Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

Reset Button

David Gordon

We’re at that time of year. The doldrums days of summer. The time when it gets hot and many people naturally become a little more “laisser faire.” When we use the excuse of mid year, summertime, the July 1 holiday, vacations or just being “too busy” as reasons why we need to keep things on autopilot.

But have you looked historically at what percentage of your business is conducted between January and June vs. July and December? For many distributors the answer is 45% vs. 55%. And for some, this year it could be 40/60, given the challenging first quarter, in order to achieve any growth.

Is it time to hit the reset button?

As we head into summer, consider:

• If you had a plan coming into this year, are you on track? If not, what needs to be adjusted?

• If joint plans were developed with manufacturers (or with your distributors, reps or salespeople), are they being implemented? Are you on track for achieving goals and rebate objectives? If not, is it time for some adjustments? Are you confident that your existing plan will deliver, or are you “hoping” it will (and you know what they say about hope being your strategy)?

• Are your salespeople on track? Do they need to reset, or identify, some target accounts for Q3, and then reload for Q4?

• In purchasing, are you taking advantage of quarterly/mid year supplier return policies to right size inventory and minimize excess and obsolete inventory (and maximize the benefits you’ve earned from a manufacturer)?

• Is your marketing department reconsidering their initiatives and identifying shorter-term strategies that can impact this year’s business?

• Do you have scheduled mid year reviews with your salespeople and key suppliers?

• Are margins challenged? Have you reviewed pricing to see where you can get some quick benefits and re-evaluated your SPA utilization? Speaking of SPAs, are you current on filing for claims?

• Is now the time to be opportunistic in expanding your sales organization? Two reasons: increase your coverage and prepare for next generation. Hiring now enables you to train them in your systems / methodology through the remainder of the year while possible reaching new customers and reassigning under-performing (or lacklustre) accounts that your existing sales organization doesn’t have time to reach.

• Consider reviewing your information and look at

o customers who are growing at a faster pace … why are they?

o identifying product categories where you are underperforming or overperforming? Why? What could be rectified / emulated?

o identifying customers whose stock business is growing at a accelerated rate? What could be emulated with others? How could you further help them?

o whether your team aware of supplier new products? How could you better promote these?

o what services are under promoted to your customer base?

o which distributors are making the market for you vs. being happy with the tide? Focus a little more effort on those who proactively support you … in essence “double down on winners.”

o whether your salespeople carry too many accounts. Force them to stop calling on, or servicing, accounts less than $x (for some companies this is $25,000, some $50,000, some $100,000) and ensure that they spend more time with their top 5-10 customers (maybe less). Experience has shown that less can deliver more.

Have every major department, and salesperson, should develop a 1 page (max) second half plan consisting of one paragraph, providing a first half analysis / evaluation and the remainder focusing on second half objectives and initiatives with defined timelines, responsibility assignments and support needs.

It’s easy to keep the ship steady, put the company on summertime autopilot, get caught up in the heat of activity and say, “it’s summertime and everyone’s too busy,” and then come back in September and say, “We need to start thinking of 2016.″ Where will six months have gone?

Sometimes staying the course is the right course. Sometimes you need to take the fork in the road to reach your destination.

If not now, when? Now is the time to re-energize plans and your team to ensure you finish the year strong and meet your objectives. Odds are your competition will take the summer off.

And sometimes it helps to have a 3rd party perspective for a day …

Should you do a mid year review within your company and hit “reset”? 

Perhaps powering down for a 1/2 day to a day to hit “reset” can help you adjust and gain a different perspective. After all, isn’t that how we diagnose many tech problems… push the reset button or power down?


David Gordon is President of Channel Marketing Group. Channel Marketing Group helps manufacturers and distributors in the construction and industrial trades generate ideas to accelerate revenue through strategic planning, marketing planning and coaching and market research initiatives. He can be reached at 919.488.8635.

More in CEW by David Gordon:

Innovation Takes Culture, Not Only Books: Part 1

Innovation Takes Culture, Not Only Books: Part 2

The Amazon Supply Threat

Selling Lighting or Selling Data?

Are You Uncomfortable? Good.

10 Tips for Taking Share

Boosting Performance at Your Webstore

Amazon Upgrades from Supply to Business

Evolving the Role of Marketing Within Your Distributorship

Strategies in Light Observations: Distributor LED Opportunities

Are You Ready To Sell LEDs Differently?

