With an influx of products onto the electrical market, contractors need to be more aware than ever of the importance of ensuring the quality and provenance of the products they are using. Mark Flanagan, Technical Manager at Scolmore Group, takes a look at the issues.
The UK wiring accessories market is a growing one and the opportunities that this growth and expansion promises can be evidenced in the influx of products onto the market in recent years, from unknown names from outside the market. As a sector, we are only too familiar with the pressures of tight margins and the need to complete projects on time, to shorter programmes and within restricted budgets.
Within these constraints, the appeal of a lower priced product may make sense in the short term, but can contractors afford to put themselves in a position where a product may fail to meet the requirements for which it has been specified, resulting in time lost, delays on-site and additional expenditure on labour?
The growth in online sales of electrical products is also having an impact. Whilst the largest distribution channels for the sales of electrical products are direct from manufacturers and via electrical wholesalers, in terms of online sales, the most significant distributors are ‘internet only’ distributors.
One of the key drivers for growth of the online channel in recent years has been the widening of product ranges by large internet retailers which could provide access to multiple smaller retailers under a main web portal, where access to lesser known brands and inferior quality products is more likely.
Working with a reputable manufacturer will allow access to an unrivalled range of products that are of the highest quality, have been rigorously tested and are fully compliant with the latest and relevant legislation.
It will also provide access to services, facilities and expertise, to help customers keep up-to-date with the very latest products, technologies and regulation changes, including a dedicated technical support team and customer service department who are trained to provide the right level of support whether it is product-related or more general advice seeking.
Such is the pace of development in this industry – with more smart systems becoming available – it can prove difficult to keep up with the raft of new products and solutions that are coming on board. It is within a manufacturer’s realm to provide customers with the opportunity to be educated on how these new products work.
Having invested time and money to harness the latest technologies to develop cutting-edge products, manufacturers will want to ensure that their customers are given every opportunity to understand how the products work and how they can be utilised to the best advantage on a project.
With contractors under increasing pressure to complete projects within tight deadlines and budgets, it is more important than ever that they have the security of knowing the brands they are working with are rigorously tested, fully compliant, will help deliver faster installation and are backed up with reliable customer support service.
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