Canadian Electrical Wholesaler
Published by Kerrwil Publications Limited with the support of Electro-Federation Canada (EFC)
Cooper Industries

Message From The Editor

Are you homesick for difficult economic times?

Of course not, but I’m returning to posing a question at the beginning of my editorial commentary because the challenges of workforce renewal discussed in the last issue helped fill my Inbox with really interesting email. I always read with pleasure messages from readers. Do not hesitate to continue the dialogue. The creativity and resources needed to distinguish ourselves from the competition and ensure success in times of economic prosperity seem to be radically different from those to ensure a business survives in difficult times. Marketing experts compete with their suggestions in these periods of global competition, and unusual and often surprising mergers. A lot of reading on this topic in this issue. Why would we be homesick for difficult economic times? It seems to me that then it was easier to predict the ups and downs of a political nature. Good reading!

Line Goyette, Managing Editor


Changing Scene


Study Points to a New Way of Doing Business

By Rick McCarten
Rick McCarten A new study released by the National Bank of Canada explores the success of family-run businesses. Over a 13-year term, the 43 family businesses examined in the study saw a return of 206%, versus corporations which saw a return of 133%. This information shows that contrary to popular belief, businesses might continue to consolidate into the corporate world, but more agile, long-term thinking businesses may be the new order of the day. This is not just an example of small versus large; the difference might be more subtle than the size of a company. A typical CEO in a corporate company is five years. The length of time runs down the entire tenure of management and up to the board of directors. Read More


Tips for Distributors to Improve Gross Margin

By David Gordon
David Gordon For many, corporate success is typically defined as sales success, as sales revenue is an easily identifiable and discussed/shared metric. But in a quest to grow sales, and due to competitive pressures, gross margins for many distributors have eroded, making gross profit dollars more scarce for investment back into the business. And with operating costs increasing and investment requests accelerating, finding ways to increase your gross margin to impact net profitability is critical for long-term success. Recently I participated in an interview with Tony Corley from Epicor and Jim Lucy from Electrical Wholesaling. The topic was "8 Habits of High Gross Margin Distributors." Tony has written a white paper highlighting his observations of strategies that help distributors in their quest to improve profitability… essentially a roadmap. His eight habits include… Read More

Human Resources

7 Keys to a Successful Drug & Alcohol Policy

By Wayne St. John
7 Keys to a Successful Drug & Alcohol Policy Your drug and alcohol policy sets the stage for a successful fit-for-duty program that helps companies meet their safety goals. Having a well-documented policy provides a framework for dealing with the difficult, and often times sensitive, issues surrounding substance abuse, medical conditions, and related stress and fatigue. So what makes a good policy? CannAmm Occupational Testing Services has over 20 years of experience partnering with companies from many industries across Canada. We have witnessed 7 keys that our partners with successful policies share. They include… Read More


Marketing 101: What Canada's Best Electrical Marketers Are Doing!

By John Kerr
John Kerr As we enter into the fall budgeting for next year, many firms are discussing budget allocations and discussions as to what tools to use to build the marketing plan. Today too, challenges from the corporate team demand more and more analytics and return. In the current period recently, many companies and their marketing teams are relying on softer returns around brand value to try and demonstrate a marketing return, but many of these measures don't support the brand but rather the tactic. Social media strategies can work but in the B2B space merely reviewing numbers alone is a dangerous path. The true return on the marketing initiatives is better measured alongside business driven ones. Read More

One Particular Counter

Graybar Canada Kitchener Branch and Graybar Energy Certified as ISO 9001: 2015

Graybar Canada Kitchener Branch and Graybar Energy Graybar Canada's Kitchener, Ontario Branch has demonstrated its commitment to provide top-quality products and service by upgrading their Quality Management System certification to ISO 9001: 2015. Graybar Energy, a subsidiary of Graybar Canada based in Kitchener, also benefits from the certification bringing their line of energy saving products to a whole new level of quality. Read More


Value of Building Permits Issued Declines 0.1% in June

Value of Building Permits Issued Declines 0.1% in June Canadian municipalities issued $8.2 billion worth of building permits in July, down 0.1% from June. The value of permits for residential buildings edged down 0.3% to $5.3 billion in July. The decline was mainly the result of lower construction intentions for multi-family dwellings, down 1.1% to $2.9 billion. A decrease in British Columbia (-$185 million) offset gains in seven provinces. The value of building permits in the single-family component was up 0.6% to $2.4 billion. Four provinces registered increases, led by Ontario and Manitoba. Read More

Survey Says

Electrical Distributor Branch Distribution by Region

Electrical Distributor Branch Distribution by Region Ontario has nearly twice as many branches as any other region. Quebec comes in second, followed by Western Canada. Read More

From Our Last Issue

From Our Last Issue
  • Competing for Talent: The New Frontier!
    Since joining EFC last April, our team has spent much time engaging with our membership on what their top game changers are in their respective segments: new competition, digitalization of the supply chain, emerging technologies, and talent availability top the list. We have led research programs and put in place various committees to address these challenges, which offer recommendations and best practices to help members navigate their way to new frontiers. Finding talent is a key area of focus for our members. EFC's Board of Directors recognizes the talent issue and understands that the "faces" within our industry must change to remain relevant.

  • Selling Yourself Short? How to Stand Out Without Lowering Your Price
    Is what you do for a living perceived by potential customers as being a mere commodity, more or less the same as others in your profession? When that happens, customers revert to the easiest differentiator — price. The outlook gets worse as you realize that somewhere in the global economy there is likely someone offering similar products or services for a cheaper price. And with the Internet it's easier for your customers to find them. What's most frustrating is when you know your products and services are indeed different, but customers don't seem to get that and put you in the same category as everyone else. The good news is you can change customer perceptions by changing the way you describe what you do.

  • Giving a Voice to Young Professionals in the Industry
    Three years ago, Electro-Federation Canada established the Young Professionals Network with the goals of giving young individuals in the industry a place to share ideas and learn, get to know their peers, and give back to the community. We now have more than 300 members across Canada and are continuing to grow every day. The wealth of knowledge and passion these young individuals have is contagious and we wanted to be able to showcase this for all to see. If you have something to share with your industry peers, this is your opportunity to be a part of an exciting new project.

  • Recollections: J.E. Milburn, Honourary CEDA Life Member
    Prior to the late 1950s there was little if any involvement in CEDA by the so-called "national suppliers." They felt that the organization was more an association of local and provincial independently owned suppliers. It was not until the late '50s when Canadian Westinghouse Co. entered the supply end of the industry (and became an active member on a national basis of CEDA in 1958), that CGE and Northern became active also.

In The Next Issue

What's Hindering Your Marketing Department And Inhibiting Your Growth?

The Electrical Stock Market

Track the stock market performance of 25 publicly traded electrical equipment suppliers and electrical wholesalers. Updated weekly.

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Time for a Change? New Job Openings

Access the latest job and career opportunities in Canada's electrical industry today. New listings posted regularly. View Current

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Published by Kerrwil Publications Limited with the support of Electro-Federation Canada (EFC)
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