13 January 2012 – The electrical components market is relatively saturated in South Africa. “Unfortunately, we have seen a predisposition towards cheaper, substandard products as the economic crunch took hold of the market in the past 18 months,” Mike Cronin, managing director of Elquip Solutions says.

Elquip Solutions, which supplies capital equipment, consumables, electrical components, tooling and machinery to industry, recently appointed Humphrey Lephuting as an external sales consultant for its range of electrical components. Lephuting says that the company is embarking on an educational process with customers to make them aware of the risks involved in purchasing substandard, cheap components.

“The majority of our customers are panel builders, with the minority being wholesalers selling to the public. In the case of panel builders, I am sure that no end-user would be happy with a panel that was destined for failure due to the use of inferior components. The downtime and cost incurred by faulty panels is often incalculable; and panel builders would be well advised to consider the short term savings on substandard components as opposed to the long-term gain from using higher quality products.”

The provision of product guarantees and after-sales service and product backup is an important approach to customer service and distinguishes higher quality suppliers from the cheaper suppliers. Lephuting says, “In order to ensure a relationship based on trust and transparency, each item in our product catalogue details its country of origin, so customers can be assured of our sources.”