Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

January 31, 2017 

Electrical distribution companies operating in British Columbia will continue to get larger while most smaller independents will gradually disappear, predicted Art Reid, manager, B.C. District, Wesco Westinghouse Sales & Distribution Co. of Burnaby.

In fact, he pointed out, there are no small independents left in British Columbia. He believed Quebec is the only province where many small independents continue to exist.

Mr. Reid said distributors will have to carry “a total package of products” in the future, providing their customers with one-stop shopping. These broadly based distributors will be able to serve several markets: the residential for small contractors, and the building and industrial for larger contractors.

These wide-ranging distributors will rely heavily on manufacturers to cope with the large amount of highly specialized technical knowledge they need to adequately serve customers. The manufacturers, however, will need to employ specialists who “eat, sleep and breathe one product line” and always make themselves available to back up their distributors.

Naturally, distributors will have to upgrade their own personnel as well, said Mr. Reid. “The level of expertise of the inside sales force will have to be improved over the years.” While he agreed that most selling will be done over the phone, he argued that personal sales calls will still be needed to some extent, even though they are very expensive, because the customer wants something of a personal relationship.

Mr. Reid envisioned major changes occurring, because of electronics, in the control and motor areas where silicon control rectifiers will replace conventional motor starters.

 

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With Liteline Head coach Steve Silverstein behind the bench, the team at Liteline recently took to the ice in a Toronto hockey tournament to support an annual charity event Skate for Sarah, raising money for SickKids, One Match and JCC Chai Sports.

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Overall, the industrial decline significantly impacted distributors and manufacturers. And a key product category, industrial automation and control, was the most impacted. But according to manufacturers and distributors in many parts of North America, the industrial market appears to be turning. Growth, compared to last year, is coming back. Some is due to increased investment in energy projects.

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