When it comes to power protection, most electrical engineers will have a broad knowledge of the subject and what’s available in terms of products and solutions. Some may posses a specific understanding of particular applications like data centres, hospitals, retail and banking. But with technology advancing so quickly and commerce evolving rapidly, it’s almost impossible to stay up-to-date with everything and that’s where today’s resellers come in.
Take energy management and monitoring, for example. When UPS (uninterruptible power supplies) first hit the scene, managing electricity consumption wasn’t even an issue. Now, it’s part of every installation and needs to be taken into consideration at the design stage – even before any products have been specified.
Keeping pace with what’s new and available is a full time job in itself. A good, reliable and trusted reseller can be an invaluable partner when it comes to providing your customers with the best solution for them. A quality reseller will have their ear to the ground in terms of market developments and initiatives that are being introduced, they will be familiar with the latest products from top manufacturers and will help you design, source and install the best solutions for your customers – whatever their needs.
But how do you distinguish a good reseller?
Knowledge and experience
Gone are the days when your local UPS distributor merely shifted boxes. A reseller worth their salt today should be able to advise you on the latest approaches and initiatives to issues such as energy management and power distribution and products available, such as 3Pole and 4Pole bypass switchgear, Flow Batteries and new panel technologies. They should have an in-depth knowledge of every aspect of critical power protection, power and energy management, and be able to assess and advise on the best approach, strategies and designs for each application you are working on. Their knowledge should extend further than power protection; a partner reseller will understand as much about how today’s data centres or banking floors and retail systems operate as they do about UPS and generators.
Today’s resellers should be able to demonstrate credentials such as approval from the British Safety Council, Environment Agency and comply with standards like ISO 9001, ISO 27001, ISO 18001, SafeContractor and recycling policies. Why? Firstly, because of the audit trail. Power installations (along with all electrical projects) have to comply to the latest standards and meet minimum requirements and the audit trail has to go right back to source, so the reseller you buy the products from is just as important in terms of compliance as you are.
In addition, credentials demonstrate the reseller’s commitment and dedication to high standards, which adds to their credibility and trust.
A reseller that is manufacturer independent is not tied to any one manufacturer and is (therefore) free to select from a wider range of products available in the market. This freedom to choose must be tempered with an extensive knowledge of each manufacturer’s products and systems. Reputable manufacturers will offer accreditation training to specialist resellers giving them a thorough and practical understanding of their goods and equipment. Manufacturer accreditation highlights a reseller’s commitment to attaining a certain level of knowledge and understanding that will then benefit you.
Today’s resellers should be solution focused, which means their perspective extends beyond product features and functionality to fully addressing the short and long-term aims of customers.
Whether banks, retailers, hospitals, schools or whatever, customers today need complete, accurate and timely data about their energy use so that they can take steps to control and even reduce it. Some, such as data centres, may even need to bill their own customers for that electricity use.
A good reseller will help you incorporate energy meters into equipment and systems, which enables additional information to be collected – in billable format if necessary.
In summary, your reseller today is not just a number you call to place product orders, they can (and should) help you be more successful and profitable in what you do, help you build your business and reputation and keep your customers happy.