Our ‘Wholesaler of the Month’ for June 2023 is Warwick Electrical, an independent electrical wholesaler in Pimlico and a member of AWEBB.
We talked with the firm’s Purchasing and Sales Manager, Terry Beere, about his route into electrical wholesaling, the value the firm gets by being part of AWEBB, and times when Zano has helped their customers out of a tight spot…
Name: Terry Beere
Job Title: Purchasing & Sales Manager
Company: Warwick Electrical (Pimlico, London)
Terry, could you tell me a bit more about your role?
Currently, I’m the Purchasing and Sales Manager here at Warwick Electrical. Day-to-day, I action all incoming emails, orders and customer requests, and as stock items deplete, I keep track of those and ensure they stay replenished.
How long have you been with Warwick Electrical? How did you find your way there?
I’ve been here for just over 8 years. I was working with another wholesaler closer to where I lived when I received a call from one of the directors here, Sean.
I already knew of Warwick Electrical from before, in my days working as a supplier. The call came at a good time, the interview went well, and it all went from there.
How did you find that transition from supplier to electrical wholesaler?
It was quite simple, but prior to being a supplier, I actually started in wholesaling.
I went into wholesaling straight from school and worked with a few wholesalers in my career before eventually being offered a job with a supplier closer to home.
So, the truth is, I moved from electrical wholesaling into the supplier role before moving back, but it was all still within the same industry – and that’s how I came to know a lot of wholesalers as a result.
Did you know that you would be a electrical wholesaler when you were in school? How did it happen?
No – my uncle owned an electrical wholesaler, so when the time came to do work experience, I thought “that’s handy, I’ll do that”.
At the time I wanted to be a fireman, but they obviously wouldn’t let a child on work experience do that. So, I worked for a week with my uncle, and from then on, he would occasionally ask me what I was doing after school. If I was free, I would work with him.
I had a few different career paths after that, but I ultimately ended back up in wholesaling.
Back to Warwick Electrical, what appeals to you about the way they do things?
Well, it’s nice because we’re independent, but we’re also part of a network of electrical wholesalers, AWEBB, so it’s a bit more personal.
We have two governors, and Warwick Electrical is run more like a family business. You are treated better and you get noticed more than in a big national wholesaler, where you can feel like a number.
All in all, it’s just a good working environment.
Does being part of AWEBB impact your day-to-day work?
It doesn’t interfere with our work, but it does give us reassurance being part of it. We have access to their knowledge and their accounts with different suppliers.
Effectively, if we don’t use a specific supplier but another member does, we can go to them for prices and get help with products if they have them in stock and we don’t.
Moving on, how much have you seen the electrical wholesaler market change in your time?
It hasn’t changed a lot, to tell you the truth. New businesses and wholesalers are popping up with new client bases, but you often get the same types of contractors, business and council contracts, for example.
What has changed somewhat is the internet. A lot of people will search for a product online and they’ll see the deal they can get from an online seller or a shed. So, they’ll come in and ask “how much is a fuse board”, and when you tell them they’ll say “well, I can get it cheaper from here”.
In this context, how are you navigating that competition?
It is certainly more competitive, but we’re OK. We have a loyal client base and the support of AWEBB, who can negotiate with suppliers to buy at a discount for us.
As an independent, what we offer is also much more personal. A lot of our customers are friends by now, and they know they get a good service from us, so that’s the key difference.
Lastly, we do have to talk about LEDs – what have you seen change from a wholesaler perspective?
Well, it has all changed from the tungsten and halogen lamp days, and it’s getting a bit more complicated as each lamp works at a lower wattage. With so many LEDs in a room, you also need a certain wattage of LED module, rather than a standard module that works for most.
That being said, Zano is on top of all of it. For example, while the domestic projects are very simple, the bigger projects - where you can have hundreds of lights on a dimmer - can be tricky.
In that case, you do need to speak to the Zano team directly to know that you’re getting the right product, but that’s exactly what they’re there for.
On that note, how have you found dealing with the Zano team?
They have been really good. We met the Zano team again quite recently at an AWEBB meeting.
At the time, we were using a competitor and we hadn’t talked with Zano for a while, but we made contact with Carmen, the Business Development Manager, and we’ve since picked up the relationship again. We’ve been doing really well with them.
As we always like to ask, have you had an occasion where a client has come to you with a problem and Zano has been the perfect solution?
Yes, a few times. In particular, we’ve had a couple of hotels who have wanted to dim lots of fittings, and we knew that we could do it with the ZBARLED range.
They’re technically on top of everything else, and the team are easy to deal with, so that’s why we’re stocking them.
We’d like to thank Terry for his time and congratulate Warwick Electrical for being our Wholesaler of the Month.
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, either drop us a call or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org