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Getting the best electrical cable prices: How to ensure you get value for money!

February 12, 2020

When you are in search of electrical cables for your project, whether it’s an industrial, commercial or a residential initiative, don’t just look for a price list and choose cable manufacturers that offer the lowest prices.  We’ll tell you why you should go beyond the “lowest cost is always the best” mentality. Sometimes, you CAN get the lowest electrical cable prices from high-quality manufacturers. 

It’s only a matter of knowing what to look for. Read on and we’ll tell you how to kill two birds with a single stone!


The search for low prices can be a trap


Most electrical engineering or mechanical projects require some forms of wiring or cabling. Often, sponsors of those projects start costing their initiatives by looking for low-cost components and supplies. While that might be a good strategy to manage your budget, it could also end up costing you more than you think. And here’s why:

1.Often, you’ll get the lowest prices from 3rd party suppliers who typically don’t manufacture the cables themselves

2.Sometimes, if you are lucky enough to find an OEM cable manufacturer with low prices, they’ll likely be start-ups or fledgling companies

3.And, on the rare occasion that it happens, and you reach out to a low-cost cable manufacturer who has been in business for five or more years, they’ll usually be a single-product maker

So, when you put all these three characteristics of low-cost cable manufacturers together, why is it such a bad deal? Well, here’s why.


Dealing with non-manufacturers


When you deal with non-manufacturers as your only source of cables and wires, chances are that they’ll source their inventory from multiple cable makers. And why is that a bad thing? If your project depends on large quantities – or long-term supply of them – of cables of a specific quality and standard, then you’re out of luck! 

In order to mitigate risks to their own supply chains, 3rd-party suppliers usually only carry limited stock (quantities) of product from several manufacturers. That way, if one partner can’t supply them cables, they rely on others to deliver. 


The problem is that, even though the electrical cable prices offered are the same, your project or product, that has used cables from Manufacturer A last month, may end up using cables of a slightly different (lower or higher!) quality and standard – from Manufacturer B - this month. The result: Lack of consistency in quality of products from one batch to another. Worse yet, it could even lead to inconsistencies of cables used in components within the same product or project!


However, there’s a much bigger problem for you when dealing with companies that aren’t producers or manufacturers. They don’t speak or understand the language of cable manufacturers. As a result, if there’s a problem with the cable or wire they’ve supplied you, chances are that you’ll be unable to get a resolution to the issue quickly. Your retail supplier will escalate the query to the 3rd-party wholesaler, who’ll raise it with the manufacturer…who’ll raise it within their manufacturing department…and so on!

If you want quick resolution to cable quality issues – you’re better off staying away from buying cables from non-manufacturer partners! 


Entrusting your fate to start-ups and newbies

As a respected manufacturer of products, be they washing machines, toasters, electric heaters or vacuum cleaners, you rely on partners that can guarantee the quality of the raw materials you purchase from them. But when you deal with newbies or start-up companies to supply you those components – like electrical cables – you put your own reputation at risk.


Firstly, unlike cable manufacturers with an established track record, newbies don’t have the experience or expertise to produce high-quality wires and cables. And though they may compete on lower pricing, they’re not really delivering to the high standards that your clients expect from you. Is it worth risking your reputation by dealing with such cable makers?

Of even greater risk is the fact that relatively new players in the cable manufacturing business may fold up, wind down or declare bankruptcy at any time. They usually can’t compete against the established players on quality, so they continue to undercut on pricing. 


At some point, when they can’t break even – because of price wars – they’ll go bust.  And when that happens, your company tries desperately to arrange alternate suppliers. In that situation, established competitors of your bankrupt cable maker resort to price gouging because they sense your desperation. As a result, the electrical cable prices they’ll charge you may be significantly higher than they charge your competitors!


Another challenge that smaller cable producers have in with staff. Because they can’t pay too much (in terms of salaries and benefits), they are unable to attract the best and brightest talent. As a result, employees – even their best ones – continually leave to join larger (and better paying!) competitors. This constant staffing upheaval results in less trained and experienced technicians working on the production lines, which ultimately impacts quality. 


Working with single-product manufacturers


The biggest mistake that established engineering or electrical project companies or product manufacturers like you can make is to tie your company’s fate to single product manufacturers. The diversity of today’s manufacturing landscape requires that you use an equally diversified array of cables and wires in your project or products. Unfortunately, single cable and wire makers can’t satisfy that need.

Why is that a bad thing? Well, when you establish supplier relationships with one vendor, it takes a lot of time and effort on your company’s part to maintain that relationship. So, instead of having a single relationship – that can satisfy all your cable needs – you must now establish multiple partnerships – all of which take time, effort and money – to maintain!      

Dealing with one-window cable manufacturers is the best supply-chain management strategy in the long run. Not only does it guarantee you the diversity of components and supply needed; it also results in lower supplier management costs.  


High quality and low prices can go together

From everything you may have read so far, it may sound like the only solution is to work with cable producers that sell their products at high prices. Not at all! In fact, you can find high-quality, consistency of supply and low prices in a single cable producer – if you know what to look for! 

1.Track record: A company like ZW Cable, that’s been around for 27-years, makes a much better partner than someone that’s been in business for 5-years or less

2.Variety of offerings: With a wide range of electrical cables to offer, including single core cable, medium voltage power cable, lower voltage power cable, armoured cable and lszh cable, the company is in a much better place to cater to end-to-end needs of its clients

3.OEM: As original cable manufacturers – and not distributors or re-sellers – the company has more flexibility to innovate and invent newer wires and cables to meet changing demands of its clients   


Most importantly, these three characteristics of a good cable maker allow for flexibility in pricing. With over 50-acres of plant capacity, and 60-plus cable and wire manufacturing and production equipment at their disposal, they can bring economies of scale to bear when it comes to pricing their cables.


That’s because they already have a large base of international clients using their products. So, when market conditions dictate it, their electrical cable prices can easily match market demand – but without affecting the company’s survivability.   


Standardization is yet another cost determinant. High-quality manufacturing comes as a result of embracing international standards. Most newly created manufacturing facilities aren’t certified to global standards. That’s because certification comes at a very high cost. And, if a start-up invests now in achieving global certification, they pass the cost of that standardization onto their clients – which typically translates into higher cost of each product.


As an ISO, CQC and CCC approved manufacturer, ZW Cables has already made that investment in certification. And because they spread that cost among a larger number of clients, it translates to lower cost products for all clients. 


With a strong bench of over 100 experienced technicians, ZW Cable invests in ongoing training and grooming of its workforce. Because employees are well-cared for, it serves as motivation to deliver the best service possible. And a motivated workforce also breeds innovation – which is not only good for the company, but also bodes well for its clients.

When you add these three elements together: History of delivering high-quality, large manufacturing facilities, and a highly experienced, dedicated and committed workforce, it translates to one thing: Lower electrical cable prices for clients. But that’s not all.


Lower prices typically go together with lower quality. But when you partner with an established cable producer with an extensive client base; that owns its own production facilities; invests in R&D; and produces to high international standards, unit pricing goes down. That’s how the economics of productivity works. 


So, if you have a need for a wide range of specialty electrical cables and wires, why not contact ZW Cables with your requirements. A cable manufacturing expert will gladly respond to your query or put you in touch with someone who’ll better advise you.     

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