The future is here – well, it’s at least coming – and with it, comes an increase in the use of electric vehicles. In forward-thinking countries such as Norway and the Netherlands, the humble diesel engine is already starting to be phased out, with plans to be rid of vehicles of this nature by 2025. It sounds miles off, but that’s within a decade!
Already these countries are beginning to put in place the sort of infrastructure needed to support this predicted boom. In fact, the EU is considering a directive that will see every new or refurbished home in Europe needing to be equipped with an electric vehicle charging point by 2019. Not only extending the driving range and convenience of electric cars, the increase in charging stations is also intended to allow vehicles to feed their electricity back to the grid, enabling cars to supply energy to Europe’s power network.
The Netherlands and Norway aren’t the only ones considering these sorts of moves either. The Quebec government are also considering plans to make installation of a 240 volt electric vehicle charging station mandatory in all newly built homes, as well as offering a rebate for the purchase and installation of a charging unit to those who have already purchased an electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid.
California, too, has been acting with similar foresight and laying the groundwork for charging infrastructure. Beginning back in 2015, the California Building Code required all new construction to be wired for electric car charging stations. While this doesn’t mandate their installation, the new construction rules will make it easier long-term than trying to retrofit structures with the necessary wiring to support these units down the track.
All of this could have interesting implications for New Zealand… When it comes to trends and leading the way with new technologies, we may be down the bottom of the world, but our innovative spirit means that we don’t tend to be ‘backwards’.
In thinking about where the market is going, Kiwis now have a unique opportunity to get ahead of this trend. If you have any customers who fit the profile of ‘early adopters’, talk them through the considerations surrounding the installation of an electric charging station, or at least the wiring to eventually support one, at their place. The experts at Ideal Electrical can help you get up to speed on the ins and outs of this technology too, so come and talk to one of the team today.
- Get things on the right level
Ergonomic experts recommend positioning screens so that the centre of our gaze naturally lands somewhere in the top quarter. Humans are not designed to look up – especially not for sustained lengths of time so, for maximum viewing pleasure, a television should be mounted so that its centre is between three and five feet from the floor, depending on the height of surrounding seating.
- Consider how close
Proximity to an object changes our perception to it, so consider optimal viewing distance when helping a customer design the home theatre of their dreams. Too close to the screen will decrease the perceived quality and too far away will make fine detail difficult to appreciate. Remind them that bigger isn’t always better either – it’s important to pick an appropriate sized TV for the space!
- Leave the light out
Light will impact viewing, so consider the position of items around big windows, as well as where the sun falls in the room to ensure this stays off screens while watching.
- Let the space be lived in
A living room is just that – a space for living – but no one wants people walking back and forth in front of the television constantly. Urge customers to consider the flow of people through a space or rearrange the furniture if foot-traffic is a problem.
- Loud and proud
Some people find speakers unsightly, but it’s important not to let these be tucked away in a cupboard. Sub-woofers placed in cupboards produced muffled and muddy sound, as do speakers if they’re not allowed to produce sound in the direction they should.
- Space for surround
Most assume full surround sound is the only way to go for a home theatre set up, but here your expertise can help customers consider the best option for the size of their space. Remind them that not only do they need to find room for each of the speakers, the satellite components need to be behind viewers, so expensive wireless options or visible cabling across the carpet often result.
- Balanced budgeting
There’s nothing worse than an expensive television or subwoofer paired with the cheapest cabling, amp or sound bar. Find out your customer’s overall budget for a home theatre system and help them to split the spend across the components that matter to ensure the best quality result overall.
- Surge safe
Not only will a home theatre system need power outlets, they’ll need to be protected. Remind your customers of the value of their investment and urge them to use reputable surge protectors for all components.
When Bizline Sales Manager Noëmie Presse arrived in New Zealand she felt at home right way, even though she didn’t speak a word of English.
A French citizen, Noëmie moved down under three years ago on a mission to bring Bizline, Europe’s leading range of tools and commodity electrical supplies, to Kiwi sparkies.
In that time, as well as learning the language, she’s been instrumental in boosting Bizline’s popularity in this country.
She’s put in huge miles, visited Ideal branches up and down the country – from Whangarei to Invercargill – and shown electricians from the Far North to the Deep South how Bizline can benefit their businesses.
“I’ve seen a major evolution in the appreciation for Bizline in this country. It’s immensely popular in Europe and is in fact a preferred choice for many electricians, but the brand was new for the New Zealand market. Now, there’s definitely a growing recognition in New Zealand for Bizline as a manufacturer of high end tools and commodities,” Noëmie said.
