrician, Alex was presented with an opportunity to work for CEBEO, one of Sonepar’s operating companies.

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