As C-TEC celebrates a milestone birthday in 2021, we take a look how the company has adapted over the past few decades to meet the challenges presented by an ever evolving market.
What’s the common thread that connects The Verve, Heinz baked beans and critical life safety systems manufacturer, C-TEC? A commitment to excellence, perhaps? How about a reputation for delivering a quality offering that is often copied but rarely matched? Well, that depends on your opinion of The Verve and baked beans, in all honesty!
All three are, in fact, linked to one another by the same birthplace. Set in the picturesque and historic county of Lancashire, Wigan is a town that is proud of its industrial past and resultant exports. A key component in the constellation of Northern towns and cities which formed the backbone of British industry in the 19th and 20th centuries, Wigan’s status as a centre for coal and textiles production is something which is still visible today through the redbrick mills and factories which still stand.
This isn’t just limited to heavy industry either, with the town standing historically as a global leader in food production, something which still rings true today with 76% of the world’s top 25 food companies being based in the borough.
And how can you talk about Wigan and not mention pies? While the town looks fondly on its past and current successes, there’s also reason to be optimistic about the future. That’s due to one of Wigan’s most enduring success stories – that of C-TEC, which celebrates its 40th birthday this year.
Championing Northern spirit
As one of the largest manufacturers of life safety systems in the UK, C-TEC boasts a portfolio of quality products that includes conventional and addressable fire alarm systems, disabled refuge systems, call systems and hearing loop systems. A 40-year presence in an industry is certainly no easy feat to achieve and the reasons for C-TEC’s enduring success are varied and numerous. There is one reason, however, which is difficult to quantify, but hugely important to any company, and that’s spirit or ethos.
C-TEC champions a culture of investing in people and this finds its way into every facet of the business. Although the company has grown significantly in the last four decades, with millions of customers in over 70 countries worldwide, C-TEC champions the same ethos and operating philosophy that a family business might. By placing an emphasis on investing in people and taking care of its customers, it has managed to retain its unique charm and reputation for customer care, despite the impressive growth.
Quality in abundance
While C-TEC’s ethos undoubtedly plays a significant role in its success and reputation, the most important aspect of any life safety equipment manufacturer is a commitment to quality. When we’re talking about equipment that is designed to potentially save lives and prevent injury, there really should be no attempts to cut corners on quality, and C-TEC clearly places this at the top of its priority list.
This is reflected in the company having third party product certifications and factory process approvals from multiple certification bodies including the LPCB, VdS, BSI, Intertek and Kiwa Telefication. As well as holding ISO 9001 accreditation, C-TEC is a corporate member of the Fire Industry Association, the Fire Protection Association, the Institute of Sound, Communication & Visual Engineers and the International Hearing Loop Manufacturers’ Association.
C-TEC not only invests heavily in people, but also into its manufacturing, test and research and development. With state-of-the-art technologies at its dedicated research and development facility in Mawdesley, Lancashire, the 20-strong research and development team make use of a custom-built electromagnetic test laboratory, a semi-anechoic test chamber and state-of-the-art light test laboratory. This results in quality design and production from a proud British manufacturer, one able to innovate quickly to meet the demands of the market. It’s also helped to elevate C-TEC from its original market position as a supplier of components, to its standing as a complete systems manufacturer.
As the company’s control panels, detection and alarm devices are all designed and manufactured at the state-of-the-art UK manufacturing facility, installers can be confident that every single component will integrate flawlessly to create systems that work perfectly – from simple ‘one out, all out’ to sophisticated multi-panel networked systems. C-TEC’s recently introduced CAST addressable fire system (CAST stands for C-TEC Addressable System Technology), Hush residential fire system and EVAC-ALERT evacuation alert system are all great examples of this.
Another case in point of the ethos that continues to serve C-TEC so well is the amount of free training that it offers to industry professionals. ‘Hands on’ product training is offered to installers at C-TEC’s Wigan headquarters and elsewhere in the UK and, while in-person training has proved a challenge during the pandemic, it hasn’t stopped installers accessing CPD-certified online seminars, completely free of charge.
The online seminars – run via Zoom – are designed to raise awareness of life safety systems. Covering commercial and domestic fire alarm systems, evacuation alert systems, visual alarm devices and disabled refuge systems, the educational seminars are open to everyone. The seminars feature a Q&A session at the end, too, allowing installers to get direct answers to any burning questions they may have.
Award winning technical support
The back-up provided by C-TEC doesn’t just end there, however, as top class technical support for customers is offered around the clock. Industry-trained technical support staff are available during normal working hours to guide customers with any support they may need but, should an installer need assistance out of hours, C-TEC boasts an array of instruction manuals, sales literature, approval certificates, help videos, image downloads, CAD and BIM drawings, consultant specs and application notes via its Support Hub, which is available on the C-TEC website – free of charge.
The sky’s the limit
It’s no surprise that C-TEC is today considered a one-stop-shop for all things life safety equipment related – well and truly earning the reputation it has built since inception. With a huge drive towards British manufacturing likely in the next few years, there’s genuinely no telling what the limit might be for the Wigan-based manufacturer. One thing that is for certain, however, is that C-TEC will continue to prove the adage that life really does begin at 40!
Find out more about C-TEC and it’s range of products by clicking here