Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

July 21, 2021

By John Kerr

Looking back to early 2020, the industry entered the first quarter with a sense of a solid year ahead, one that would easily eclipse 2019, and then in mid-March the brakes went on and relatively quickly.

On both the supplier and distribution sides, many took a reactionary stance and then quietly planned their next moves. Thinking differently, adding stock and doubling down on inventory, looking at alternative shipping methods and figuring out how to stay close to the customer are among the attributes of those that pivoted well and have come out of the dark in great shape.

This time has prompted new thoughts and new mindsets, and like the financial setbacks of years before perhaps this time we may remember and be managed by this more than ever before. Moving to adopt online and digital strategies were quickly the rage. In fact, on one day alone in late June 2020 we counted 36 webinars taking place. Many suppliers and distributors added to their marcom budgets, and the ad spend increased across the board replacing travel and entertainment expenses with good old fashioned marketing methods that drove awareness.

Perhaps the COVID era will be defined as the period where we accelerated, we moved, pivoted and made it work for the most part salvaging a year of anticipated prosperity into only a nominal loss. Some firms came out of this much stronger with gains in share, awareness, and preference.

Commitment to marketing seems to be an underlying strength. Those businesses that understood this as part of their company DNA have grown coming through this. They continued their messaging and leveraged integrated components to get there. Less on promotions and push button tactics but more about unique product or service features as lead tactics, and because of this when they did add a webinar or virtual event they had great traction. I have two key observations from this time:

• those that continued to market, promote, communicate and build bridges to their clients are winning today with big time gains in revenues

• there was an opportunity lost among those that invested so heavily in e-commerce and digital interfaces built around tactics to convert who they knew and not gain new customers.

The e-commerce platforms serving the Canadian market are good, some short on attributed data and product descriptions but for the most part the customer experience is world class. While COVID accelerated it for some, the others who already had this built failed to pounce on the e-commerce opportunity that is approaching $800 million this year. Now do not get me wrong. There were some huge winners here but they all shared in gaining and valuing new customers as much as converting current ones to online buying. What COVID did is reinforce the fact customers control when they engage, and in today’s environment that could be anytime.

This brings me to sales teams. In this time the debate of the role of salespeople has been front and centre. What is often forgotten here is the reality that clients rely on loyalty more often than not and those relationships built on years of effort matter. What’s often forgotten too is that people buy, companies don’t. There is a big but here though. COVID has accelerated the need to invest in more technical support in sales ones that on demand have the answers the end users and customers need immediately. We have spoken on this point for some time and the COVID period has once and for all driven home the fact mores sales support and technical expertise will also win the day moving forward.

Every previous financial set back has its lessons, many of them long forgotten, but this time perhaps because of the severity, speed and time perhaps these 488 days we have spent on the edge the lessons learned will be remembered and acted on for years to come.

John Kerr is Publisher of CEW; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash https://unsplash.com/

Swati Vora-PatelBy Swati Vora-Patel

The electrical market is at the helm of innovation — from robotics and automation products that support advanced manufacturing to smart technology in homes and businesses, our industry leads innovation and competitiveness in Canada.

With advanced electrical and automation products shaping how we work, live and play, our industry is continually at the forefront of designing technologies that meet the needs of Canadians today.

 

 

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Merertu Mogga FrissaBy Merertu Mogga Frissa

Someone once asked me why we struggle with diversity and inclusion in Canada. My response was that we have never taken the time to discuss the value of both as a society. While Canada identifies itself as a multicultural country, the diverse make-up of the population itself is made to exist in a vacuum and outside of what multiculturalism seeks to achieve.

This oversight forces the discussion about racism to exist within the limits of communities impacted by it while completely removing it from conversations at social and institutional levels.

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Business Openings - March 2021In March 2021, the number of business openings increased by 1.6%, as public health restrictions were less restrictive in many provinces compared with earlier in the year. After rising steadily over the previous three months, the number of business closures edged down 0.7% in March. The number of active businesses in March was 1.3% below the level observed before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decrease in business closures from February to March 2021 was relatively widespread across provinces and territories, with the exception of Yukon, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, where closures increased slightly.

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Catalyst For ChangeBy John Kerr

At this time of year my colleagues and I here at Kerrwil are in the final throes of producing Pathfinder, the annual benchmarking report we publish in collaboration with Electro-Federation Canada (EFC).