16 Distribution Industry Trends for 2016

Lighting the Way to Demand Creation

Sales Making Excuses?

Converting Emails Into Sales Through Thoughtful Communications

Learning from Amazon and Generating Ideas

Turning Your Staff into a Competitive Advantage

Internet is Impersonal

Sales and Marketing - How Can Joint Sales Calls Become More Effective

Creating Demand to Drive Profitable Growth

Is Your Company a Kool-Aid Drinker?

What Manufacturers (and Their Reps) Don't Know About Distributor Joint Sales Calls

What is Marketing's ROI?

Not All Is Meant for Online

Point of Sale… Profits Lost?





 

 

Statistics CanadaThere were slightly fewer active businesses (-0.1%; -1,208) in May compared with a month earlier, marking the first time since May 2020 that the number of closures outpaced openings.

The number of business openings decreased by 11.5%, the largest percentage decrease since December 2018 and the second consecutive month with negative growth (Chart 1). The number of business closures declined by 2.9%, following a 2.5% increase in April. The decline in the number of business openings in May was largely driven by fewer entrants (-16.4%). The number of entrants in May was below the 2015-to-2019 average for the first time since August 2020. 

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488 Days of COVIDBy 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.

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The study Trends in Canadian business debt financing: Before and during COVID-19 looks at the types of credit debt private non-financial corporations incurred prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic, and examines how they used that liquidity to weather the economic turbulence during this period.

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Investment in Building Construction - May 2021Investment in building construction cooled slightly in May, decreasing 1.9% to $19.4 billion. This was the first drop in seven months. Residential construction investment (-2.7%) was down for the first time since April 2020, while non-residential construction increased slightly.

On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), investment in building construction declined 2.7% to $14.8 billion in May.

 

 

 

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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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Signify“In the second quarter we saw an acceleration of the pace of recovery in comparison to the first three months of the year,” says CEO Eric Rondolat. “We successfully executed our strategy as demand for our connected lighting offers and our growth platforms remained strong.”

The consumer segment held its momentum and demand for conventional products proved resilient. The professional lighting segment showed sequential improvements, while still impacted by both extended lockdowns and supply constraints. Overall, we managed to improve the operating margin by 190 basis points and generated a solid free cash flow. 

 

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Adrian ThomasSchneider Electric Canada, together with the France Canada Chamber of Commerce Ontario (FCCCO) is proud to announce Adrian Thomas as the newly elected President of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in Canada (EUCCAN). Thomas, who currently serves as the country president of Schneider Electric Canada is entrusted with continuing the growth of EUCCAN by reinforcing transatlantic cooperation between the European and Canadian business communities.  “I am deeply honoured for the opportunity to join EUCCAN as their new President and build on the growth they’ve experienced in recent years,” says Adrian Thomas, Country President of Schneider Electric Canada. 

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Agents of ChangeAgents of Change is an event for stakeholders from Canada's electricity and beyond to build capacities in diversity, equity and inclusion.

Agents of Change is a one-day event focused on equipping attendees with the tools they need to address the challenges under-represented groups face in the workplace. Women, Indigenous people, racialized people, persons with disabilities, LGBQ+, gender diverse people and newcomers to Canada are under-represented in electricity and often face systemic barriers. We have the power to change this disparity and transform our sector into a paragon of equity.

 

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Flemming Jensen, Jason Samuelian, and John ClancyLED lighting solutions manufacturer Espen Technology has announced three changes to its sales management team.


Flemming Jensen (left), previously was Vice President of the Central and South Regions, has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing. Flemming brings over 40 years of industry experience in the distribution, ESCO, and agent markets. He will focus on continuing Espen’s top line growth, in the coming years.

 


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Edison ReportEdisonReport has announced their 5th Annual Lifetime Achievement Awards.  These Awards will be presented the Tuesday evening, 26 OCT before LightFair begins on Wednesday, 27 OCT.

Judges for 2021 were Paul Pompeo, Nancy Clanton, and Donny Wall.  Clanton stated, “Selecting individuals for this award was extremely rewarding especially in identifying the leaders and innovators, including world class lighting designers and researchers, that truly have made a tremendous positive impact in our lighting industry.”

 

 

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Peers & Profiles

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Illumisoft Lighting is an innovative company headquartered in Ottawa that focuses on suspended ...
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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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