Austin Brennan, President — House of Electrical Supplies
May 18, 2021
From small construction to sophisticated industrial projects, House of Electrical Supplies has been servicing clients in the industrial, OEM, entertainment, and construction markets across the Greater Toronto Area for just over 40 years. The company has earned a reputation for providing a high-quality customer experience. As per President Austin Brennan, their experienced and knowledgeable team can be depended upon in any situation to deliver quick and efficient service.
On top of their product solutions — ranging from electrical, automation, safety, lighting and portable power distribution — House of Electrical’s value added services include electronic data interchange capabilities, just-in-time inventory programs, energy audits, 24-hour emergency service, drive start-ups, custom cable assemblies and kitting. They are also a Rittal panel modification partner, which allows them to provide custom enclosures utilizing the Rittal configuration system and Perforex machine.
House of Electrical is a family owned and operated company, proud of its independent status. Brennan has been in his current role as President for about 10 years. “I’m pretty hands on. So, I get involved in all aspects of the company, sales, marketing, and I still support some customers myself, as well,” he said of his role. Growing up, Brennan spent lots of time around the office as a kid and began working there during the summers, learning operations at various levels before transitioning into the President role.
The company’s business is mostly made up of the industrial OEM segment, although Brennan noted they are getting more into commercial construction. As Brennan explained in our interview, putting more attention on the commercial sector to bolster their overall market presence is key to their long-term growth as a company.
“It certainly comes with its challenges, but we’ve made some investments, and we’ll continue to make investments to try to be successful in that side of the business,” he said.
Another key initiative with regard to growing the company, as Brennan alludes to, is developing an e-commerce website, something they’ve been working on. “We’re planning on launching it in late fall, so that’s been occupying our time. It’s a huge undertaking, especially for a company of our size. We have limited resources and it’s an expensive thing to get into.”
Although, he added, it’s a long-term investment and a necessary one as the industry transitions toward more digital solutions.
“Sometimes the biggest challenge for a distributor of our size is the return on investment,” said Brennan, likening the investment to implementing an ERP system. “It doesn’t mean your business is instantly going to go up exponentially, but it’s an important thing you need. Our customers have an expectation now to be able to see information online.”
“I think there’s going to be a natural evolution with this technology,” he explained, “initially people are going to use it as tool to view their inventory or order status, they may not necessarily buy on our system, but that will come eventually.”
As a privately held Canadian-owned company, its success has come from a dedication to providing clients quality service and technical support, Brennan said.