After reviewing the changes and the recent acquisitions and moves of the past year through the lens of COVID, I share below some notes on milestones of the past year. They provide context for what I see as a new direction the industry may be taking.

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David GordonBy David Gordon

As we transition from the pandemic many wonder about the future of sales, meaning, “What will the sales process (sales model) look like in the future,” and, essentially, “What is the role of / for outside salespeople?”

In reality, this question was asked pre-pandemic as management lamented that Sales wasn’t being as productive as they desired. Companies are always seeking to improve their processes, whether it is having salespeople better penetrate accounts, identify and call on new customers, use a different (new?) sales method...
 

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Changing Scene

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Schneider Electric Canada, together with the France Canada Chamber of Commerce Ontario ...
Agents of Change is an event for stakeholders from Canada's electricity and beyond to build ...
Schneider Electric is introducing a personalized digital experience for logged in customers ...
Effective August 1st, 2021, Resilient Sales Corp, led by its Principal Sean Atkinson, will serve as ...
Innovair Corporation is a major supplier of air conditioning and heat pump equipment in Latin ...
Service Wire is proud to announce that Kerith Richards has been selected as one of tED Magazine’s ...
Stanpro (Standard Products Inc.) announced the start of its 60th anniversary celebrations. ...
Calling all Members of Electro-Federation Canada! Showcase your marketing programs and demonstrate ...
AD’s electrical team hosted the 2021 Virtual AD Spring Network Meeting April 21-22, welcoming over ...
Arkadiusz Turoczy has joined ECS Electrical Cable Supply Ltd. as the company’s ECS team as Regional ...
 

 

AD Spring Network Meeting  AD’s electrical team hosted the 2021 Virtual AD Spring Network Meeting April 21-22, welcoming over 300 member attendees from U.S., Canada and Mexico.

While the meeting itself took place over two days, AD hosted weekly strategic supplier webinars for several weeks leading up to the meeting, where AD members heard updates from supplier partners on market conditions, plans to win with AD and opportunities available in areas like training, unique products and AD program participation and engagement.

 

 

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Arkadiusz TuroczyArkadiusz Turoczy has joined ECS Electrical Cable Supply Ltd. as the company’s ECS team as Regional Manager of the Quebec region, reporting to Rick Vascotto, Executive Vice-President Sales, Eastern Canada.

Arkadiusz will be responsible for leading the sales organization in the Quebec region, working closely with Marie-Claude Marois and Rick Vascotto, to continue growing market share in the Quebec region and building business. Arkadiusz has industry experience working with Future Electronics as a sales manager and most recently as an international account manager. He will be located at his home office in Montreal.

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ABB RailWith passengers' safety, reliability and sustainability at the forefront, ABB delivered its traction power substation, the electrical heart of the Finch West LRT in northwest Toronto.

In collaboration with CYMI, a Grupo ACS company specializing in rail electrification systems, ABB successfully installed the traction power substation of the Finch West Light Rail Transit (LRT) project. After achieving this important milestone, ABB is on track to deliver the balance of the traction power substations that will ensure continued support for the new LRT line in 2023.

 

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EFCRegister today for this whole new virtual experience, featuring dynamic speakers, sought-after keynotes, concurrent learning tracks, expanded programming and more.

Learn from a dynamic group of speakers about change management strategies and execution, risk management and forecasting, and diversity and inclusion practices.

 

 

 

 

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Peers & Profiles

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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 ...

 

 

Brett NicholdsBy Blake Marchand

Illumisoft Lighting is an innovative company headquartered in Ottawa that focuses on suspended ceiling troffer LED fixtures that utilize optical film technology to achieve a high level of performance and efficiency.

Their flagship product is the EcoWing, which is available for new construction and fixture in fixture retrofits. Their primary application target is office buildings, hospitals, and dealerships. Recent projects include the Department of National Defense building in Ottawa, AMPED Sports Lab, Queensway Carleton Hospital, and Surgenor Automotive Group.

 

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Jeffrey MoyleBy Line Goyette

“The ongoing integration of Rexel Utility into our Canadian business platforms has underscored our responsibility as an organization to find creative solutions for today’s challenges, as well as to prepare for tomorrow’s opportunities.”

This quote from Jeffrey caught my attention. Vice President, Supplier & Digital Strategy at Rexel Canada Electrical Inc., Jeffrey has extensive experience in the industry and is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario with a Master’s in Business Administration, focusing on internarial leadership.

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