With demand for electrical services growing and labor shortages continuing, the need to update business strategies – including new ways for saving time and enhancing efficiencies — remains critical for success.
You’re likely aware of the trends: Electrical service needs are increasing at a steady pace, and employment in the industry is expected to grow by 9 percent over the next several years. This employment rate is smaller than the projected growth rate in the market. This trend means owners, operators, and managers must find and keep good labor as well as create ways for being more as productive as possible to meet market demands –— a reality often easier said than done.
Advancing an electrical business hinges on efficient project management, solid products, and well-trained professionals who can complete installations in a capable manner. In the ultra-competitive business landscape, optimizing time on the job leads to completing jobs faster — and greater revenue for the business over the year.
Consider Total Cost of Installation
At the heart of any installation is, of course, the product. Most of the time, products are selected based on the lowest price points, despite how long they actually take to install, or how often they may need to be replaced. Although price is an important variable, electrical contractors would be wise to consider the total cost of installation, which is the price plus the labor, including time to complete the installation.
According to recent market research, while 74 percent of electrical contractors say the quality and value of Square D products validate the higher price point, many of these professionals select less expensive products for customer installs. What’s missing from the equation is factoring in the total cost of installation, explains Brad Wills, director of strategic customers and programs at Schneider Electric.
“Square D products can be installed at a rate that’s 37 percent faster than other panels,” he says. “For a large project, such as a 300-unit multifamily property, that’s a labor savings of approximately 220 hours.”
When products can be installed quicker, owners and operators are at an advantage. “These professionals are better positioned to get to the next project while companies using other products are stuck,” Wills says.
Faster installations mean electrical companies can do more with the same amount of labor. While labor is the single largest cost for businesses, project management technologies can help to schedule projects accurately to streamline efficiencies and reduce redundancies, costs, and downtime. With clear communication in the field, managers can shift labor in real time based on need and opportunity.
Additionally, contractors who are properly trained and products that promote a simple and intuitive design can also shave off installation time.
Set Your Business Apart
Installations that are done correctly, in a timely manner, and with products designed to last lead to competitive differentiation. Consider product price, quality, design, and operational efficiencies to streamline the business and optimize opportunity. And, most important, Wills advises, approach the business with a holistic mindset.
“The time you’re saving and the ability to take on more work far outweighs the incremental price you may pay for materials,” he says.
For more business-building support, visit the Schneider Electric contractor portal.