Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

January 5, 2021

CEW Ledvance VP Harte 400By Blake Marchand

Charlie Harte is the Canadian President & CEO for LEDVANCE LLC, as well as holding the role of VP of Marketing & Customer Experience for the U.S. and Canada region. Harte was named as the Canadian President in February 2020 and not long after was also named as the VP of Marketing and Customer Experience. Our interview centered around his experience joining LEDVANCE right before the pandemic, how he approaches leadership, where LEDVANCE wants to find success, and his perspective on the broader industry.

Harte spent 30 years working for some top brands in the building materials industry where he honed a strong skill set in sales, marketing, strategic planning, business development, and leadership. He joined the organization a month before the global pandemic which provided a unique scenario. “You’re starting to lead an organization with whom you almost have no connection,” he noted. Given the travel restrictions he wasn’t able to meet the full team in person, but as many did, they adapted and moved forward. Ultimately, he said, “I was delighted – delighted is an understatement – by the amount of leadership shown from a tenured LEDVANCE team who had undergone dramatic changes.”

The approach that he took, and the conclusion he came to about how to address the various challenges of an uncertain situation, was that “provided the opportunity was given to them, the folks within the team – even though I didn’t know them or didn’t know them well – would have an opportunity to demonstrate leadership. I’m very proud of how the team rose to the challenges.”

“I was really impressed with our long serving Canadian team members stepping up each and every day, during what was really challenging times,” he said adding that, “We’re very lucky that at LEDVANCE we invested heavily in our digital support for our customer base, so we were able to get online with a number of new customers quite quickly and support the people who were new to it very aggressively.”

Moving past the initial uncertainty of the pandemic, Harte said, “We were able to engage our customer base across the country well during the period. Obviously, because of the pandemic, sales were impacted, but the team at LEDVANCE didn’t curl up and wait for the world to end. They went out and chased business and did what they could from their basement or their kitchen or their living room or wherever it was.”

Harte joined the company at an uncertain, challenging time but the team responded to that uncertainty the right way. “My experience of running the Canadian team has been fantastic. The team has stepped up and really got the job done in what was, and still are, trying times.”

Working from home was a challenge for Harte himself, who is an extroverted person and someone who sees real value in face-to-face communication and collaboration.

Value Chain

I asked Harte why it was important for him to take on the additional role of VP of Marketing and Customer Experience. “I felt I could add to how we meet the needs of our customers,” he said. “I think that identifying the customer experience is important for companies and focusing on it is vital.”

Harte saw an opportunity to pay more attention to the whole scope of the value chain more effectively to give LEDVANCE an advantage over their competitors. As he notes above, his approach to business is one that prioritizes customer experience.

For Harte, value chain is anyone from architect to the end-user and everyone in between. The installers, electrical engineers, the specifiers, the distributors/wholesalers, even the general contractor. “There’s a whole host of people that have the opportunity to say, ‘no’. I think the lighting business has taken the customer experience out of it because we’ve all raced to commodity status on a lot of things, and in doing so we haven’t realized the value we have in our business and what we can bring to the table. The customer experience helps encapsulate that.”

“It doesn’t matter where you sit in the value chain, you have to add value. And if you add value, you can charge for it.”

Whether it’s the wholesaler, salesperson, or the CEO, “Everybody needs to figure out what value they’re adding and how they can continue to make it so. The value you added yesterday may not be the same as what you need to do tomorrow, so you have to keep learning. If you can’t keep learning, that’s problematic, because the world keeps changing.”

He explains further: “A product that performs to the specifications and the way it was designed is only a part of the equation. It includes having the product priced right, appear on time, shipped to the job site in full, packaged in a way that’s environmentally friendly, work as effectively as possible and as it was designed to do, and then be covered off by an industry recognized warranty.”

“That means if you’re covering a product for 72,000 hours, it works for 72,000 hours, and if it doesn’t work for the 72,000 hours, we do something about that.”

Ultimately, Harte said, “People do business with people they like. If everything else is equal, they’ll choose the person they like. If they’ve recognized you’re working hard to service their needs, you may actually be able to charge a little more for the product because you’re providing something they don’t have. This could include service, knowledge, breadth of line, or meeting a new application. There will be something in there that will set you apart.”

