Gary Perry, MD of Altecnic, argues that merchants and installers can maintain their reputations and ensure the safety of the end customer by providing fully accredited products.
Although price is important in all buying decisions, when it comes to both stocking and selecting plumbing and heating parts, the key criteria is that they meet the required safety standards and are fully accredited with the right industry bodies. This is particularly important when dealing with potentially scalding water or appliances that are fed by oil or gas.
Furthermore, authentic, accredited, quality products mean less customer service issues and returns — and will strengthen your reputation as a trusted supplier, whether you’re a merchant or an installer. These products should come from a trusted manufacturer; they should be chosen and installed with the performance of the system in mind — a one-size-fits-all often won’t work.
A reputable manufacturer will have invested heavily in making sure their products are tested rigorously. For a new product, this is often expensive, which is why great effort is put in during the development stages to ensure only quality and safe materials are used in production.
For example, Caleffi’s drive for the highest manufacturing standards means that it has almost 100% ownership over the complete manufacturing process of its products — from hot brass pressing (Pressco) through to its techno polymer stamping facility, this allows optimum quality control at every step of the process.
If your trade customers are looking to install an efficient system that delivers on performance and meets the test of time, the cheapest route is usually the wrong route. With fully accredited products, your customers can benefit from the peace of mind that they made the right decision.
“If your trade customers are looking to install an efficient system that delivers on performance and meets the test of time, the cheapest route is usually the wrong route.”
What to look for
Products should carry the most recent accreditations such as Water Regulatory Advisory Scheme approval (WRAS) and the CE Mark, and proper efficiency testing is a minimum. This should either be present on the packaging or accompanying information, or just a quick online search away.
WRAS accreditation means the part you are selling or using complies with the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations or Scottish Bylaws. This means that the water fitting does not cause waste, misuse, undue consumption or contamination of the water supply and are of an ‘appropriate quality and standard.’ WRAS approval is an easy way to demonstrate compliance for a material or water fitting.
CE marking, or ‘Conformité Européenne’ (European Conformity), is required for many water industry products. By having the mark on products, it shows that the manufacturer has checked they meet EU health and safety and environmental requirements and comply with EU legislation.
The domino effect
At this time of trying to cut costs to recoup on loss of earnings and profits, it would be tempting to look for cheaper products to buy. However, in the heating and plumbing industry not only would this be a false economy, it could also be a dangerous move.
By looking out for the accredited, authentic products you are not only keeping everyone safe but also encouraging all manufacturers to go down the accreditation route — to make products that merchants and installers want to buy.
For more information on Altecnic, and the accreditations it holds, go to: https://www.altecnic.co.uk/company/accredited/