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  • Writer's pictureEUEW

Electrified | Volume 1-2022

Bright future for electrical wholesalers

Dear members of the EUEW Ecosystem,

I know you heard me say this word “ecosystem” a lot since I started my mandate as President of the European Union of Electrical Wholesalers. This is one of the most important words that come to my mind when asked to describe my vision for the EUEW and for the electrical wholesaler of the future.

Just over one year and a half into my mandate now and I am happy to say that my vision is no longer just an abstract term I like to use, it has now become part of the everyday reality of the EUEW.

The members of this federation are now working closer together and learning from each other, the EUEW is learning a lot from its members and its peers and vice versa and a lot more ideas and projects came to surface as our organization is forming tighter bonds with the main actors of its ecosystem, Manufacturer-Wholesaler-Installer-Maintenance Company-End Customer.

There is even more great news that I am delighted to share: the electrical wholesaler has a bright future! During past years our industry has been preoccupied with the influence of marketplaces on the industry market, as a new and not completely familiar type of competition. After some years of functioning side by side with the new competitors and studying this new type of “rivalry”, the electrical wholesalers realized that they continue to function and to grow very well.

Electrical wholesalers started to have a stronger and stronger presence online, bringing all their added value on this new platform too. Wholesalers found out what their strengths were in comparison with these marketplaces and focused even more on their extensive knowhow and the added value they bring. They also identified their weaknesses, such as not being able to compete with marketplaces on price and assortment and decided to focus on the quality of their products rather than trying to cover a large price range and having to settle on the quality offered to their clients. We also realized that B2B websites are different to B2C websites, customers may choose to shop on websites, but they will make the decision to buy where their problem can be solved.

Electrical wholesalers in different countries can no longer keep an accurate market position separated from each other, without news, lessons learned, case studies and best practices from other countries, insights at European and even global level. Moreover, electrical wholesalers can no longer achieve great progress without being in connection with their peers, a very important part of our ecosystem.

The times we are living are good and bad at the same time, they challenge us more than before but also offer us extensive opportunities. I would say this is the time to ACT. Electrical wholesalers need to focus on their strengths more than before, they need to define the next steps to follow very clearly and what are the directions on which there is no need to waste time. Together we have a bright future ahead!

EUEW President

Alexander Dewulf

A stronger voice of the electrical wholesalers

Dear members of the EUEW Community,

I am delighted to be addressing you a second time in my role as Secretary General of the EUEW. Although I only took on this new responsibility a few months ago, I am very happy to have already contributed to a number of EUEW actions and projects and thrilled to have even seen some results.

EUEW has started on a path where it wants and needs to become more active, more representative for its members, and more responsive to its members’ needs. One of the major steps in this direction is building a more dynamic way of decision making and day to day functioning. We do recognize the very high value of participation and involvement of all EUEW members in the activity of the federation and we wouldn’t want that to change.

However, at the same time, we are realistic, and we know we need to increase the pace at which we take our decisions and move forward with our actions and to find new and creative ways for everyone to stay involved in all that is important and relevant for them.

Indisputably, the main directions to follow and the projects of the federation will continue to be discussed and decided by all members, but we need a more functional decision-making body for the day to day, increasingly more dynamic, activity of the EUEW. In this sense, the EUEW wishes to have a more effective board of directors, able to be more involved in the current activity of the EUEW and prepared to make the proper decision and to act at a faster pace.

The past two pandemic years did bring a lot of hardship for most industries, electrical wholesalers included, but a lot of new opportunities have risen too. I am mostly referring to how digitalization has transformed our businesses and markets. No later than 3 years ago, digitalization was still a major challenge for the electrical wholesalers, now it is something that most of us already embraced, more or less forced by the circumstances, but a huge step forward was made. Digitalization also brings about an even faster paced working environment. It reduces distances to 0 as long as you have access to an internet connection and makes all kinds of meetings and communication happen in a blink of an eye.

EUEW also needs to adapt to these new requirements and that is why the EUEW General Assembly will soon discuss in an extra-ordinary General Meeting to have a more active and more involved Board of Directors, meeting more often, and making the necessary decisions for the proper functioning of the federation in a timely manner. This would also translate in the reduction of the number of members of the EUEW Board of Directors, to a more manageable size. All interested members are welcome to stand as candidates for the new board and I want to assure you that the new board will be a very transparent and inclusive one, representing the needs of all EUEW members.

