Paul Allen, National Sales Manager (Power Distribution) at CMD Ltd, discusses how the company works with electrical contractors to add value to the procurement and installation process, from project win to completion on site.
When I first joined CMD 12 years ago, most of my day-to-day customer contact was with M&E consultants. It was they who specified the power distribution systems for the projects we were involved in so the contractors – the vital link in the chain – were often not involved in discussions with us where we could provide valuable technical, practical and commercial insight.
Over the past decade, that situation has changed considerably. Although we still work closely with consultants and wholesalers, contractors are taking an increasingly active role in determining the specification and selecting products that aid speed and ease of installation, along with performance and compliance. As a result, CMD is engaging with electrical contractors more than ever. And our goal is to add value wherever possible to help deliver positive outcomes for our customers’ projects and their businesses.
Supply chain reliability
As a UK manufacturer of power distribution systems, one of the biggest ways in which CMD has been able to add value for electrical contractors over the past couple of years is supply chain reliability. We understand that procurement issues not only have the potential to create delays on site, but can also have a knock on effect on the whole programme, which could result in penalties and the loss of repeat projects.
Our solution to this is to take an agile approach to manufacturing, aligned to market demand, helping us to supply distributors quickly and work with electrical wholesalers who keep substantial quantities of our Betatrak powertrack and Power Hub power distribution systems in stock.
To build on this focus, we have recently launched a 48-hour rapid ordering service for the CMD Betatrak system. Designed to help electrical contractors hit the ground running on site as soon as they win a contract, this innovative service enables customers to order up to 50 lengths of Standard or Clean Earth (C/E) low noise Betatrak, along with up to 25 feed units and 10 flexible corner kits, within 48-hours of an approved purchase order. The service includes delivery scheduling to a nominated address, which enables dispatch straight to site if required.
One of the reasons we have launched the 48-hour rapid ordering service is that we know that start on site is often required very quickly after the project is given the green light. We’re also very aware of the disruption caused by supply chain delays and price volatility, both of which have been a lasting legacy of the pandemic.
At CMD, we are also doing everything we can to reduce electrical contractors’ exposure to cost risk. Alongside our efforts to ensure supply chain resilience, we are also committed to clarity on pricing. We are working with electrical contractors to manage the risk of price volatility, with a ‘procure and call off’ service. This enables customers to fix the project price of their electrical distribution system when a contract is won and ordered, the product can be manufactured and despatched in line with the project program on a floor by floor call off basis.
Troubleshooting and technical support
At CMD, our sales teams are not encouraged to take a hard sell approach to winning projects; instead ours is a consultative sell that adds value by providing technical knowledge and practical solutions to aid compliant and cost-effective installations that are easier to deliver.
Our technical expertise means that we can sense check customers’ requirements, flag any compliance issues and suggest how these can be rectified. We can also identify any value engineering opportunities that could help the electrical contractor to reduce material costs, or make any improvements that could reduce labour costs.
We not only provide this added value expertise at specification and procurement stage, but also during project delivery. Available for troubleshooting advice throughout the programme, we know that the unexpected can happen, when the client changes the scope after the job has already started on site, for example, or when site conditions are not as expected. Part of our service as a supplier is to help customers find practical solutions to any issues they may encounter, keeping project delivery on track.
Building on loyalty
CMD is fortunate to have a very loyal customer base amongst electrical contractors of all sizes, because our power distribution systems offer both UK-manufactured quality assurance and value for money. With our focus on service added into the mix, it’s a winning combination.
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