Canadian Electrical Industry News Week


Tim Macdonald


Tim MacDonald joined his family’s business, Ideal Supply, as a full-time employee in 1981. He worked in multiple branch locations, starting on the counter before progressing through various management positions. He has served as president for the past 25 years.

An Ontario full-line supply electrical distributor, Ideal Supply offers inventory for the industrial, safety, electrical, new energy, automation, and data comm sectors. They are also NAPA’s largest auto parts distributor in Canada.

MacDonald, along with his brother and sister, made the decision to sell the business in 2016 to Groupe Deschenes Inc, “another great Canadian family led business,” he commented, “I stayed on as president and continue to enjoy my role.”

The company, founded in 1926, began as a manufacturer for bread-moulding machines. The company evolved over the years and began transitioning into its modern form after being purchased by John H. MacDonald in 1968.  John Sr. would expand the company’s automotive offering and branched into electrical supplies for contractors and industry, while shifting from retail towards wholesale. Headquartered in Listowel, Ideal Supply now has 32 branches across Ontario.

In our interview with Tim MacDonald, he discussed how AD Rewards impacts their sales approach and how AD has contributed to Ideal Supply’s growth.

How has your involvement in AD Rewards helped you to enhance customer relationships, grow sales, and ultimately grow your business?

The AD Rewards program builds awareness of our AD Vendor Partners as our sales staff (inside & outside) help our customers earn rewards. Our customers have come to recognize that they can earn AD Rewards through their everyday purchases if they choose products from AD Vendors. When this becomes part of our daily selling culture at the counter, everyone benefits! Our annual purchases from AD Vendors always lead all other vendor purchases.

What are the key elements of the AD Rewards program for your company? 

It is important that everyone is aware of the AD Rewards program so that they can promote it to customers. Our Branch staff makes sure AD Rewards promotional signage is visible at the counter to prompt conversations, and that products from AD Vendors are available and on display. Our AD partners have always had an advantage at Ideal Supply as we create annual plans to grow our business together.

Our Marketing Coordinator, Peter Mackie uses all of the AD Rewards tools available to drive our performance with the program, and Inside Rewards brings it all together when our Branch Staff can benefit also with the growth of our AD lines.

What does organizations like AD add to your business and the industry in general? How has your company benefitted from your AD membership?

Our membership in AD has been a key component to our growth throughout the years that we have been a member. We have learned marketing and management strategies that have helped us grow our top and bottom lines. AD Members are the most professional and forward-thinking distributors in Canada and the United States. Together we challenge each other to be the best supplier to our customers, the best employers to our staff, and the best channel to market for our suppliers.






Canadian Electrical Contractor Discussion Group: Can You Count the Deficiencies?

EIN CECD 400Have you ever been called to fix the work of a 'handyman'?

"Was supposedly done by a"certified ' electrician....told the homeowner that he got a $266 record at TSBC. Can you count the deficiencies?"

"There is a second panel change in the triplex also.......even more deficiencies. Think the guy was a glorified handyman. Ones not obvious: 240 BB heat hooked up 120....drier on 2p20....range on 2p50....water heater fed with 2c14 Bx on 2p15."

Go HERE to join the discussion



Ideal's Stay Wired to WinIt's April, which means it's time for you to ignite your competitive spark with the a new challenge from IDEAL Nationals Canada. This month, IDEAL is asking you to show off your electrical knowledge with the most correct answers.

Five professionals and five apprentice winners will each take home a $100 VISA gift card and forged wire stripper from IDEAL.





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William (Bill) BurrBy William (Bill) Burr

Section 32 – Fire Alarm Systems, Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms, and Fire Pumps, as outlined in Rule 32-000 Scope, is a supplementary or amendatory section of the code and provides additional and specific requirements for the location, installation, wiring, and protection, of

• local fire alarm systems

• permanently connected smoke and carbon monoxide alarms...

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LumenpulseBy Matthew Payette

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. It defines how lighting will integrate into the space and ultimately how humans will interact with that same space.

Sometimes there is a gap between the initial visions of the designers and the final product. Other times, the final product and operation of the lighting systems is achieved but after much project management distress...

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11 Piece Insulated TorqueVario-S and SlimLine Blade Set• Individually tested to 10,000 volts AC and rated to 1,000 volts AC for safety and peace of mind.

• Meets VDE testing standards for protection against arc flash explosion.

• Torque accuracy of +/- 6% for confidence in precise tolerances.

• 33% narrower blade shafts for reaching deep set terminal block fasteners.

• Direct-molded insulation for protection against electrical shock and arc flash explosion.

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Jo Istanbul Four Seasons ABy Owen Hurst

Recently, Electrical Industry Canada has developed a relationship with Women in Renewable Energy (WiRE), a non-for-profit group developing resources and networking potential for women and all working or planning to work within the renewable energy sector. Aside from being the WiRE President & CEO, Joanna Osawe is the Global Business Development Manager of Major Projects for DMC Power Inc.

EIN sat down with Osawe to learn more about WiRE and the substantial benefits it provides. Joanna is very personable and open regarding her career and her ambition, as well as the opportunities she is developing for women nationally and globally. 

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