Why you shouldn’t judge a book (or socket) by its cover

 As a supplier of products to the professional electrical contractor sector, and an innovator in its field, Scolmore regularly has to deal with fake versions of its products entering the market. Now, with claims of like for like products being marketed out there, Kevin Beech, Group Sales Director with Scolmore Group, is keen to highlight the importance for contractors and wholesalers to be on their guard against false claims and to always scrutinise the quality and provenance of the products they are purchasing.

Scolmore has always been an innovator in its field and this has always given the company a competitive advantage. When you are an innovator, some will always seek the ‘easy’ option of copying you. Others will make claims that the products they supply are like for like for some of yours, only cheaper. What’s the catch? When faced with a choice of products that ‘look’ the same, here are some key things to consider:

BSI Kitemark – does the product have a kitemark? BSI Kitemark stands for quality, safety and trust. First registered in 1903, the highly recognised quality mark confirms that a product or service has been thoroughly tested and checked, time and again, and proven to meet a recognised industry standard or need. The BSI Kitemark is a quality mark owned and operated by BSI. It is one of the most recognised symbols of quality and safety and offers true value to consumers, businesses and procurement professionals. BSI Kitemark certification gives a product or service immediate status – hard earned through rigorous tests at a BSI centre of excellence, or through rigorous assessments. If a product does not carry a BSI Kitemark, customers purchasing that product will not have the reassurance of its quality or safety.

All Click Scolmore BS1363 socket outlets bear the BSI Kitemark and the company has held this certification for over 25 years – a clear demonstration of the company’s commitment to adhering to the highest standards of quality and safety of the products it supplies to the professional electrical market.

Product quality – ask questions about the materials used. If a similar product is being offered that is cheaper, it usually means critical materials have been replaced with inferior and inadequate alternatives. For example, instead of brass components, copper has been used, or where brass has been used it is thinner and therefore of inferior quality.

Scolmore prides itself on many things when it comes to its products – innovative designs, quality materials, rigorous testing. As a business, the company believes that honesty, transparency and integrity are among the key values that drive its relationship with its customers.

That is why Scolmore says it would never make claims about its products – or where they are manufactured – if these claims were not true. The company has been working closely with a small number of select overseas factories for many years now and has built up a mutually respectful relationship with them. Scolmore has invested in these factories to ensure they have the best equipment, technologies and people in place to manufacture its products to the highest possible standards. All products are designed in house in Tamworth by the company’s specialist teams. Partner factories work closely with the designers to work the designs up to samples and then finished products ready for market. The company then makes regular trips to the premises and has regulated systems and procedures in place to ensure that they operate safely and to Scolmore’s exacting standards.

These factories operate on an exclusive basis with Scolmore, only producing products for the group of companies. Anyone who claims that their products are made in the same factory makes the implication that their products are of the same quality, have been subject to the same rigorous testing and approvals processes, when in fact they may not be, and in that way, they are misleading their customers and end users. Wholesalers and contractors need to have the assurance and the proof of the origin of the products that are being supplied to them.

Nobody wants to be taken in by misinformation which, by definition means false or inaccurate information, especially that which is deliberately intended to deceive. People want to do business with companies that are trustworthy, that are impressive, that deliver on what they say, that are innovative thinkers, and that are both genuine and responsible in all their interactions. Scolmore says it prides itself on adhering to these principles.

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