All Bizline products are laboratory tested and certified in France before they are launched in New Zealand. The company has its own COFRAC (French Comity of accreditation)-accredited lab which adheres to stringent European quality rules.
The Bizline lab also runs trials against international standards to ensure products sold outside Europe comply with the needs of local countries. In New Zealand all locally available Bizline products conform to IANZ (International Accreditation New Zealand) standards.
Additional to that, Bizline products in New Zealand are specifically chosen for the local market and trialled with Kiwi tradesmen before they go on sale.
“We need to be sure that any Bizline products offered in New Zealand suit the needs of our loyal customer base. I am in close contact with all 47 Ideal branches to ensure the products we’re putting in our stores are what our customers need.”
Most Bizline tools are made in Germany and are guaranteed for the lifetime of the electrician – not the lifetime of the product, as is the case with most competitor products.
This is a very attractive proposition for Kiwi apprentices, said Noëmie.
“Ideal offers apprentice kits containing a great range of equipment to help young apprentices into their trade. Electricians starting out can buy a set of tools which are guaranteed to last them for their entire sparky career.”
If something goes wrong with a German-made Bizline tool, Ideal will replace it – immediately and forever.
“Buying an apprentice kit is a one off thing. That is a leading competitive advantage that we can hang our hat on,” said Noëmie.
Bizline tools are no more expensive than the locally accepted brands, even though they’re manufactured in Europe, under tough quality controls and backed by Ideal’s ‘Sparky-Life’ guarantee.
Bizline is the house brand of Ideal’s parent company Rexel. With worldwide operations, Rexel achieves supply chain efficiencies that make Bizline products more affordable than lesser quality offerings from countries with lower labour costs.
“Ideal is definitely embracing Bizline products not only for of their superior quality, it just makes better business sense,” Noëmie said.
Although a French citizen Noëmie was born and raised in French Guyana, South America. Following high school, she studied international business at university in France and achieved her MBA in Switzerland.
After graduating from university, Noëmie took a year off to travel the world. She arrived in New Zealand as her first stop and hasn’t left since.
“As soon as I arrived in New Zealand I fell I love with the country. It’s amazing. The scenery is great and I love that it’s possible to ski and surf in the same day.”
On arrival she worked for six months at the French Chamber of Commerce in Auckland, helping New Zealand companies do business in France and French companies do business in New Zealand. After that she backpacked around the country before returning to France.
Back home in France, Noëmie was keen to return to New Zealand asap and was chuffed to land a job as a Business Development Manager for Bizline in this country.
“It was challenging to come and promote the benefits of Bizline here, especially when my English wasn’t great. But it’s been very, very satisfying to see the enthusiasm for these products grow,” she said.
“I am proud to work for Ideal. I have been made to feel very welcome and really enjoy spending time with my colleagues and our loyal customers all over the country,” said Noëmie.
For more information on Bizline visit www.bizline.nz
It’s no secret that smart-phones play a considerable role in our lives these days, both professionally and personally. As we move into a more connected future we have revamped Livewire to include direct smart-phone purchasing via our industry leading smart-van app.
If you have the app already, you will be familiar with the process and it’s still just as easy. Simply open the app on your smart-phone, scan the Smart-Van compatible bar-code provided with select Livewire offers and then add it to your inventory. Select how many items you would like to add into stock and either keep shopping or place the order.
Note: If the item you select is new to your inventory you will need to specify your minimum and maximum stock levels before proceeding to the cart.
If you are unfamiliar with the smart-van app then this section will give you a good overview of the benefits you and your business can expect from the platform.
With the smart-van mobile app orders can be made via your (smart) device from any location, whether you are at the site, at the office or even out for lunch. This flexibility reduces the need to make unscheduled visits to a branch and keeps you on site, making you and/or your staff more productive. If you are operating outside of normal trading hours, the smart-van app is a great tool for preloading orders for quick delivery or pick up the following day.
Before you get started you’re going to need to download the smart-van from the app store, simply search smart-van and proceed to download. To make life a little sweeter, the app is free – Nice and easy!
Once you have downloaded the app you will need to contact one of our friendly
customer service reps to have your existing Ideal Electrical Suppliers account upgraded for smart-van compatibility. Either call our toll free number 0800 733 385 or email the team directly firstname.lastname@example.org and the team will quickly get you up and running with log in credentials.
