Leading cable management manufacturer Marshall-Tufflex has a strong national specification service offering, with Specification Managers, Barry Roberts, Marie Beacock Yates and David O’Flynn on hand to support customers across the commercial and industrial sectors with product specifications and provide assistance during the tender stages through to project completion.
Barry Roberts has worked in M&E contracting for 35 years. Following his five-year electrical apprenticeship, Barry fulfilled the roles of Electrician, Quantity Surveyor and Project Manager, working on a range of projects including rail, prisons, government buildings and education facilities – before landing at Stansted Airport as Resident Engineer for six years. Barry joined the Marshall-Tufflex team in 2014 as Contract and Specification Account Manager for the Southern Region and is now National Specification Manager.
Marie Beacock Yates has worked in the industry for over 25 years, covering both the mechanical and electrical sectors. She joined Marshall-Tufflex in 2015 and has progressed through the company in a number of sales focused roles, including Area Sales Manager, Key Account Manager and now Specification Manager.
Finally, David O’Flynn has previously worked in the electrical wholesale industry for seven years and joined Marshall-Tufflex three years ago as Area Sales Manager in the North East before being promoted to the role of Specification Manager.
With all three Specification Managers in place, Marshall-Tufflex is equipped to support contractors up and down the country, working across a wide range of projects. We caught up with them to ask them about the current industry challenges and trends.
- What are some of the biggest challenges facing contractors at the moment?
Budget restraints are one of the biggest issues that contractors face. We firmly believe that when specifying cable management solutions, the first consideration should always be their suitability for the end use. As such, we work closely with customers to make sure that the products chosen are applicable to the project brief, as well as in line with budgets. We also factor in how easy the products are to install, to ensure that labour costs can be kept to a minimum.
Regardless of the project, we also work closely with the wider Marshall-Tufflex team to ensure that all customer requirements can be met as efficiently and effectively as possible.
- Would you say you are seeing a trend towards the specification of more sustainable products?
Despite the numerous benefits that they offer, the trend for specifying sustainable PVC-U cable management products has been slow. Recycled content is big on the agenda at design, prequalification and tender stages, but once the project is awarded it tends to dilute and generally disappears. This is something we are striving to change and Marshall-Tufflex is committed to manufacturing products that reduce impact on the environment. In fact, in 2020, across the range, our PVC-U products were produced using 74% recycled material and it is our ambition that by 2028, all PVC-U products installed in buildings use at least 50% recycled material.
For this target to become a reality, all stages of the supply chain have a role to play. From manufacturers to designers, specifiers and contractors.
- Material shortages are a challenge industry wide – how is Marshall-Tufflex overcoming this?
One of the biggest issues facing us has been the lack of recycled PVC-U. Thankfully, the impact on Marshall-Tufflex has been minimal, thanks to our in-house recycling capabilities. Having invested into our production processes in recent years, we are in the strong position of being able to process post-industrial waste and post-consumer waste material, typically from plastic windows, with our compounding machinery. The PVC-U is granulated and processed through our compounder to remove any impurities, resulting in recycled PVC-U material that we then use for manufacturing new trunking or conduit systems. This has allowed us to largely maintain our supply of PVC-U and stock levels.
Our ability to maintain continuity of supply of our aluminium, steel and other non-PVC-U ranges has also been good thanks to strong supplier relationships. Whilst we have occasionally needed to extend lead times, we have ensured that customers have been well informed about any issues and are therefore able to plan ahead to allow for this.
- What is your top piece of advice for contractors selecting cable management solutions?
Our advice for contractors selecting cable management solutions is that cheap is not always the best solution. In fact, cheaper products can end up costing more in the long run as they are more likely to need repairing or replacing earlier in their life cycle.
We also recommend contractors consider how the products specified can assist with simplifying the installation process, as this will ultimately reduce labour costs, and time on site, considerably.
Finally, we always recommend specifying sustainable products wherever possible. After all, if the price point is the same and the quality is better, why wouldn’t you specify products with lower environmental impact?
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