Most Electrical Distributors Still Process Many Documents Manually, Survey Finds

Customer orders and stocking issues continue to be headaches for the industry.

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VANCOUVER, B.C. — Conexiom on Wednesday released a special edition report on the electrical distribution industry.

Key findings reveal that 75% of electrical distributor decision-makers reported that more than half of their company processes documents manually, despite 100% reporting they have invested in digital transformation and automation for front and back-office processes.

The electrical distribution industry is highly competitive and complex. The pain-point for many electrical distributors is that their customer service representatives are spending time manually entering purchase orders and not meeting their service level agreements for same-day quote response. Additionally, this industry has a unique challenge around contractors' requests for special pricing agreements as these require manual processing of hundreds of lines of data, which unfortunately takes time away from the CSRs to focus on their customers. One hundred percent of electrical industry CSRs reported, in Conexiom's report, indicated that the ability to provide prompt and accurate customer service is their biggest pain point in the next 12 months.

Conexiom customer Rexel Canada leveraged the Conexiom Platform for Sales Order Automation and saw immediate ROI by simply automating its documents.

"We started out by automating the orders of 20 of our customers, then made jumps to 100 and 250. Now, we're at 600," said Rick Pozniak, Rexel's director of digital solutions. "I receive a monthly report that shows how many hours of time we save through order automation. It makes me feel good because we are now in the range of thousands of hours saved that can be reallocated. It has allowed us to do tons of other things that help generate money for the company."

According to the special report, customer excellence was a top priority:

  • 50% of IT decision makers in the electrical distribution industry reported the ability to fill customer orders or stock products and raw materials as their biggest pain point in the next 12 months.
  • 33% of company owners in the electrical distribution industry reported the ability to provide prompt and accurate customer service as a current or anticipated pain point related to hiring for their company.
  • 50% of decision makers in the electrical distribution industry said working alongside digital technology, like automation, has made their job more interesting while 25% said it has improved customer experience.

The World Economic Forum reports that digital transformation could unlock $1.3 trillion of value for the electricity sector. As the leader in electrical distribution automation, Conexiom's proven technology has been a value-add for electrical distributors by reducing the cost to serve while also freeing up resources to provide superior customer experience, which in turn helps strengthen customer relationships and increase market share.

"In today's complex business environment, you can't afford to stay stagnant. Instead, you need to embrace agility, accelerate digital transformation, and automate manual document processes to remain competitive," said Conexiom President and CEO Ray Grady. "The results of our special edition report for electrical distributors prove that this industry needs to free up employees' time by eliminating manual data entry so they can focus on what matters most – serving their customers."

Over two decades, 80% of the top 20 distributors in North America process orders with Conexiom because it is the only platform that leverages proprietary Touchless Automation technology.

A detailed summary of the results of the survey can be found at

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