Once your smart-van account is ready you are free to add regular product into your inventory by either scanning the codes in this issue of Livewire or organising an initial inventory list with our customer service team.
The smart-van app comes complete with an online portal which allows you to centrally manage inventory, driver permissions, consolidated ordering and full visibility of job costings.
We hope you enjoy the added convenience you now have from the barcode inclusion in Livewire and we appreciate any feedback you have on your experience with the app.
SENDING ALL THE RIGHT SIGNALS
In a world that has become more and more interconnected, it’s about “sending all the right signals” – and here is where Belden comes in.
After securing the master distribution rights to the extensive
Belden range in late 2016, all Ideal Connected trade customers now have access to this industry leading product offering. To celebrate the partnership, Matthew Dwyer, territory manager for New Zealand made the journey to Auckland to celebrate this auspicious occasion with the Ideal team. “In New Zealand, Ideal Connected is closely aligned to our premium offering with the highest calibre of staff and a world-class branch network, so it made sense to partner with Ideal”, says Matthew. Pictured Left to Right :Darrin Hughs, Managing Director, Ideal Electrical Supplier; Mattew Dwyer, New Zealand Territory Manager, Beldon; Edward Du Plessis, National Data and Telco Manager, Ideal Connected.
For contractors looking to specify a quality solution for their next project, the Belden range is a welcome addition to the Ideal Connected portfolio. Edward du Plessis, national data and telco manager says “Belden is well respected for their innovative approach to cabling and we are delighted to be offering dedicated national support to the range.” An Ideal Connected consultant can collaborate with home owners, architects or builders to plan, supply and commission any Belden ECS solution. With the realities of a connected future fast approaching it is important to demand the best quality solution to futureproof any residential or commercial investment and this is why Belden is such a pivotal partnership for Ideal Connected.
If you are unfamiliar with Belden and their rich history, this next section will get you up to speed.
Looking back on Belden
Founded in Chicago, Illinois in 1902 by Joseph C. Belden, Belden Incorporated, as we know it today, has had a long and successful history. From their first major breakthrough with “Beldenamel” insulation in 1905, to their products being used in tanks, planes, mobile radios and submarines as part of the war effort, it’s always been about quality manufacturing and development.
Following World War II, Belden really began to establish a clear leadership position in wire and cable technology. In fact, they became one of the first to apply plastic insulations to wire and cable and, from those early days, already began seeking out niche markets that needed sophisticated, high quality products.
The 80s were a time of merges and acquisitions, before the mid 90s saw the adoption of a growth strategy that made Belden’s revenues soar by the start of the new millennium. Since then, the company has continued its market domination, merging with Cable Design Technologies Corporation (CDT), acquiring Lumberg Automation, Hirschmann and Thomas & Betts Corporation’s communications products, and adding Telecast Fiber Systems, GarretCom, Poliron, SCADA, PPC, Grass Valley, TripWire, Miranda Technologies and Byres Security to its family of brands.
Not only did these acquisitions add firepower to the company’s engineering and manufacturing capability, and complete their end-to-end Ethernet product offering, they also pushed Belden into new markets – including cybersecurity, internet connectivity, networking, industrial automation and multi-platform broadcast solutions – with additional expertise.
Today, Belden prides itself on producing and selling a comprehensive portfolio of connectivity and networking products into a variety of markets spanning industrial, enterprise and broadcast. Their end-to-end signal transmission solutions can meet even the most demanding requirements for data, sound and video.
With a laser-sharp focus on the core values of high quality, top performance and total reliability, Belden offers over 3,000 cable and connectivity components (including fiber optics). There’s something for every job, whether you’re working with computer networks, CATV, security systems, entertainment set ups or in an industrial setting. Chances are you’ve used either Belden signature brand products, or components from their key market brands, including Brilliance®, New Generation®, IndustrialTuff® or DataTwist® before.
Products and benefits
Belden’s product suite spans four distinct platforms: industrial connectivity, industrial IT, enterprise connectivity and broadcast. While the connectivity business includes all the copper, fiber and coaxial cable solutions (and the associated connectors) that you could need for any application, the networking business boasts intelligent wired and wireless products that include industrial Ethernet switches, fiber optic interfaces, load-moment indicators and media converters that can be used to bridge fieldbus networks over long distances. Here is a look at some of the great new product you have access to as an Ideal Connected trade customer:
From the beginning of December 2016 all electrical contractors are invited to experience the range of Belden’s leading range of data cabling solutions at their nearest Ideal Electrical Suppliers branch.