Emma Segelov, MK Electric’s EMEA Marketing Operations Manager, gives tips on how to select prudently-priced wiring devices that will delight clients and end users alike.
When budgets are squeezed and projects are value engineered, how can electricians specify products so that standards are upheld, and clients remain happy?
Here’s a few top tips that can help you in your decision making process:
1. Reputation matters
Choosing a value range from a well-respected manufacturer is a great way to meet more cost-conscious budgets, lessening worry about product quality. Choosing an established brand allows installers, contractors and end clients to benefit from proven engineering expertise, along with robust product guarantees, regardless of whether it’s a value or premium product range. For example, the MK Base range is backed by a 20-year guarantee, plus the reassurance that the range is 100% electrically and visually tested at the point of manufacture, enabling users to spend cautiously without compromising on trusted reliability.
2. Above and beyond
Look for features that deliver peace of mind for clients and building occupants. Products with impressive specs, which wouldn’t normally be found in ranges that are designed for value, offer a sure-fire way to over-deliver on client expectations. For example, in the current climate where hygiene is of the utmost importance, products with inherent anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties tested in line with the latest industry standards are in great demand.
The new MK Base range, for instance, is made using urea formaldehyde, a high-grade thermoset material with anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties inherent in the actual compound of the product.
Along with the Logic Plus range, testing is carried out by an independent accredited laboratory to the latest standards for antibacterial measurement for plastics – ISO 22196:2011. It has effective 24 hour kill rates on MRSA (99.98%), E. coli (99.99%), salmonella (99.98%), Klebsiella pneumoniae (99.78%) and Staphylococcus Aureus 6538p, (99.99%) which can be resistant to antibiotics, plus Listeria (99.97%).
The range has also been proven to have a kill rate of 99.99% on the Phi-X174 virus – one of the smallest known non-enveloped viruses which makes it harder to detect and kill. Protection against this virus is used as a recognised standard in anti-viral testing to analyse the resistance of critical PPE and air filtration systems to blood-borne viruses.
3. A complete range of solutions
Working within a budget can mean you’re limited to the type of solutions you can offer the end user. Where some value offerings have a limited product set, the MK Base range is designed to provide a broad selection of practical products that installers need to meet the needs of building owners and occupants, including USB integrated sockets and trailing edge LED dimmers.
It also features grid front plates and euro plates that are compatible with MK Electric’s Grid Plus and euro range of modules, extending the range further to better meet the needs of a project. Aesthetics are another feature that can sometimes suffer as budgets lower. Looking out for stylish design features, such as the curved edges seen on MK Base, can help elevate the quality look and feel of the finish and complement any interior.
There are always projects where some areas will be ‘on show.’ An alternative way to reduce costs is to select more premium products to furnish priority areas of a building and use more affordable options for back-of-house areas that aren’t as visible to customers or occupants.
For instance, upgrading to a decorative finish such as the MK Dimensions in Matt Black, will have an impact front of house and coupling this with MK Base for other areas means you can maintain the quality and functionality customers need and expect, without losing margins.
4. Installation ease
As well as meeting budgets, a value range should also help the contractor to meet build schedules and customer expectations. Often lower quality wiring devices can mean compromising on features that allow for ease of installation and an attractive final appearance. Check to make sure the cost-effective products you select include features such as backed out and captive terminal screws, both of which can be seen in the new MK Base range. Limited budgets doesn’t mean lower customer expectations. It’s important to find a range that can deliver a complete product set that is uniform in installation and aesthetics, without eating into margins.
The MK Base range can help your project stay on budget without compromising on quality or key product solutions. With the back-up and reassurance that goes with choosing an established brand, it’ll make for a smoother job all round.
View the MK Base range brochure by clicking here