June 24, 2021
By Alyssa Kerslake
Finder Relays have been a major manufacturer of Industrial Relays, Relay Interfaces, Timers, Solid State Relays, Industrial Thermoregulation, and a variety of other Control Panel Devices in Italy since 1954. We spoke with Michael King, the President of Finder Components Inc. Canada, on his experienced journey, his extensive knowledge of the electrical industry, and how the company eventually moved into the Canadian Market.
Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to your current role?
I first came into the business in 1995, as an employee of Everything In Control Inc. (EIC) in a Sales Representative role. I was initially responsible for taking care of Key Distribution accounts, mainly in Ontario but also some in Quebec.
After about 7 years, I moved into the office and started to learn the business from the inside. In 2017, the Founder of EIC Trevor King retired, and my sister Alison and I bought into the business becoming the 2 owners. At that time, I was appointed as President of EIC. My current role is President/Managing Director for Finder Components Inc.
Can you speak to the founding of Finder?
Finder was founded in 1954, in Almese Italy, by Mr. Piero Giordanino, who was the Pioneer of the Modern Step Relay. During the ’60s Finder created the 60 Series Relay, which was their first entrance into the Industrial Relay market.
Today, Finder is a European company with an international network comprising of 28 Subsidiaries both in Europe and all around the world. Finder is Now the Largest Manufacturer of Electromechanical type Relays, producing over 500,000 products each day from within their various factories. Finder have always and will remain to create top-notch quality products, continuing the Passion For Quality that Mr. Giordanino always demonstrated, and expected.
What is the story behind Finder moving into the Canadian Market?
Finder first arrived in Canada in 1984, with a company in Ottawa called Shirley Controls. Mr. Joe Sherwood created this distribution company and created a demand for Finder products in Canada. Mr. Sherwood used a very basic but extremely successful marketing idea, as he would put a Sticker on every relay, he sold with Shirley Controls and a Phone number. Although Finder is made to last, Mr. Sherwood knew one day a customer would need a replacement and would call the number on the product. As this was at a pre-Internet time, this was simply a brilliant and successful idea!
In 1994, Mr. Sherwood retired and suggested to Finder that EIC, owned by Trevor King, should be Finder’s exclusive Distribution partner for Canada. After a successful flight to Italy, the agreement was complete.
E.I.C. Continued to represent Finder in Canada for 25 more years, until the Spring of 2019 when I closed the company and became a member of Finder’s worldwide family by creating at the time, Finder’s 27th Subsidiary, known as Finder Components Inc.
What sets Finder apart?
Finder is made in Europe and develop their own automation systems to manufacture all products. The production process for every device is controlled by advanced systems that ensure optimum performance at all levels. Finder is committed to fulfilling Corporate Social Responsibility, by offering great working conditions, protection of the environment, and focus on using renewable energy sources.
Finder is unique to their competition, as Finder is a “Relay” expert and mainly specializes in these types of products. The current offering from Finder offers the customer a full array of “cabinet” type products from Fans, Heaters, Panel lights up to and including Interface Relays, Power relays, and Timer solutions. Finder Components Inc. (FC) import Finder products directly from Finder by Air. By Receiving two monthly Factory shipments, FC boasts about the very high stock levels, varieties of products, and the wide range of coil voltages that we carry.
Current times have certainly challenged all Worldwide manufactures, but Finder have continued to produce finished products with out much delay, therefore continuing to fulfill customers requests!
FC will continue to offer the best service in the industry with live phone assistance, quick email responses, and same-day shipping for orders received up to 4 pm EST.
Finder has also always tried to make their products “user” friendly. Offering a Standard Lockable test button and indicator on most series, allows the customer to easily test if the relay is working or not. Finder also uses Color-coded coils so again the user can easily identify if the Coil is AC, orange in color, or DC voltage, blue.
What directions and trends in relay use has Finder noted in Canada and how has it addressed them?
Relays have been available for decades here in Canada and around the world. Panel Space and new technology are certainly requested from today’s panel builders.
