Mike Jackson, Sales Director with leading cable accessories supplier, Unicrimp, talks to PE about the growth and development of the company since it was launched by Scolmore Group in 2014.
Unicrimp was launched by Scolmore Group almost a decade ago, with the aim of bringing to the electrical wholesale industry a comprehensive range of cable accessory products that would complement Scolmore’s successful wiring accessories and lighting portfolios.
Since its introduction, the Unicrimp range has been continually developed and expanded, and currently comprises three distinct product categories, with each one marketed under its own sub-brand and all available exclusively through the electrical wholesaler channel.
These are the Q-Crimp range of cable and wire accessories, Q-Fire fire-rated and 18th Edition compliant cable accessories and the most recent addition to the portfolio – Q-NECT lever connectors and connection boxes – launched at the beginning of this year.
Unicrimp is also the exclusive distributor of the original, multi-surface sealant and adhesive brand, OB1, through the UK electrical wholesale channel.
The Q-Crimp range of cable accessory products provides everything required to harness cable between the consumer unit and the end accessory. The product offering comprises an extensive range of cable management consumables, including stainless steel cable ties, nylon cable ties, crimp terminals, PVC tape, copper tube terminals, cable clips, and brass and nylon glands. Most electricians will carry all of these products in their tool bag, so in that sense they’re all key products. Our cable clips account for the biggest part of the business and our customers are constantly telling us that they’re the best performing cable clips on the market – mainly due to their versatility. The self-grip design aids installation and they have long, thick steel nails for good pull out value.
Q-Fire is an extensive range of fire-rated cable accessories that are 18th Edition compliant. The range comprises fire-safe twin and earth cable clips, saddle clips and p clips, stainless steel mounts, metal cable cleats, all-round banding, masonry screws and fire-resistant sealants and foam. The comprehensive range provides installers with an expanded choice of fixing solutions, suitable across a range of applications and environments – helping them to satisfy the latest wiring regulations.
The 18th Edition wiring regulations stipulate that cable support systems must be constructed with materials that will withstand premature collapse caused by direct exposure to heat. There are no applications excluded – trunking, conduit and cabling fixed to surfaces of the building or attached to cable support systems must all have fire-resistant supports in place.
The launch of the Q-NECT range of lever connectors and connection boxes brings together a selection of products that work in conjunction with each other to provide installers with strong, quick and reliable solutions that will offer them versatility when carrying out their everyday tasks. A total of ten products make up the full Q-NECT range, which comprises 2, 3 and 5 way lever connectors, IP66 weatherproof junction box, 2 and 3 way IP connection boxes and 5 pole, 3 way IP68 ‘T’ and 2 way inline connectors.
OB1 is a high-spec hybrid construction sealant and adhesive that has a tried and tested formulation which has been used by the trade for over 15 years. What makes OB1 stand out is its versatility, flexibility and its 24-hour full curing time. It provides an alternative to mastics, wood and PU adhesives, silicones, acrylics and butyl rubber sealants. This one product is capable of bonding and sealing an extensive range of materials including aluminium, wood and MDF, plastic, metal, steel, mirror, lead, concrete, glass, tile, polycarbon, PVC and felt. OB1 also works in damp conditions and even under water. It contains no solvents so it will never crack or shrink, can be applied on wet surfaces, painted or moulded and it has a very high bond strength with resistance to fungal and bacterial growth.
I started out as an electrician nearly 30 years ago and I’ve seen a lot of changes in the industry throughout that time. However, just as important as ever is the need to have confidence in the products you’re working with and that means going with a brand of accessories that you can trust.
Time spent replacing a faulty or unreliable product is time wasted that could be spent on another job. Installers are increasingly looking for products that offer them flexibility and will help them get a job done quickly and relatively easily, and they will be looking to manufacturers who can offer products that do just that. Quality and reliability and knowing that products have been tested and certified where necessary are all important factors. The reassurance that there is good technical support will also play a part in purchasing decisions.
All Unicrimp products are manufactured in accordance with Scolmore Group’s defined set of criteria and meet the requirements for the market for which they’re intended. We achieve this in several ways by utilising recognised third party test houses to carry out compliance testing and performing regular routine maintenance/inspection of the products and manufacturing facilities. All products are batch coded for improved traceability and should any issues arise, we have the advantage and reassurance of the back-up of the Scolmore Group technical department.
By dealing with just one supplier to purchase their electrical accessories, wholesalers and electricians are able to tap into a whole range of other services that come with brand loyalty. As a group we will look, where possible, to reward the customers we have built good relationships with, by adding value where we can.
They can benefit from considerable knowledge and expertise that we have built up over many years of successful trading and collaborative partnerships. They can access a dedicated technical support team and customer service department, trained to provide the right level of support, whatever the issue. They can also take advantage of a range of marketing tools via the ‘Marketing Hub’ on the Unicrimp website, where they can access and download product information, images and video tutorials, as well as access technical information.
We’re continually assessing the market for opportunities and reviewing our own product ranges to see if any improvements can be made. We’ve been very proactive from a marketing point of view since our inception and we now have many electricians and customers following us on our various social media platforms. They can also look out for us at this year’s ELEX shows, which we’ve signed up to. This offers a great opportunity for electricians and installers to see the latest products and developments and to have an informative chat with some of the team members.
Get more details on the full Unicrimp product offering here