Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

 walmart vs amazonBy Rick McCarten

In a recent edition of Economist Magazine (week of February 3), there was an article about Walmart taking on Amazon. What struck me most was the article’s comment about Amazon’s shipping costs being less than Walmart’s.

Unless you have been studying Walmart, you may not appreciate the huge implication this difference has.
Here’s some history: shipping costs have played a huge role in Walmart’s success. Walmart invented cross-docking back in the late ’70s. Its arch-rival at the time was K-Mart. K-Mart’s suppliers were responsible for shipping their sold goods directly to each of K-Mart’s stores. In effect, the K-Mart stores became distribution centres and the supplier was required to be in the shipping business.

By contrast, Walmart’s cross docking allowed suppliers to focus on manufacturing while Walmart designed their logistics to maximize savings. The result was a saving of 1% over K-Mart. This 1% savings in retail is a huge advantage; in the end, K-Mart ended up declaring bankruptcy.

Walmart’s cross-docking logistics also paved the way for Chinese importers who could sell into North America without building a large logistical infrastructure.
Since then, third-party logistics companies have developed to allow a somewhat logistically-neutral playing field. If the Economist article is true, this movement could have huge ramifications for the retail world that plays with such small margins.

The questions I then asked myself are:

1. What makes Amazon’s costs lower?
•    no trucks, all third-party shipping
•    no pre-purchase, all consignment
•    money prepaid by credit card, then supplier paid
•    only warehouses are needed, not showrooms
•    no advertising, no sales staff, no greeters

2. What makes Amazon more expensive?
•    comprehensive website, maintenance
•    huge fulfilment centres
•    all shipments go individually to the home or business (this cost is assumed by the purchaser when shopping at a Walmart store)

Now, the really interesting thing is that Walmart is trying to go toe-to-toe with Amazon on the Web, which means all of the expenses listed above will be added to Walmart’s existing costs.
I still recall when Walmart first began opening their big box stores in small towns across North America. The first thing that the little shops tried to do was match Walmart’s prices. The harder they tried to match the Walmart model, the faster they went out of business. The stores that didn’t go out of business were those that maintained status quo; they kept their service, kept what made them unique in the first place. They may have lost business to the novelty and the excitement of a new store, but their service and culture brought their customers back.

Perhaps Walmart has lost its own unique service and connection to its customers. To this end, I suggest the following:

1. Always keep your value to your customer front and centre.

2. Examine the best way to ship products to your end customers, and how you can take advantage of the change.

By: Rick McCarten, Vice President, Electrical Council, Electro-Federation Canada

Swati Vora-PatelTalent availability continues to be a key concern among business leaders in the electrical industry: in fact, over 60% of EFC members surveyed said they do not have a robust talent pipeline in place. This pipeline is even further constrained as a result of ongoing employment challenges spurred on by the pandemic.

A global phenomenon known as “The Great Resignation” is underway which reflects a wave of workers who are strongly considering leaving their jobs in search for work that is more closely aligned with their interests with employers who provide flexible accommodations and serve a strong purpose. 

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Building Permits - September 2021The total value of building permits rose 4.3% to $10.1 billion in September, led by Ontario (+6.3%). Construction intentions in the residential sector were up 8.2%, while the non-residential sector decreased 3.2%.

On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), building permits increased 3.4% to $6.9 billion.

Ontario drives residential permits up

High-value permits for two new condo buildings valued at over $300 million in the cities of Mississauga and Toronto helped push Ontario's multi-family permits up 40.4% to $1.7 billion in September. 

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Gross domestic product by industry - August 2021Real gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.4% in August, led by increases in accommodation and food services, retail trade and transportation. The continued easing of public health restrictions and further reopening across the country increased demand across many close contact service industries.

Overall, 15 of 20 industrial sectors were up as growth in services-producing industries (+0.6%) more than offset a decline in goods-producing industries (-0.1%).


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Changing Scene

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Electrozad  has announced the following executive appointments, effective February 1st, 2022. ...
IMARK Canada announced that ASSA Industrial Supply has joined the organization effective January 1, ...
Atkore Inc. has announced the acquisition of Sasco Tubes & Roll Forming Inc., a Canadian ...
Craig Urie, Sales Manager at Nesco Inc., is pleased to announce that Kyle Scott has earned a ...
Arlington Industries is pleased to announce the appointment of Theovine as their new sales ...
Electro Federation Canada (EFC) is pleased to recognize the 2021 EFC Marketing Award ...
Sean Dunnigan, President of Techspan Industries Inc., is pleased to announce the appointment of ...
BCEA U40 group invites you to their Professional Development virtual series...     ...
Family Enterprise Canada is proud to announce Gerrie Electric Wholesale Limited is the Recipient of ...
AD’s Electrical-Canada Division virtually welcomed members and supplier partners for its five-day ...


AD GrowthAD’s Electrical-Canada Division virtually welcomed members and supplier partners for its five-day 2021 Virtual North American Meeting on Oct. 25 - 29, 2021 with the goal of facilitating strategic conversations that help the division devise new ways to stay ahead of the competition.

The event facilitated over 1,200 face-to-face meetings with 40 member companies and 62 supplier companies, cultivating relationship, allowing participants to share best practices and enabling open communication.


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EvolutionExpanding its North American footprint, leading control and automation manufacturer RTI today announced that it has named Evolution Home Entertainment Corp., a wholesale distributor of residential technology products, as the second RTI distribution partner for the Canadian market.

Evolution serves over 500 dealers across Canada, who now have the opportunity to get certified for the full line of RTI smart home control and automation products. With products shipping nationwide from its warehouse in Concord, Ontario, Evolution will also offer training and local dealer support to its dealers installing RTI systems.

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SignifyThird quarter 20211

• Signify's installed base of connected light points increased from 86 million in Q2 21 to 92 million in Q3 21

• Sales of EUR 1,643 million; Comparable Sales Growth of -4.8%, impacted by global supply chain disruptions

• Order book increased by 90% in Q3 21 vs. Q3 20

• LED-based sales represented 83% of total sales (Q3 20: 82%)

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Peers & Profiles

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 This past July, Kerith Richards, who has worked for Service Wire Company for the last seven ...
Illumisoft Lighting is an innovative company headquartered in Ottawa that focuses on suspended ...
Electrimat is an independent Quebec-owned company that has specialized for 40 years in the ...
In July, Eaton announced that Vice President, Channel – Electrical Sector, Matt Cleary would be ...
Mission Technical Solutions is a recently established sales agency founded by industry veteran ...
Omid Nadi, Trade Marketing Manager with Ledvance, is a Ryerson University grad coming out of their ...



Kerith RichardsBy Alyssa Kerslake

This past July, Kerith Richards, who has worked for Service Wire Company for the last seven years, was selected as one of tED Magazine's prestigious "30 under 35" winners. 

"I was so surprised and totally honored. It meant a lot to me that my boss, and my company, thought highly of me to nominate me - and then to be compared and chosen from the other surely incredible nominees was pretty cool, too," said Richards of earning the distinction. "I was running out of time, I'll be 35 at the end of this year, but I feel like I'm just getting started in this industry." 

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