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.

LFI Innovation AwardsThe celebrated LFI Innovation Awards marked the opening this week of the 2019 Lightfair International Trade Show and Conference with a dramatic showcasing of the industry’s most innovative products and designs introduced during the last 12 months.

The 2019 awards and trade show opening mark the 30th anniversary of the world’s largest annual lighting and technology event. The 2019 awards saw entries spanning 14 categories, with each submission judged by an independent panel of lighting professionals. Winning entries exemplified the best in innovative design and thinking. 

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Automation LabourforceBy: Thomas Donato, Rockwell Automation

We all are consumers. We all have expectations of quality and service.

When I talk to our customers, I do so with that experience and mindset. If we don’t deliver – we lose. Maybe not immediately, but eventually. It’s as simple as that.

I just lived through a great example of this. Every morning I use our blender. One of the parts broke, and the manufacturer made it quite difficult and cumbersome to get a replacement.

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OmnicableOmniCable was founded in 1977 by partners with deep experience in the US electrical marketplace. With their clear understanding of the industry, they were able to identify an opportunity for the founding of a unique company. At the time, there was a disconnect between electrical distributors and electrical wire and cable manufacturers due to a growing demand that needed to be fulfilled under strict timelines.

The nature of the industry required a wide range of product types and configurations on a “just-in-time” basis. As a result, distributors were unable to stock enough cable products to meet the demands of their customers. 

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BritechBritech Corp, one of Canadas largest heating cable companies has signed a formal agreement with Heat Trace Limited, of Cheshire, England. Heat Trace, founded in England in 1974, Heat Trace is one of the world’s leading industrial heat trace cable manufacturers.

The company is known mainly for innovative solutions in self-regulating high temperature heat tracing cables up to 275°C, their exclusive high temperature, 425°C, cut to length, industrial, in the field replacement for mineral insulated cables, and their high temperature Long Line heating cables that can be installed on pipes in one length up to 10 kilometers long.

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