LEDVANCE operates in the retrofit, renovate, and repair space, which makes customer experience that much more important, and that’s why Harte saw the opportunity for LEDVANCE to pursue a robust customer experience aggressively.

Leadership

Harte’s leadership philosophy revolves around facilitation, setting goals, and accountability. This is how he explained it:

“Leadership for me is about facilitation. It’s about making the team successful, Its also about understanding that I’m not asking them to do anything I’m not willing to do, and I don’t expect them to do all the things that I do. But I do expect to win. The definition of winning can be different everyday of the week, though. I like to have very clear goals for everyone – some people will say those goals are a little exciting or maybe a bit of a stretch, but you don’t climb Everest by not planning on climbing Everest, so let’s get out there and have at it.”

 I also asked Harte how he views mentorship:

“I think mentorship can be vital. I benefitted early in my career from two individuals who helped me talk through challenges that I was having. One of whom I didn’t quite believe quite as much as I should have, because he turned out to be 100% correct and I may not have taken his advice rightly the first time. But having that ability to have a conversation with someone you value in a safe environment around subjects that can be challenging is vital for learner. I’ve benefited from it, and I have a couple of folks that I talk to in different industries. I try to be a mentor for others, so they can benefit like I have in the past from my mentors. In the process, those I try to mentor also help me see things differently and grow.”

Communication & Decision Making

Regarding communications, a core challenge for Harte is finding ways to effectively communicate with people from different generations who have different communication habits.

Harte has observed a difference between how people from various generations prefer to communicate. Often the younger generations prefer to communicate via text or email, while older generations that didn’t grow up with cell phones, don’t have a problem with communicating over the phone.

“That’s a personal challenge for me because I have to figure out how to communicate with those folks [that prefer to communicate via text and email], because guess what? They make up more of the work force.”

Overall communication is a priority for Harte. The protocol he’s established with his team is, “if you don’t hear form me, make the decision. Because even if you make the wrong decision, you’re going to learn something. And if you make the right decision, you didn’t need me in the first place. That’s part of the process.”

I asked Harte about his advice for team members that come to him with a particular challenge:

“I’m on record as saying – and I stole this form Joe Galli, who runs TTI but launched DeWalt [Harte spent time with DeWalt earlier in his career] – I want everyone to make 100 decisions a day and I’m quite happy if they get 11 of them wrong, versus the person who makes 10 decisions a day and gets 9 of them right. The person that works for me is 79 decisions ahead, and they’ll have learned something by the 11 wrong. I want those people to make decisions. If they’re not hearing from me, its probably because I want them to make the decision.”

Harte admits, “that can cause a little anxiety, at times. But we’re in the lighting business, we’re not in rocket science or brain surgery – so the first thing that happens is you learn something.”

“The second part is, if you’re going to bring me a problem, I want your top three solutions and I want the one that you would choose to do first. And then we’ll walk through it. I’m going to ask you to defend why you chose the one you did, and ultimately, I will support your decision even if its not the way I would do it.”

Harte added that, even if he thinks that particular decision will make things tougher on them, they’ll learn something because of it.

“The idea is that work should be entertaining and educational. I want people to have fun and be exhilarated and energized by coming to work for LEDVANCE. In doing that, you’ve got to listen to them. How are they going to develop if they don’t get a chance to make a mistake? Making a mistake is perfectly acceptable. Not learning from that mistake would be problematic and making the decision in the first place is absolutely the right action.”

Title: Ready, Set, Scale: How to Grow Your Field Service Business

SimProThrough many trials and tribulations, you’ve grown your business to where it is today. It’s taken blood, sweat, tears, long hours and sacrifice. But, it’s all been worth it to have something which you can call your own. It’s even more worth it when you can finally take that next step to grow your business even further and expand your service, project and maintenance work.

