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Managing the cost of any element of a build programme is critical and, for subcontractors in particular, any overspend eats straight into profit margin because it cannot be re-charged to the main contractor.

In this blog we’ll discuss a prime cost approach to reducing the cost of delivering a job by making time and labour cost savings up to 50%, without compromising the quality of the specification or the installation.

The Impact of a Purchase Price Cost Saving Strategy

The commercial reality of low project margins and fixed budgets leaves many electrical contractors shopping around for the very best deal on essential elements such as cable management. But, often, the time spent looking for the lowest price delivers only modest savings and could be better spent on other activities.

Moreover, the quest to find the cheapest price risks a lower standard of product quality on the project, which could jeopardise the integrity of the finished installation and the contractor’s reputation. This is particularly relevant when it comes to cable management as this is such an important element of the electrical infrastructure.

What is a Prime Cost Approach to Cable Management?

In essence, the concept of the prime cost purchasing model is very simple; rather than considering the purchase cost of each item of cable management, we calculate the installed cost of the cable management, including both purchase cost and labour costs.

Under this model, a cable management system that is faster and easier to install requires less labour on site and therefore provides significant savings as compared to considering purchasing costs alone. Moreover, those savings can be achieved without wasting any ‘shopping around’ time or accepting any compromise in product or installation quality.

When we consider that labour costs can account for approximately up to 50% of any electrical installation and that skilled labour in some parts of the UK is not only expensive but difficult to come by, it becomes clear that a prime cost purchasing strategy can provide big advantages when compared to simply buying the cheapest possible products.

How Can Unitrunk Help You Achieve Prime Cost Savings?

At Unitrunk, our in-house design expertise and focus on delivering solutions aligned to contractors’ practical and commercial needs led to the development of our RIS philosophy. RIS stands for Rapid Installation Systems and we have taken an innovative approach to developing cable ladder, cable tray and cable basket that is both much quicker and much easier to install.

Our UniKlip Cable tray and EasyConnect cable basket have been designed as tool-free systems that reduce installation times by 30-50%. With no fiddly nuts and bolts to contend with, installers can fix lengths of UniKlip or EasyConnect together much more quickly and easily. This is particularly beneficial in tight service voids where UniKlip’s unique ‘Klip’ fastener and EasyConnect’s integral coupler require less room for manoeuvre than regular jointing methods. What’s more, both the Klip and the integral coupler provide a connection that is robust, with no risk of being worked free due to vibration over time, but each provides the option for easy removal and reconfiguration should changes to the cable management infrastructure be needed at a later date.

For cable ladder installations, the Unitrunk Speedway system provides faster installation thanks to its integral coupler, which has a formed shape that increases rigidity and reduces joint hinging. The system requires fewer fixings than standard cable ladder systems, enabling contractors to make even more installation savings.

What Can You Expect to Save?

By choosing a prime cost purchasing strategy and opting for Unitrunk’s RIS cable management solutions you can expect to:

  • complete installations up to three times faster
  • save up to a third on labour costs

The figures are quite compelling and they come with the added benefits of working with a company that can advise you on value engineering the project to make material savings too.

And with our national depot network, you can always be confident of avoiding any site delays with same day collection or next day delivery from any of our nine locations across the UK and Ireland.

We all like a bargain, but some cost savings come at price. With a prime cost approach to cable management purchasing, you can be certain of saving money and adding value to your project.