In still difficult economic circumstances, customers for wiring accessories expect the same standards of excellence for less cost. Ron Thomas explains the need to adapt product ranges to meet the new demands of the current economic climate.
The luxury market for wiring accessories remains largely uncompromised – if a five-star hotel requires luxury products, the managers will often commission a designer to create a bespoke solution or request a specialist finish that comes with a particular price tag. The lower end of the market is still flooded with traditional white plastic plates with visible screws.
Yet the middle section of the market – reasonably high quality residential developments, good hotels and other high-class commercial buildings – is where specifiers are looking to save money without compromising on style or performance.
By using plastic instead of metal it is possible to produce a cost-effective product that does not compromise on features (for example, slim profile sockets and a concealed fixing system). The product can be provided at a lower price point to reflect today’s need for product ranges to provide greater value for money, while not compromising on functionality and style.
‘Time is money’
Another consideration in today’s challenging climate is saving time – after all, that old adage ‘time is money’ still rings true and contractors don’t want to spend lots of time installing complicated systems when they could be on to the next job more quickly.
Using plates that clip on securely once the grid and gasket or metal frame is attached to the wall is one way of saving time. A modular grid fix system gives contractors the option to construct plates on site depending on the job in hand, giving further opportunities to save time and money.
So whilst we all hope that the economy picks up and that the construction industry once again reaches the height it was at a few years ago, until that happens we need to offer our customers something new, different and affordable.
The demand is still out there for great products that look fantastic but, by producing cheaper alternatives, we can aim to capture that middle market that doesn’t have the luxury budgets it once had.
Hamilton Litestat has developed its Hartland CFX range by introducing the Hartland CFX Colours range of wiring accessories. The company’s goal in launching the new range is to replicate the aesthetics, style and function of its popular Hartland CFX range – including Hamilton’s patented concealed fixings system – for the more cost-conscious part of the wiring accessories market.
The company has achieved this by using glossy plastic switch plates and sockets in white, jet black and pillar box red. The pillar box red plate is ideal for differentiating particular sockets in commercial and healthcare environments for safety reasons, but also provides a fun option for brightly designed residential schemes.