Read More


 

Changing Scene

  • Prev
43 years ago, Steve Silverstein bought a table saw and a delivery van and began a revolution in the ...
E.B. Horsman & Son (EBH) has announced their Victoria location will be officially moving to a ...
 The Maritime’s largest Mechanical and Electrical event took place last Wednesday and ...
IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. is calling all professional and student-apprentice electricians to come out ...
Vivi White has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Electrical Safety Authority ...
The Sonepar Ontario Region is proud to announce the relocation of their SESCO Central Distribution ...
The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) is looking for a seasoned business executive drawn from an ...
David Rellinger, Vice President of Systems Transformation for Schneider Electric (SE), has been ...
The National Electrical Trade Council (NETCO) is pleased with the direction of the 2022 budget with ...
The Executive of Gerrie Electric Wholesale Limited is very pleased to announce the acquisition of ...

Become a Wiser Approved Installer

Schneider Wiser Installer

Get access to exclusive benefits, product discounts and resources that will help you drive more business, and lower energy bills for your clients.

 

 

 

Read More


 



Vivi WhiteVivi White has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) by the Honourable Ross Romano, Minister of Government and Consumer Services.

“As Chair, I am pleased that the Ontario Government recently appointed Vivi White to the Board,” said Annette Bergeron. “The Electrical Safety Authority’s efforts over the years have greatly improved the safety of the people of Ontario. It’s an important mandate and requires a strong, talented and diverse board as we transform into a modern regulator.”

 

Read more


 

Omnicable joins ETIMETIM North America announced that OmniCable has joined the product classification standards organization. Headquartered in West Chester, PA, OmniCable has 24 locations throughout North America, and also owns Houston Wire & Cable (HWC). The company partners with many electrical manufacturers and only sells to distributors.

According to John Dean, Director of Marketing & E-Commerce, OmniCable/HWC, “The wire and cable industry is often called commodities, but there are very distinct features and attributes for the different products our manufacturers produce. 

Read More

 


 

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 permit....no 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

 


 

Switch to Smart, Switch to Easy, Switch to Beautiful

Schneider Connected LivingScrewless wall plates. Smart Outlets. Square D™ Switches and Receptacles are raising the bar on aesthetics, ease of installation, remote lighting control and connectivity.

 

 

 

Read More


 



 

FlukeElectrical distribution problems are not always immediately identified as issues with power quality. An example of this is a thermal-magnetic circuit breaker. When it trips, the indication is generally a short circuit, ground fault, or overload. At times this can be put down to an old breaker that needs replacing.

However, it’s important to investigate the types of loads on the system and monitor harmonics for a potential disturbance. This article explores common issues with power quality and how to troubleshoot those issues.

 

 

Read More


 

EIN Romex 12 2 Recall 400This recall involves a yellow electrical wire, 12/2 NMD90 75M Romex SIMpull cable, sold by the spool. Products were also sold at Home Depot designated as article 108196.  Only cables with a time stamp between 12:41 and 18:02 are affected by this recall. 

The recalled product contains a neutral wire that is a smaller 14-gauge wire, contrary to the stamp on the wire identifying both the neutral and “hot” wires as 12-gauge (i.e., "12/2"). 

The recalled product contains a 14-gauge neutral wire instead of 12-gauge (as labelled), thus it may not perform as expected in 12-gauge applications, resulting in a risk of those applications having impaired performance and/or compliance with safety codes or standards.

Go HERE for more information


 

Product News

  • Prev
Klein Tools introduces the new Advanced Circuit Tracer Kit, offering tracing of breakers and ...
The SYM-IN "In Table" model provides an attractive user interface while solid construction ...
The NEW Contractor Select™ version of the Juno Podz™ Canless Downlight is now easier than ever ...
Introducing the NEW Hi-Tech Valiant™ full-range current-limiting fuse for fire mitigation. No one ...
Appleton™ explosionproof and dust-ignition proof GR, GRF and GRTS conduit outlet boxes are ...
Southwire's new 100' LED string lights with 12,000 Lumens.    
Help provide comfort and functionality to your bathroom with the addition of the Broan BHF110 ...
The PWB-CMU8 is the first dedicated Masonry Wall Box engineered for installation in 8” block walls. ...
Now with pre-sized labels and even more materials to take on the toughest on-site labelling jobs. ...
The STACK Family is now complete! These four performance-tiered solutions were designed to help you ...

