Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

 

Dec 10, 2018

Sean BernardBy Sean Bernard

The stigma behind dealing with contractors has forever been “they are a tough group to build a relationship with” and figuring out the best approach to growing business with them. While there has never been a magic pill for solving this challenge, over the years there have been many extremely successful sales representatives from the manufacturer and distributor sectors who have been able to grow their respective businesses to extremely impressive levels. This did not happen through clairvoyance and luck but through hard work and dedication to their craft.

With that said, the contractor market is evolving. Much like the rest of the industry, change is inevitable and this important segment is not immune. Contractors are looking for operational effectiveness to work in new ways, from the evolution of low voltage and networking to revolutionizing the way they purchase materials (as a great source of reference, please see the latest research reports prepared by Electro Federation Canada at www.electrofed.com). Along with this change goes the way that manufacturer and distributor representatives need to interact with their contractor customers. 

From the distributor’s perspective, the evolution of products within the electrical industry and the speed at which these changes are happening create huge challenges. First and foremost, the purchasing decisions from a stock perspective have become the single greatest hurdle facing distributors across the country. The decision-making process to decide which products to put into inventory to best serve their contractor base and when to do so has quickly become a daily struggle. Gone are the days where rough-in products, wire, lighting, distribution equipment and tools all fell within the classification of “commodity product.” While some of those product segments still might reside in that classification, the vast majority are changing so rapidly along with technological advancements that making the right decision at the right time becomes increasingly difficult. On top of the stocking issue, ensuring that their salespeople are armed with the most current information about the products lines that they carry becomes a an almost daily barrage of new product information that needs to be conveyed to their contractor customer base. 

Manufacturers are facing similar challenges in their approach to the contractor market. Within the lighting segment for example, the evolution of LEDs and the speed at which R&D departments are helping to advance this technology has resulted in various problems which unfortunately are self-inflicted. All manufacturers are in a race to develop fixtures and lamps with the highest possible lumens at the lowest possible wattage. With the advancements that continue to be achieved in this area, the end result creates issues with product becoming obsolete shortly after launch to the market. When looking at manufacturers in the electrical distribution and controls market, the same challenges with product advancements are present within these segments. From home automation (5 years ago, did you think it would be the norm to be able to control your thermostat, open your garage or turn on your lights simply by saying “Alexa….?”) to advancements in breaker technology such as GFCI and AFCI integration, these segments are certainly not immune to the constantly evolving innovations that we see and face in the electrical industry on a daily basis. 

This flood of new product development makes the relationship between contractors and manufacturer and distributor representatives particularly challenging in today’s environment. Even though a lot of these innovations, from installation process to product features and benefits, are made with the goal of making the contractors’ life easier, the simple fact is that much like the rest of us, they are struggling to keep up. 

The contractor market is evolving with all of these changes. For example, over the last few years we have seen a lot of contractors get into the network cabling and integration segment as more and more products require network connection along with power connection. This has been done by internal department development and also through acquisition. Along with these initiatives, contractors have been taking a long look at their organizational structure, bringing in new team members with specialty focus areas to ensure that they are current with today’s demands and expectations from end users. 

The feedback from the contractor segment is that they certainly recognize their need to progress along with the industry. That being said, they will be relying on their distributor and manufacturer representatives to be one of their key sources of information. As a result, manufacturers and distributors are evolving their recruitment strategies, looking more and more for sales representative candidates that have technology backgrounds/education. The ideal sales representatives for the future will have a balance of technological knowledge and relationship building skills. Gone are the days when sales representatives would simply earn business by being a nice person. Contractors expect more today. They expect these representatives to bring expertise and solution-based information to the table to make the contractors’ job easier and more efficient.

In the end, it is imperative that these reps are providing accurate and timely information to the appropriate people within the contractor organization. Navigating this labyrinth of new and current product information and the needs/expectations of the contractors is not easy and will continue to be difficult. However, those who can provide real solutions to their contractor accounts will see positive results. Through progressive strategies like Electro-Federation Canada’s Young Professionals Network (YPN), initiatives like those listed above are being undertaken to help shape the face of the next generation of industry professionals. 

