Every month, Zano puts one of its wholesaling partners up and down the country under the spotlight. This month, we’re reviewing what previous wholesalers have had to say about some of issues affecting them – from how the market has changed to evolutions in LED technology, it’s really interesting to see the difference of opinion.
Read on, and whether or not you see eye-to-eye with them, why not let us know on Twitter (@ZanoControls)?
Here’s who we talked to:
- Tim Powell, Area Manager at Wilson Electrical
- Raj Panesar, Owner and Partner at PEC Lights
- Richard Jolley, General Manager at Westminster Electrical
How have you seen the wholesale market change since you started working in it?
The honest answer is that it hasn't changed. The internet has made a huge impact certainly, but apart from things like technology, especially lighting and controllability, not much about the wholesale market has changed.
However, thanks to the internet, customers are able to see everything, and access lots of product information, without necessarily having to go through wholesalers who have the experience. A lot of people now believe they can find the best solution themselves, only to come back to us when they can’t find the relevant information as quickly as they thought.
Well, it’s changed a lot.
Back then, when electricians and tradesmen walked into the shop, they knew exactly what they wanted, the quantity of it, and they knew how they wanted to do things.
Now, people aren’t as well-organised as they used to be. You still have a lot of professionals, but you spend more time with other customers helping them decide on what they want and being more hands-on.
You also have the internet and the big companies such as Screwfix and B&Q to contend with… A lot of people are driven on price, which can make it tough for the independents.
Over time, wholesalers have become more dependent on manufacturers, rather than holding stock. The big issue is that they don’t see the value of brands.
For them, it’s all about price: people go for the cheap option rather than the quality one, and the internet hasn’t helped in that respect.
How have you seen LED and dimming technology change over time?
[LEDs] are the way forward – they’re cleaner and better than fluorescent tech. Though when selling them, you tend to find that everyone’s an LED expert suddenly.
There are millions of different brands, and as a wholesaler, consumers rely on your experience, especially if they’ve been burned by bad guys in the past. The cheaper you go with LEDs, the less they’ll last you. That’s why I like Zano.
There’s such a broad choice and things are evolving very quickly, especially in the quality of dimming.
Zano has been a game-changer. Before Zano, we used to use a lot of V-Pro modules, but now everyone is demanding Zano modules, which has helped us a lot, because a lot of dimmers don’t dim properly. Customers would always complain about them flickering or not dimming down fully.
It can all depend on what lamp you buy, or what dimmer you buy, and sometimes, there’s no compatibility. But you can always trust a Zano module not to fail when you send it to a customer.
The market has changed enormously – with things like LED’s energy consumption, running costs and the maintenance side of things.
There’s also more flexibility now. Dimming, in the very beginning, was an absolute nightmare with LEDs. LED dimming companies worked hard to resolve that, but it remained a problem for some time, as the LED manufacturer would do something quite strange to a product or a driver, then you had to try and work out the best solution to dim it every time the technology changed.
Luckily, all of that ironed itself out and things are now more standardized across the industry.
Lastly, have you ever used a Zano product to fix a particular customer problem and ‘saved the day’ with it?
Yeah, definitely. The ZGRIDLED150 with multiple adaptors for all the different grid systems is so cool. When electricians look at a job and they don't actually know the grid system, you know that one of those will be a winner. The body will fit all the leading manufacturers brands, so that definitely is a problem solver. And when it comes down to other LED stuff, you’ve got products like the ZBARLEDs, which can cope with a higher wattage than most LEDs can handle.
Most of the time, it’s been customers complaining that their old dimmer is flickering or humming, or that it won’t dim up or down fully. People have always had issues with that, particularly a lot of loft builders.
Since we’ve been supplying Zano modules, that issue has more or less stopped, so it has solved a lot.
I can’t think of a specific example, but I like it because it just works. You don’t need anything else if you get Zano, and if you’re spending good money on lighting, why put in a £2 dimmer?
You wouldn’t buy a Rolls Royce and put budget tires on it.
Want to feature in our next Wholesaler Spotlight? Be sure to give our team a call on 0345 519 5858 or drop us a message on socials. And, for any order enquiries – including for the ZMO150 - drop us a call or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org