Dec 10, 2020
By Carol McGlogan
The pandemic has given us reason to pause and evaluate everything we do. We have all been affected in our personal and professional lives, and it is during these times we realize family and community come first.
We know that EFC’s role is to bring the electrical industry closer together – and this pandemic has proven that there is no better time to come together.
In an effort to help members continually navigate market conditions, we regularly monitored the pulse of our industry through weekly surveys on supply and demand. Current results from this survey can be found online at EFC’s COVID-19 webpage, which also features best practices for business re-openings, employee support, and industry news on pandemic responses.
From the onset of this pandemic, EFC also raised the voice of the electrical industry by reaching out to every premier across Canada to advocate that our industry must be classified as an essential service. To amplify our impact, we joined 60 other associations in asking the federal government to step in with financial relief for industry members.
Our Board of Directors then took swift action to protect the safety of our members by moving, and then cancelling, our annual conference. Our meetings and events took on a fully virtual experience and our community underscored the importance of EFC’s membership through robust participation at all EFC meetings and virtual events.
Business insights through virtual experiences
EFC also examined what other programs we could provide to help members during this very difficult time. We immediately pivoted our education series to a free webinar format, focusing on topics that are most relevant to members, such as
• strategies for managing the workforce during COVID-19
• a two-part Economic Forecast series with special economist Maureen Farrow
• a leadership webinar by renowned speaker and author, Ron Tite, on how to navigate business from chaos to composure
• an EFC research webinar with PWC on securing talent for an emerging workforce
Our Future Forum virtual event challenged businesses on “Rethinking the Customer Experience” and our virtual Supply Chain conference, “Digital Pivot,” focused on how organizations can pivot their supply chains towards a digitized, automated enterprise to reach new service levels and lower costs. The “Rep of the Future” webinar provided insights on emerging requirements for sales organizations and how each member within the channel must evolve to thrive. And our “Electrical Playbook” training module gained traction as an important resource for onboarding and employee development programs.
We also aligned with key partners to strengthen the leverage EFC and our members have within other relevant communities. A new agreement with Standards Council of Canada outlines a workplan to promote participation in standardization strategies to foster competitiveness for Canada’s electrical manufacturing industry. To improve cybersecurity and competitiveness, our partnership with the CIO Strategy Council provides members with a platform to discuss issues of cybersecurity standardization and the security of digitized operations and supply chains. We also have a renewed workplan with IDEA to promote data synchronization within the industry as IDEA has expanded their content capabilities in French and English and have made the expanded content available at no extra charge.
As all these programs, partnerships and activities unfolded, it was still “business as usual” for EFC. Member participation in our business sections and network meetings were robust. EFC worked hard to provide value for all disciplines within our members’ workforce through our many networks: HR, Supply Chain, Marketing, Young Professionals and the newly formed Women’s Network. Our goal is to ensure that all members of the EFC community have a place to build industry relationships, gain knowledge and share best practices.
I have learned that through this pandemic, EFC has become more important than ever. Together, we have raised the voice of the industry, found community through our networks and business sections, and provided intelligence through our statistics and research programs, pulse surveys and webinar series.
We would like to thank all our members for their support of EFC and the electrical community. We proved that we are stronger together and our ability to adapt is admirable. We are confident we will see everyone again, in-person, in 2021.
Carol McGlogan is President & CEO, Electro-Federation Canada.