For more on YPN, please visit www.electrofed.com/ypn.

Sean Bernard is Ontario Sales Manager for Standard Products Inc. and Ontario Chair and National Vice-Chair of EFC’s Young Professionals Network. Sean is a graduate of Durham College’s Sports Management program and holds a certificate in Distribution Management from Texas A&M University. He is in his 12th year in the electrical industry and has worked in the manufacturing and distributor sectors.

 


 Salex Expands to Southwestern Ontario                                                                   

LDS Salex 12 175

Salex continues to support the Southwestern Ontario market with representation of key market leaders in lighting and controls, including its partnership with Axis Lighting, Beghelli Canada and OSRAM.

Axis Lighting is an innovative, forward-thinking manufacturer delivering high-performance LED luminaires for general, ambient and task lighting in office, commercial and institutional spaces. One of their leading-edge developments includes Stencil. Stencil brings together lighting segments and connectors called Hubs, the building blocks for creating forms and patterns of all sizes. 

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Changing Scene

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Schneider Electric announced today the promotion of Adrian Thomas to country ...
Mark your calendars for Nov. 24-25 and get ready for a virtual trade show and amazing technical ...
Join Schneider Electric live on November 10th for their virtual event as industry leaders ...
The Alberta Electrical Alliance have partnered with Mansfield Technical Services to provide ...
InfraCanada / InfraQuebec is an annual series of user group meetings across Canada for FLIR and ITC ...
ESA’s response team has been working diligently to address the emerging issues. We are moving into ...


The Jaibot executes its tasks based on building information modeling (BIM) data. The robot is a completely cordless and easy-to-use system that doesn’t require expert skills. It locates itself accurately indoors, drills the holes dust-controlled and finally marks them according to the trade. 

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LDS IESO retrofit 400Two pioneering greenhouse growers are testing energy-efficiency technologies in the Windsor-Essex region in an effort to support local economic growth. As significant expansion of Ontario’s greenhouse sector increases the need for electricity, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) has been working with communities on solutions to ensure continued electricity reliability and cost-effectiveness.

Supported by the IESO’s Grid Innovation Fund, the pilot projects are a response to consultations with communities, the greenhouse sector, local utilities and other sector partners, to integrate innovative thinking and explore new solutions beyond conventional electricity infrastructure.

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EIN AEA virtual 400Mark your calendars for Nov. 24-25 and get ready for a virtual trade show and amazing technical presentations. AEA, the exhibitors and presenters are so excited to present this event to the entire province of Alberta.

Attendees will have easy access to virtual booths with an opportunity to have their questions answered by qualified people, and win some prizes throughout the days at both the trade show Virtual Floor and by attending the seminars.

 

Go HERE to register and for the full event details

 

 


 



Lighting ControlsBy Jeremy Day

Building a control system for a modern lighting installation can seem like an impossibly complex task. To simplify it, a systematic approach to understanding the needs of the design, facility, and user can be employed. In this white paper, we aim to define the questions one must answer to construct an appropriate control system.

First, and perhaps counterintuitively, one must start with the control narrative. A lighting programming and control narrative is a document that is essential to coordinate the design/construction process with a fully realized final architectural product. 

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Terry BeckerBy Terry Becker

Changes in the CSA Z462 Workplace electrical safety standard are slowing down. Good news! The 2021 edition will see significant reorganization of content in Clause 4.1, changes to existing annexes, some new annexes and a significant change to the arc flash PPE category method of determining “additional protective measures” for a work task’s arc flash risk assessment are included in the 2021 edition.

CSA Z462 2021 edition will not be 100% technically harmonized with the 2021 edition of NFPA 70E...


