Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

May 29, 2019

Don Neigel OptimilBlake Marchand

Don Neigel is Manager of the CSA-certified panel shop at Delta, BC’s Optimil Machinery. Optimil Machinery builds panels for various industries, including, forestry, mining, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, and entertainment. Don is a 20-year veteran of the electrical industry. Throughout his career he has held various positions in sales and account management.

“Although my university education focused largely on the social sciences,” Neigel told EIN, “it helped me to understand people. My sales skills are largely due to spending a great deal of time and energy getting to know people and helping them identify their needs and responding quickly to those needs.”

As it so often happens, Neigel entered the electrical industry almost by accident, simply being in the right place at the right time. Although, he did note that even from an early age he possessed a passion for electronics and technology.


“My enthusiasm for technology certainly had a role in shaping my career trajectory, but like many I fell into this line of work by being in the right place at the right time,” he explained.

Neigel started his own business working with personal computers, before shifting toward work with embedded computing systems.


“After more than a decade in this field, I realized that while the technology was of great interest to me it didn’t allow for much one-on-one interaction with customers,” he continued. “My interest in getting to know individual customers more fully and cultivating more long-term relationships grew when I moved into a work opportunity with a local electrical distributor.”

Neigel told EIN that Optimal Machinery’s wide-ranging customer base, coupled with Optimal’s diverse inventory of equipment, often result in some unique opportunities.

“On the surface, building panels might not appear to be particularly varied,” he said. “However, one of the most interesting parts of my current role is supporting a diverse range of customers and their often unique projects.” Adding, “We build panels for so many different industries that we get to see our panels used in many contexts.


“Because Optimil has access to equipment that many other panel shops do not have, clients seek us out for specialized services, often for jobs that have unusual requirements. For example, we have access to a laser cutter, plasma cutter, large overhead cranes and a full machine shop. By attracting projects that are both complex and distinctive, our team is able to engage in some interesting problem solving and innovation.”


Next, we asked Mr. Neigel about some of the bad experiences that are important to competent panel building.


He explained that, “similar to other industries, miscommunication is probably the most significant cause of strife. Sometimes this occurs between clients and suppliers, and other times it can be an internal issue.”

“Negative experiences have lasting effects on relationships, and I view my role as one that requires both macro and micro attention. I have to make sure that we have a healthy line of communication between the shop and clients, me and my team, and other suppliers so that all vested parties are protected against surprises.”


When it comes to management, and the success of a manager, whether for a panel shop or any other business, quality communication is an essential aspect. If an employee, employer, client, supplier, etc. is not aware of an issue, that issue cannot be properly addressed.


Neigel continued to say that, “while there is always a possibility of errors, it has been far easier to recover when there is an open and trusting relationship.”


Addressing issues as they arise throughout a project not only mitigates the damage caused, but as Neigel explains it also forges a positive working relationship with clients as well as colleagues.


In our final questions for Mr. Neigel, we asked him about the challenges he faces as a panel shop manager, as well as the key aspects in turning out a quality project.


What produces a quality project? How do you ensure Optimil’s panel shop is turning out quality work?

“As a CSA-certified shop, we follow very strict rules and guidelines to ensure we produce the very best panels for the customer. In addition, we only employ Red Seal journeymen and apprentice electricians in our shop. Because today’s industrial control panels are becoming more and more complex every day, having Red Seal electricians enables us to help catch issues while the panel is still in the shop instead of in the field. This results in smoother and faster commissioning, with fewer errors.”


What is the biggest challenge in being a panel shop manager today?

“The biggest challenge would be in parts delays. The industrial control panels are often only part of larger projects that have long and complex schedules. Panel delays can have serious ramifications for the entire project. Despite our best efforts, sometimes delays can occur and we strive to be up front and honest in discussing options for our customers. Open communication is the best way to ensure that any issues are dealt with as soon as they occur.”


Blake Marchand is Assistant Editor, Panel Builder & Systems Integrator.

 


       Partnering For The Next Step                                                                     

Siemens CanadaWelcome to the Digital Enterprise Virtual Summit brought to you by Siemens

How quickly can you react to changing conditions and demands in your market? How can you ensure your production will run securely at any time in the future?

Industry’s digital and technological transformation is the answer for meeting today’s and tomorrow’s challenges and market needs.

With the right digitalization and automation solutions, expertise won from practical experience, and a partnership approach that benefits all involved parties.

