Now in the role of general manager, he says the reinvigoration of Electrical Supply Corp (ESC) is well underway and product ranges such as EGO energy regulators and Chemz electrical sprays have returned to ESC to give electrical wholesalers, contractors and electricians easier access to a greater range of familiar products from a single, high-performing supplier.
“We are now aligning with local and world-leading electrical manufacturers and representing the right brands for electrical contractors to rely on for their day-to-day work as well as projects. We are also looking at where we can add new ranges that complement our growing offer, and we are making sure the ranges we already supply cover off everything a contractor would likely need to complete a project.”
Priest says over recent years ESC has been evolving from an EDI-compatible distributor of well-packaged and presented wiring accessories to a full-service electrical supplier.
“We are growing again by adding more value to the products we supply.”
ESC’s increasing level of product and design support began in 2002 when ESC undertook to supply Stanilite emergency lighting.
Representing Stanilite in New Zealand opened up the business to the project and specifier market which ESC continues to develop today with its expansion into a broader range of commercial and residential lighting under the Enhance lighting brand.
Priest says becoming a specialist distributor of ABB low voltage products in 2015 has also added more depth to the ESC offer and further increased the level of support the company offers electricians and engineers.
As part of this increased brand support, he has recently appointed former ABB national sales and marketing manager, Marcel Van der Park, to an expanded role of commercial manager for ESC responsible for products, suppliers, distribution and customer service.
“Marcel has an international knowledge of suppliers and their products and is now strengthening our supply arrangements to ensure product continuity of supply and conformity.”
Priest brings 40 years’ experience in the electrical industry to the company, most recently as CEO for Corys Electrical where Van der Park worked previously as the electrical wholesaler’s commercial manager.
Priest says ESC is now streamlining its services to wholesalers and their customers to make sure the company is providing products, technical and design support in the most effective way for each wholesaler network.
Emergency lighting support
The higher level of support carries through to the growing specifier market as well, with brands like Stanilite.
ESC’s Stanilite product manager, Stephen Collard, says about half the emergency lighting projects the company has been involved in have been specified by engineers.
“We provide as much design support for engineers as they require and usually design the backbone of the solution for them and provide commissioning of monitored installations.”
Collard says ESC gets calls every day for design work on new projects with much of this also coming from electrical wholesalers wanting a Stanilite design for an electrical contractor design-build project.
“We have a large countrywide support network of emergency lighting specialists, lighting specialists, designers, product managers, BDMs and wholesale reps to take care of an emergency lighting installation of any size and provide designs for building consent purposes, including PS1’s and PS4’s when required.”
He says since Stanilite’s changeover to LEDs and lithium batteries, the economics have dramatically increased the number of buildings where a monitored system is now affordable.
“A building used to have about 300 emergency fittings to justify a monitored solution but that has come down to a tipping point of around 75 fittings. This is because the price of Stanilite fittings has remained largely the same, but the cost of compliance has gone up. We can design a Stanilite monitored solution that reduces compliance costs for a greater range of smaller buildings and makes a complete monitored solution more-cost-effective than ever before.”
Collard says if a contractor wants to simplify any maintenance required to sign off a building warrant, ESC offers building owners testing contracts where the monitoring is carried out by ESC.
“The Stanilite system takes the uncertainty out of fault-finding by identifying any fitting requiring maintenance and its location, then automatically generating a work order for a prompt and easy repair.”
Commercial and residential lighting
While ESC offers a complete design and supply emergency lighting service, the company is also ramping up its general lighting supply in the commercial and residential markets under the Enhance brand.
Led by lighting designer and engineer Aaron Brown and Jonathan Foreman, Enhance Light for Architecture, a division of ESC, specialises in the supply of luminaires from nine European lighting brands to the architectural and specifier market.
Foreman says Enhance Light can take care of commercial lighting projects from design to project delivery and works with contractors and wholesalers to ensure any changes required during the installation stage are consistent with the design objectives.
“Enhance Light provides a support team of designers and product specialists to help on any project, and that now includes residential projects. Our growing Enhance for Residential offer is available now and we are redeveloping our website and catalogues to show the full extent of both commercial and domestic portfolios.”
Selecting the right sensors
ESC adds more design value as a full-solution lighting supplier with the integration of its Steinel range of sensors.
ESC’s design and controls consultant, Harald Giffels, was a regional sales manager for Steinel before he joined ESC and, as an electrical engineer and a lighting engineer, brings design and product expertise to lighting projects.
He says ESC is uniquely positioned to offer proper sensor design in parallel with lighting designs to ensure coverage is correct for each application and area being lit.
“We work a lot with consultants to assist with design and product selection because our range is so large it is hard for consultants to keep up with the special features and detection capabilities of all the Steinel product variants.
“We supply multiple ranges of sensors using four different detection technologies that work for stand-alone installations right through to full BMS integration for optimal efficiency.”
He says getting ESC involved in any sensor-controlled installation will enable the specification of the most appropriate sensors.
“This can often mean fewer sensors than expected are required, leading to a better performing and more cost-effective, energy-saving solution.
“Steinel’s new generation sensors are leading the field with genuine presence detection that not only detects people not moving in a space but counts them accurately as well. These sensors once integrated with software packages take space and building management to a new level.”
Steve Priest says with the right people in the right roles, he is now bringing them together in a more cohesive structure to offer greater service.
“The extra value we are now adding for customers lies in the technical and design support we provide, along with the range expansions and additional ranges like the recently added EGO and Chemz products.
“We are also introducing ABB industrial IEC 60390 plugs and sockets, and there is more to come.”
Electrolink March-April 2020 - Neil Frank