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Product News

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The AutomationDirect lineup of tools and test equipment now includes digital multimeters, clamp-on ...
The NX Room Controller is the central component of the NX room control solution. Used individually ...
The COHEN single pendants add a modern industrial aesthetic to your indoors that is meant to last ...
Shat-R-Shield's Correctional Cell Fixture is designed to withstand extreme abuse by using materials ...
Universal Lighting Technologies, Inc., a member of the Panasonic family of companies, recently ...
The wall sconce design was inspired by the Infinity Modern Pendant.  This version is wall ...
High Output LED PAR Replacement Lamps directly replace high-wattage incandescent PAR lamps at a ...
Easily create continuous rows of light with the Contractor Select™ RLNK by Lithonia Lighting® by ...
Pow-R-Command PRC750E controller is suitable for lighting control and plug load control. It offers ...
Intermatic's Smart Guard® Whole House Surge Protective Device provides coverage of your ...


 

Shat-R-Shield Ironclad VR ProShat-R-Shield's Correctional Cell Fixture is designed to withstand extreme abuse by using materials that are virtually indestructible. Built with 1/2" thick 304 Stainless Steel and a cast .400" thick diffused lens, this light fixture is built to withstand hard/repetitive impacts and its tight design offers no point of entry.

The Ironclad® Vandal-Resistant (VR Pro) fixture uses an LED high efficiency light engine with a cool light that simulates daylight. The incorporated count light LED module can be turned on and off. Tested to Canadian and US standards by Underwriters' Laboratories, this fixture carries a cULus rating.

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M12™ Heated TOUGHSHELL™ Jacket KitOur heated TOUGHSHELL™ jacket is powered by our powerful M12™ REDLITHIUM™ batteries. Each heated jacket uses carbon fiber heating elements to create and distribute heat to your chest, back and front hand pockets. A one-touch LED controller heats up the battery heated jacket to three heat settings, creating a comfortable heat for any environment or weather.

This MILWAUKEE® heated jacket has a new Quick-Heat function that allows you to feel heat three times faster than our previous jackets and market competitors. 

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Peers & Profiles

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For more than a century, ABB has been investing in Canadian technologies and products to support ...
Mackenzie Gillan, a bright young lady from Baysville, Ontario, tells us about how she learned ...
Energy Efficient Lighting is a LED lighting manufacturer with nearly 30 years of industry ...
Dee Durant is an industrial electrician apprentice attending Conestoga College and an Ambassador ...
ECAO recently launched a new program called Future Leaders Advisory Council (FLAC). Their inaugural ...
At 14, Tom Miguel was sitting in the counselor’s office of Silverthorn Collegiate Institute in ...
Meredith Halfpenny is a Wind Site Technician with Boralex where she inspects, maintains, and ...
Rutul Bhavsar is a final year Electrical Engineering student at Mohawk College. He recently ...
Shannon Tymosko is a first-year apprentice with IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical ...
ELG Electric is an electrical contractor based out of Goderich, Ontario serving the area’s ...


Kenzie GillanBy Sarah Pickard

Mackenzie Gillan, a bright young lady from Baysville, Ontario, tells us about how she learned to love the electrical trade in high school, and how that path has carried her forward to unexpected places and new heights—literally. Gillan is set to begin a Powerline Technician Apprenticeship with Hydro One, and as she explains below, she had some interesting experiences during two college co-op placements.

While her career has just begun, Gillian is already active in the broader industry as an advocate for women, working as an ambassador for KickAss Careers, Women of Powerline Technicians, and Women in Renewable Energy (WiRE).

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ABBFor more than a century, ABB has been investing in Canadian technologies and products to support the development of local businesses.

Canada has been known around the world for its delicious maple syrup and warm winter coats. But it is also a place for innovation, certainly for technology leader ABB, which has partnered with several Canadian customers to foster industrial transformation and manufacture products that suit their specific needs for over a century. Across Canada, ABB experts build the most trusted products in North America.

 

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