To explore these possibilities, we’re bringing together top-level speakers, specialists and decision-makers from various industries and experts from Siemens to the Digital Enterprise Virtual Summit under the motto “Partnering for the next step.”   

This virtual summit will be an interactive digital event featuring first-hand experiences and success stories achieved with industrial digitalization and automation solutions, and cutting-edge technologies.

Join us on July 16 and learn from customers and experts how you can respond efficiently, flexibly and safely to the changing market environment.

To cover as many different time zones as possible, we offer two almost identical live sessions – you can also watch them on demand at your convenience:

Sessions runs from :  9:30 am to 2:15 pm ET (3:30 pm to 8:15 pm CEST)


READ MORE

Changing Scene

  • Prev
ECAO is piloting a young leaders group, named Future Leaders Advisory Council (FLAC).   ...
Cooper Lighting extends its commitment to education and support of its customers and specifiers. ...
Stay Wired to Win is a monthly at-home challenge designed to keep your competitive spark going ...
Join the Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario (ECAO) for a live webinar on July 7 at 2:00 ...
Following the latest COVID-19 announcements from the Ontario Government, ESA has decided to ...
Introducing Stay Wired to Win – a series of monthly at-home challenges designed to keep your ...
ESA’s response team has been working diligently to address the emerging issues. We are moving into ...

 

WestburneMany contractors prefer to deal with the people that they know, in their local branch. When doing a job out of town, it’s often inconvenient or simply impossible to return to your home branch to pick up material orders for the next day, within standard business hours.

Westburne’s new locker solution extends the branch’s pick up times to 24 hours, 7 days a week.

 

 

 


Read More

 

Latest Articles

  • Prev
Any contractor who has been on the jobsite during a difficult wire pull can attest to the ...
All electrical incidents are preventable! Keep employees safe with an up-to-date electrical ...

EmployeesBy Terry Becker

All electrical incidents are preventable! Keep employees safe with an up-to-date electrical safety program and complimentary training.

“Employees don’t do what you expect, they do what you inspect!” This is a great quote when it comes down to occupational health and safety. The need for ensuring that an audit is a key component of your overall occupational health and safety management system and your company’s electrical safety program is essential.

Read More

 

 

Michelle BraniganBy Michelle Branigan

Student workers may make up a relatively small portion of the sector workforce, but their impact is substantial. EHRC’s Empowering Futures wage subsidy program has placed 510 students, contributing $14.8 million to the Canadian economy (and counting). That’s no small figure, especially considering that many placements are only a few months long.

In challenging economic times, the tendency might be to pull back on initiatives not deemed essential to operating — why take a chance on an inexperienced employee for only a short time when resources are already stretched?

Read More

 

Product News

  • Prev
Signify is increasing its UV-C lighting production capacity and expanding its UV-C product ...
Stanpro LINK Emergency power conversion module was developed to eliminate conventional emergency ...
The new and improved next generation Rail 2 RM2DU (formerly the RM2DI) maintains its industry ...
Lutron Electronics introduces Athena: a simple, flexible, all-in-one solution that elevates ...
Available in standard and high output, LEDs provide excellent luminous intensities at low drive ...
Klein Tools introduces the new Loose Cable Stapler, featuring a forward action design for stable ...
Eureka announced the release of its Expo tube luminaire. Expo is a decorative lighting tube ...
Specification Grade, UL Listed for US and Canada; Dual Input 120/347, One or Two-lamp Operation; ...
The LMEZ Micro is a slim profile LED linear luminaire featuring an adjustable aircraft cable ...
Bridgeport’s SGBS series of steel split grounding bushings can be installed before or after ...

 

Brady Pull-Handle Butterfly Valve LockoutThe Pull-handle Butterfly Valve Lockout. Its simple, fold-over design effectively lockspull handles in any desired position. And, it holds up to four padlocks for added safety. No matter what industry you’re in, this versatile, one-piece lockout device bolsters your safety lockout solution. And that’s a welcome addition to any lockout program. With this device you’ll also get:

  • A great fit – exclusive, anti-pivot lockout device that fits a variety of pull handle butterfly valve sizes

 

 

 

Read More


Shannon TymoskoBy Blake Marchand

Shannon Tymosko is a first-year apprentice with IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) Local 105, something she undertook after 10 years working her way up the ranks of a payday loan company.

“One of the things I love, working in the trades, is you can see your progress and you can see at the end of the day the work that you have done.

 

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
©2020 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