Electrical Business

Articles Training & Education
“Electrical Industry Playbook” addresses talent availability

They should come away with a “leg up” on understanding the world of bidding, identifying end users, generic specs, relationships among market partners, and more.


March 23, 2020
By Anthony Capkun


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Electro-Federation Canada says its membership has identified “talent availability” as “the top game changer affecting the industry”. To help address this issue, EFC launched an online training module entitled “Electrical Industry Playbook: An Introduction to the Market, its Players and the Business”.

EFC is a national, not-for-profit industry association representing over 220 member companies that manufacture, distribute, market and sell a range of electrical products in Canada. Its staff were kind enough to let me take a test drive of the online module, which also comes with several downloadable handouts, including a Glossary and Discussion Notes. (Thank you Carol and Swati!)

While experienced employees may glean something new, the information within the training module is primarily geared toward helping employees new to the electrical market (perhaps new to construction, too!) better navigate the industry.

In fact, I echo EFC’s sentiment when they say “This would be an excellent introduction to the industry for new employees as part of an orientation program”.

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And it’s largely immaterial to which department those new employees belong, be it inside/outside sales, marketing, quotations, customer service, etc… they should come away with a “leg up” on understanding the world of bidding, identifying end users, generic specs, relationships among market partners, and more.

This training module breaks down as follows:

• Chapter 1: The Electrical Ecosystem (market segments, channel players).
• Chapter 2: Project Types and the Bidding Process (the project and specification process for new construction; in-plant industrial automation; renovation market).
• Chapter 3: Selling through Distribution.

It dutifully provides succinct overviews of the market segments in which EFC members are engaged (e.g. commercial, retail, utility), and the various players found within. On this last part, I was pleased to see discussion of electrical contractors (of course!), but also EPCs, system integrators and ESCOs… even mass merchants and DIY retailers. While they aren’t EFC members, these players do exist and deserve discussion.

Every now and then, the module will conduct a brief quiz to ensure the learner has a grasp of key concepts. Nothing is too onerous, nor too challenging… just enough, one could argue, to give novices what they need to start building confidence in the industry (and to show they were paying attention!).

Upon completing the module, I can see how Chapters 1 and 2 could be easily appreciated by anyone new to the electrical market. Chapter 3 “Selling through Distribution”, however, is laser-focused on just that: it goes into great detail on the “bridge” role distributors play in the market, ways in which manufacturers can help their distributors, etc.

While Chapter 3 may be of interest to distributors, the material is perhaps more important to manufacturers who already sell through distribution, but especially to new manufacturers who wish to sell through distribution. Chapter 3 helps answer the question “As a manufacturer, what do I need to do to support my distributor partner and grow my business?”.

The 60-minute “Electrical Industry Playbook: An Introduction to the Market, its Players and the Business” is available in both English and French, and priced at $129.00.

And check out the introductory video, too.



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