About Hubbell Canada
Hubbell Canada is a division of Hubbell Inc., a global manufacturer of quality electrical and electronic equipment for a broad range of commercial, industrial and residential applications. In Canada we represent Hubbell's interests in three key product categories – Commercial & Industrial, Lighting Products and Construction & Energy.
Hubbell Executive Summary
The 1800’s marked the foundation for the rise of Industrial America. This era of invention and business development would power the world into the twentieth century and create the rise of industrialized nations. It was in 1888 that Harvey Hubbell opened a small loft on Middle Street in Bridgeport, Connecticut and began to contribute to a machinery business that would evolve beyond his dreams. Like many other entrepreneurs including Edison, Ford and Westinghouse; Hubbell was about to face many challenges as business and industry evolved and still continue to evolve today meeting newer and greater threats, opportunities and dreams.
Hubbell’s machinery business did well but the major breakthrough came in 1896 when Hubbell invented the separable plug (plug and connector). Catering to the needs and wants of his customer Harvey Hubbell created a successful business and by 1901 had published the first 12-page catalogue offering 63 devices. Hubbell’s device was only one of many inventions transforming the face of America. The rise of corporations, development of heavy industry, massive immigration, cultural diversity and mechanized farming lead to the rise of the American labour movement while political issues created great social and economic unrest. Modern America was about to emerge.
Modern America marked social and ethical responsibilities for new corporations. Everything in modern America began to evolve. Walking led to horsepower to steam-powered trains and finally automobiles. Agriculture changed the costs and time it took to farm creating unemployment in the rural areas. People migrated to the city for better opportunities and marketing was at an all time high. Business opportunities were plentiful while new products emerged at a rapid pace to keep up with the demand. New manufacturers joined the arena and supported the consumer demand for new products, technological advancements and innovations that would make life more comfortable for all. Things were going well for Hubbell Incorporated but like all the other innovators, things were about to change.
The great depression struck shortly after Modern America forcing Hubbell and many other entrepreneurs to layoff employees, cut pays and deal with the economic storm of a once robust market. This seemingly endless difficult period created the necessity to strategize how to take products to market and product segmentation was more obvious than before. To keep costs down Hubbell like many others had to specialize in what made the most money at the least cost. Strategic planning became crucial to survival during this difficult economic crisis.
The entrepreneur had no room for error in design, decision or planning for the future. Consumers were very selective about where their money was spent and henceforth competition increased. Many valuable lessons were learned during the great depression. America was about to see resurgence in the marketplace but was it for the wrong reasons?
While unprepared for war America was certainly prepared for industrial production. Once again business boomed as the new corporations were called upon to support the war efforts. General Motors supplied 1/10th of all war production, Ford produced a B24 bomb every hour and Hubbell was right behind them providing electrical components to power the nations industries. In fact, Hubbell was expanding and opened a second plant in Lexington Kentucky to accommodate the military’s demands for robust, industrial electrical supplies.
The years following the war were not without difficulties. The baby boomers emerged as war veterans returned home to raise families. Commercial and residential market requirements sent the Hubbell Corporation back to the drawing board to once again spearhead the development and design of modern electrical devices. Market conditions of severe product shortages allowed manufacturers to charge a reasonable price to grow their market share and expand their businesses. Acquisitions began to occur as the true innovators consumed companies who could not compete based on cost or technology. Acquisitions and growth allowed companies to expand their breadth of line and create new markets while positioning themselves for the future. The industrial evolution dramatically changed the lives of people. Women now had a strong presence in the workforce and social issues were now openly and widely discussed at the business table.
By 1980 the emphasis had shifted dramatically. Social values were slipping away and society was fixated on the American Dream. The American dream was a dream of wealth and prosperity. Common buzzwords were succession planning, internal development, growth, and innovation. Companies were aligning themselves with cash flow and streamlining resources for the new era of growth. Hubbell was positioned for leadership and had developed a loyal user base with extremely strong brand equity. A reputation unmatched in their industry.
Today’s markets experience similar pressures of organizational re-alignment, lean thinking and streamlining however; today’s business also has many new buzzwords. To survive today the company must be focused, able to diversify, must be able to offer single source supply to the consumer, have a commitment to quality, create social responsible marketing programs, be environmentally friendly, knowledable and provide an exceptional level of service. Hubbell certainly has done their homework. The company now operates through multiple manufacturing locations in North America, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Italy, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea.
As a global International manufacturer Hubbell must be prepared for trends in each market place that can impact their business, as threats now are more imminent than ever before. Kyoto environmental accords threaten the development of the Industrial nations driving down sales. A seriously damaged travel infrastructure weakens the demand for airport terminal expansion and aircraft products. Ongoing international conflict threatens the outlook on capital investment and therefore Industrial projects are threatened. Baby boomers are now retiring and skilled and aging trades’ people threaten the brand loyalty that was once present. The emergence of offshore production creates a threat to established profitability. Many other threats are present in today’s twentieth century marketplaces that were not considered in the past. Finding the correct means of dealing with these problems will divide the weak from the strong and provide a balance in the over saturated market known as electrical wiring devices.