Changing Lighting Relationships

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changing lighting relationshipsMonday was “movement day” for lighting relationships.  And the changing relationships may say something more about the manufacturers than their partners.

WESCO Moves to Current by GE

WESCO has been synonymous with Eaton and Phllips Lighting and was / is the largest distributor for both companies for years.  But that is changing.

WESCO announced today that they are replacing Philips with Current by GE. WESCO Changes to GE The announcement reads:

 News for WESCO U.S. Employees

Monday, August 1, 2016

WESCO U.S. Business Enters Distribution Agreement with Current, Powered by GE, To Sell LEDs, Ballasts, and Lamps

In a move that is expected to significantly grow the Lighting Category and broaden the business portfolio, WESCO has decided to transition from Philips Lighting to Current, Powered by GE, for LED, ballast, and lamp products.

Current, Powered by GE’s model aligns well with the One WESCO value-added lighting solutions approach with customers. Instead of selling a customer a traditional lighting product, this strategic relationship gives WESCO the ability to deliver a robust package of energy-efficient solutions that customers can rely on to reduce their energy requirements.

“WESCO has invested in the expertise, the capabilities, and supplier relationships to offer a broad range of reliable lighting solutions to our customers,” explained Jeff Pecoroni, Director of WESCO’s Lighting Category. “Our agreement with Current, powered by GE, focuses on their lighting solutions offering of core lamp and ballast products. This new relationship will also enable us to review the expanding portfolio of LED lamp replacement products Current continues to bring to market.”

In addition, WESCO gains access to the Current, Powered by GE, global strategic accounts portfolio; an extensive training platform; and seven dedicated resources to support WESCO with customer service support, training, joint business planning, and demand creation.

“The wide range of lighting solutions that Current provides supports our strategy of meeting the energy efficiency and reduction requirements of our customers,” Pecoroni said.

Over the next several weeks, Inventory Managers will coordinate the replacement of the Philips inventory to comparable products from Current, Powered by GE. The Lighting Category team also will make training available to the sales teams to aid customer conversions.

Click here to visit a designated page in FastTrack created for the transition to Current, Powered by GE.

If you have questions about this transition or about the Lighting Category, please contact your regional Lighting Specialist. Contact information can be found on the FastTrack page.

Philips was a mid eight figure supplier to WESCO.

Some observations:

  • What does this say about Philips Lighting? Its offering? Its ability to compete?
  • This could represent an opportunity for Philips distributors as
  • Philips will want to retain its business with national accounts, with projects it was working on with WESCO and as a newly spun off company, needs to retain the sales revenue
  • For those who did not have Philips but wanted to … Philips will be looking for new distribution and this could represent an opportunity.
  • For Current by GE, the deal significantly increases their distribution footprint, albeit Graybar is probably not too enthralled.
  • Current by GE is investing 7 dedicated resources (bodies) to working with WESCO (and perhaps more, definitely more financially and it appears some preferential access to national / global accounts.)  For GE distributors, are you on a level playing field?
  • Current, powered by GE, is very active on the fixture and lighting controls side of the business.  How will this new relationship impact Eaton Lighting Solutions’ relationship with WESCO? (and perhaps the broader Eaton relationship?)
  • While Current and GE Energy are managed separately, perhaps there could be a broader relationship down the line? Perhaps one that provides Eaton more competition within WESCO?
  • And could this be more of an opportunity for lighting companies that are more lamp-oriented (Satco, Eiko, Halco, TCP, etc)

And while this was going on between WESCO, Philips and Current (or should it be GE), there was a major rep alignment change that was first reported by Edison Report.

Chicago Rep Changes from Eaton Lighting Solutions to Hubbell Lighting

PG Enlighten announced that they are dropping the Eaton Lighting line, which they have had for 45 years, and will be representing Hubbell Lighting.  The agency covers the Chicagoland / central Illinois area.  The are also the area’s Leviton lighting controls representative.

This was a surprise for many (perhaps not as much in Chicago as there would have been rumors, but, some third party thoughts:

  • Changing lines, especially a key line that has probably been synonymous with the agency, after 45 years is a major, major change. The question then becomes, “why”?
  • Congratulations to Hubbell Lighting for gaining a conversion in a high profile market such as Chicago.  Should be a revenue generator.
  • The conversion may say something about PG’s perception of the product development plans for both companies.

If you are a lighting agent, what would drive you to make this level of a change after so much time?  Distributors in the Chicago area, how does this change the Chicago lighting market?

A day of change in the lighting industry, but does it change the competitive landscape for distributors? For the lighting manufacturers?

 

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