Liteline Continues Canadian Investment

EIN BC Liteline 400Adding continued investment in Canada to its core foundation of innovative Design, installation efficiency, and personal customer service, Liteline has just announced the opening of its 12,729 square foot Showroom and Lighting Distribution Center in Langley BC.

The new Liteline Facility is located at 26550 Gloucester Way, Unit A110 and will house the new Liteline Distribution Center along with a product showroom. 

Read More




Greenlee Mobile Bending Table for 881 Series Hydraulic BendersGreenlee is bringing secure and easy-to-transport conduit bending capabilities to jobsites with the introduction of its Mobile Bending Table for 881 Series Hydraulic Benders. The new product combines the latest in anti-theft protection with enhanced mobility, easy set-up and quick teardown.

“Electricians are constantly trying to do work more efficiently. Anytime we can shave time off a job, it’s a win – and this product delivers that with easier set-up and portability. At the same time, we know that protecting equipment from theft is an issue for a lot of tradespeople. The new Greenlee Mobile Bending Table for the 881 Series Hydraulic Benders is our latest solution to help professionals safeguard their investments and increase productivity,” 

Read More


 

 

Klein Tools Upgraded Testing KitKlein Tools introduces the Premium Electrical Test Kit.

Premium Electrical Test Kit (Cat. No. 69355)

  • Refreshed kit that features three new product releases geared towards a variety of electrical testing applications.
  • Kit includes instructions and all required batteries.

Manual-Ranging Digital Multimeter with Right-Angle Test Leads (Cat. No. MM320 – Exclusive to Cat. No. 69355 and Cat. No. MM320KIT)

  • Measures up to 600V AC/DC voltages, 10A DC current and 2-ohm resistance
  • Also tests batteries, diodes and continuity.

Read More


 

 

Brady M211Design, preview and print – all from your phone. Simple and intuitive, the M211 Label Printer is built for the job site, running all day on a full charge while resisting drops, shocks and crushes.

  • Simple. Easy. Intuitive.  Seamlessly design, preview and print labels from the industry leading Express Labels App on your familiar smartphone and swiftly connect to your printer.
  • Label it once.  Now with both pre-sized and continuous labels in 90+ cartridges, filled to the brim with reliable, tested and dedicated label materials that stay attached and remain legible on every surface and in any environment.

 

Read More


 

Peers & Profiles

  • Prev
Watt’s the Word is a recently launched Electrical Industry Podcast hosted by Zack Hartle and ...
Allana Kellett-Jamieson loves working in the electrical sector and is proud of the great focus ...
As the head of ABB Canada's electrification business unit, Éric Deschênes is no newcomer to the ...
Karen Pullen knows what it’s like to be the only woman on a construction site, and as a proud ...
As of February 2021, Martin Stephenson is the new President and CEO of Signify Canada.   ...
This past July, Kerith Richards, who has worked for Service Wire Company for the last seven years, ...
EngWorks was formed in 2004 as an electrical engineering and consulting firm by Allan Bozek, “After ...
Headquartered in Concord, Ontario, Mercury Lighting services national retail, ...
Among the recipients of the 2021 Clean50 Awards announced last month is Carolina Gallo, Vice ...
Sarah Silverstein is a principal with Liteline along side her two brothers Mark and Daniel. ...


Brent NeillyBy Blake Marchand

Brent Neilly is the Group Marketing Manager with Milwaukee, he has a background in business communications with a B.A. from Brock University, as well as experience working in the construction industry.

“When I joined TTI (Milwaukee’s parent company) it was kind of a perfect match, I had some marketing knowledge from my business degree and some industry experience from working in the trades.” Neilly gained his experience covering an area from Orillia to Timmins, Ontario when he first joined the company as a Field Sales Rep, as well as on their Job Site Core Trade Specialists in the GTA where he found his niche working with utility clients. 

Read More


 

Copper $US Dollar price per pound

Kerrwil Publications Great Place to Work. Certified December 2019 - December 2020

538 Elizabeth Street, Midland,Ontario, Canada L4R2A3 +1 705 527 7666
©2022 All rights reserved

Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy Policy (effective 1.1.2016)
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Kerrwil