Unlike our Televisions which continue to be larger, relays are becoming smaller and smaller allowing the panel builder to save space in their cabinets. One of the most popular relays in the world is still the common 8 pin and 11 pin round versions. Finder’s 55 “ice cube” series offers the customer the same ratings as these larger relays, but again in a smaller package and more cost-effective.
Another popular product that again simply saves a lot of panel space, is Finder’s 38 and 39 Series. Being Only 6mm wide, Finder offers an awesome array of interface type relays, with and without Fuse protection for the outputs.
Wiring for typical sockets has come a long way and again Finder offers easier wiring solutions for their customers by offering “staircase” terminals, n/o n/c and common contacts on one side, and the coil on the other. They also offer Jumper links for all sockets, so the customer can wire a series of relays all with one jumper-type link.
Can you speak to the type of situations or concerns that disrupt the relay market in Canada?
The biggest disruption for the relay market, and to be honest most products these days, is both Production and Logistics.
Covid-19 has caused many delays with factories closing, raw materials not being available, and huge surcharges for Air Freight.
Finder has always believed in stocking very large amounts of both Raw Materials and Finished Goods, so this world issue, has not at all affected Finder’s ability to provide the same products and services, that our customers expect.
In turn, in the past year, FC have more than doubled our Inventory stock values, therefore being able to fill almost 100% of all orders received.
What types of support does Finder provide to clients?
Generally, FC tries to offer all their customers the absolute best service supported by superior product quality. Our many years of experience allows us to help the customer with a Relay or Timer solution. A customer can call our office and provide the application or type of relay they are looking for and our expert team will build a good part number and provide PDF material to support the choice.
A great example of working closely with a client is the work we did with CAE last year at the beginning of the Covid 19 Pandemic. CAE had a very large project to create and design some very important Ventilator products. Finder’s 38.21 series was the perfect fit for what they required. It was certainly a proud moment for all of us to be part of this incredibly important business venture.
Who are your primary end-user segments in Canada currently and where do you see growth over the coming years?
Since Relays are firstly replacement products, then supported by use in New projects, it has always been Finder’s philosophy to first sell our products thru distribution networks. It is vital for us here in Canada to have products in stock from British Columbia across the country, into and including our Maritime provinces, and all areas in between.
Market segments that include Elevators, Greenhouses, Panel Building, both light, and heavy Manufacturing, have all seen a rise in demand over the past 3-5 years. As renewable energy becomes even more popular here in Canada, Windmill Farms and Solar power will become a larger contribution to Finder’s market share.
After speaking with Michael about the history and direction of Finder in Canada we discussed one the primary distributor relationships that Finder has engaged in. The partnership is with E.B Horsman in British Columbia. And as Michael notes the relationship has been highly successful.
How did the relationship between Finder and E.B. Horsman develop?
Everything In Control Inc. started the distribution relationship with E.B. Horsman (EBH) in 2007.
At the time EBH was looking for a good Relay compliment to their Siemens Automation offering, and Finder ended up being the perfect fit!
How has the partnership E.B. Horsman advanced in British Columbia in recent years?
The success EBH and Now Finder Components Inc. (FC) has had, is simply Amazing!! EBH is FC’s only Exclusive distributor in Canada appointed for a particular area, in this case, British Columbia.
The EBH Process Automation and Control group has taken the lead and allowed Finder to gain a very large market share of relay opportunities in B.C. The Purchase order process, communication, and professionalism between EBH employees and FC, and the EBH product knowledge fully support why EBH continues to be one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies.
The partnership has also allowed for lots of local stock in B.C. This allows the customer to quickly pick up a product at any one of the 18 EBH Branches located thru out B.C., and not have to wait for the product to arrive from Ontario.
Michael and Finder Components Canada have clearly lived up to the goals of Founder Piero Giordanino and continue to advance both the technical range of their products alongside a client focused mentality. Michael’s passion for his company and products clearly comes across when discussing the company and products and we look forward to seeing Finder continue to advance here in Canada.
Visit Finder Canada at www.findercomponents.ca/.