Changes are part of an evolution we all must face but we also need to assure you that we continue with our traditions that are lasting for so many years within the EUEW. By this, I mean we need to continue having our meetings with all members together, where we can share ideas and case studies from the different countries besides the joy of networking. This kind of meetings, besides the annual general meeting, need to happen at least once a year and will contribute to the ‘togetherness’ of our EUEW community, a spirit we don’t want to lose.

I am very enthusiastic about these changes but also about keeping all that makes EUEW great. Therefore, I look forward to working with the new EUEW Board of Directors and to continuing our great work with all my current colleagues, representatives of all EUEW members, to make the voice of the European electrical wholesalers even stronger.

EUEW Secretary General

Eric Piers

"Feedback is the breakfast of champions"

This is a belief put forward by Ken Blanchard, “a teacher of simple truths” as he is often described. At EUEW, we also have extremely high regard for the feedback offered by our community.

This is the main fuel for constantly reinventing and adapting of this long-established federation to the everchanging needs of its members, the electrical wholesalers in Europe.

This is how we know which benefits to offer our members, which are the main activities, projects, and topics of interest to attack as the voice of the electrical wholesalers in Europe and this is how we refine the format of each new EUEW Annual Business Convention to better suit your expectations every time.

At the end of highly regarded EUEW Convention in Barcelona, along with the excellent feedback we received during and after the Convention, EUEW decided to move forward, with the survey which allows convention participants to share their feedback and expectations with us. This is a very valuable exercise that the EUEW turns to each time after the EUEW Convention. Below, we will share the most significant points brought forward by our convention participants. Your feedback and suggestions are a most valuable gift you are offering us, and we promise to take them into consideration now and in the future.

Whoever participated in the convention in recent years, is, most likely, able to already guess that the main ingredients making our Convention a success are the mix of excellent topics and speakers and networking opportunities. No surprise, this year, the best feedback was received for these two as well. Topics like sustainability and e-commerce were highly appreciated by our participants who also enjoyed the more relaxed setting of the two, welcome and grand finale dinners, offering them extensive occasions to network with their peers, after quite a long break. The social part of the Convention continues to also be highly value by our participants.

When referring to the format of the convention, we were very pleased to see that most of you considered the panel discussions at the end of the speaker’s presentations to be very useful and you greatly appreciated having industry specialists present their pragmatic view on the topics discussed.

In 2021, EUEW also introduced presentations by peer organizations. The presentations of all our partners present, EuropeOn, Europacable and CECAPI were highly appreciated, and we were asked to continue such collaborations in the future too.

We seem to be on the right track with bringing hot industry topics and you shared with us the following expectations for the future:

  1. Informational topics – raising awareness on new topics of interest for the industry – 52,54 %

  2. Educational topics – with a focus on the electrical wholesalers – 25,42%

  3. Motivational and inspirational topics – with a general focus – 22.03%

Most of your suggestions of topics of interest for future Conventions focused on the following:

  1. Upcoming legislation (data management, sustainability, corporate governance) and its impact for the electrical wholesalers and suppliers

  2. Digitalization

  3. Future of distribution

  4. How to increase trust between wholesalers and suppliers

  5. Geopolitics and macroeconomics – including China and India and discussing impact beyond digitalization (e.g. raw material and general supply chain management)

Your excellent feedback for the EUEW Convention App encourages us to continue to use this tool for the event more and more in the following years and we will try to offer it more functions too, as more users will start choosing it for communication and networking as well as for being informed, real time, about all that is relevant in respect to each convention.

We did also receive and appreciate your comments on the Convention Program and list of participants and how they should be made available much sooner, as in previous years. This is not an excuse, but I am sure you will understand that the Convention in 2021 was still quite a lot under the influence of the worldwide pandemic situation and an important amount of information and confirmations came quite last minute. This was the main reason for which we were not able to share information well in advance as you are used to with past conventions.

All the above information and much more has already been shared with EUEW leaders and will be taken into consideration for the next EUEW Annual Business Convention. We received a lot of questions about the next EUEW Convention, and we are happy to announce that, keeping in mind the international situation and the uncertainly it brings, we plan to organize the next EUEW Convention in May 2023. We hope to welcome you then, in a much better context and with a more positive outlook.

EUEW Manager of Operations

Koen Lauryssen


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