No Problem

No Problem

Graham Granville, Managing Director of Zircom

Zircom, a data cabling and wireless solutions provider, design, install and maintain connectivity solutions across the UK, offering a portfolio of cabling and connectivity products that integrate the data, voice, video, and various management systems of a single building, groups of buildings or geographically distant sites, providing a comprehensive physical management platform for businesses.

“Although Zircom is primarily a cabling company installing voice data and fibre-optic cabling, we also provide wireless solutions both internally for Internet and VoIP applications as well as external connectivity for security and associated WiFi applications.

“Formed over 15 years ago, in response to demand for high quality cabling solutions, Zircom has recorded significant growth year-on-year to become one of the largest cabling companies in the UK. In fact, growth since 2003 has been approximately 20% per annum; during 2007/08 we expect to see this

increase to a record 80% and could even hit 100%, which has been achieved despite competition from larger companies in our sector. What’s the secret? In a word – quality!

“Our business model is to use highly trained in-house engineers supported by experienced sub-contractors. All contractors are fully trained and, as a company, we do not advocate cheap unskilled labour, which can sometimes be the case with our industry. We regard this practice as a false economy, as the standard of work can be poor and likely to need remedial works. To that end, we employ a full time engineering team of around 30, comprising project managers and site supervisors. Our office-based administration team comprises approximately 12, all in all a relatively small team in relation to our turnover, which is achieved by the efficient use of software tools developed in house.”

 

Business Challenges

Granville, “Our industry suffers a lot of challenges in relation to one particular issue, which has become progressively worse over the years, that is – Health and Safety legislation. It is one of the biggest challenges. The regime we face on a daily basis consumes our time more than physically doing a job. There is also a severe shortage of skilled, motivated staff; we find it hard to recruit new blood, which I believe is due to a lack of training.

“Being a cabling company we do not really have an array of products, our main product is the provision of a warranted cabling solution. We install three main products provided by Brandrex, Exel and Systimax. These vendors are constantly developing the systems to deliver greater bandwidth to the user, thus fuelling demand from customers. Cabling may not be the sexiest component of a data system, but skimp on it at your peril.”

 

Convergence

“Voice and data presents no problem to a cabling company. All our installations are 100% tested to ensure compliance with Cat5e, Cat6 or above, dependant on the installation. Systems supply adequate bandwidth for both voice and data, with the days of a separate cabling infrastructure for voice applications seemingly over. VoIP has definitely been the catalyst for cabling system upgrades in a large number of customers.

“All our vendors provide training courses relevant to their product. However, the best training is our in-house training, which focuses on quality of installation and sets the standard for all our installers. No certificates – just well trained staff, with a clear understanding of what is required and how to deliver it.”

 

Business Outlook

“Zircom’s business outlook is fantastic, with exponential growth forecast over the next few years. The challenge is to ensure that as a company we maintain our quality and thus retain our customer base.

“We have always concentrated on securing long-term preferred supplier agreements with our customers. This allows us to work hand-in-hand with the customers to understand their individual requirements relevant to their business. We will continue to pursue these aims.

“The market seems extremely strong at the moment with plenty of work for everyone. But this business is cyclical, so there is always a downturn around the corner. The clever companies prepare for this to ensure survivability, Zircom intend to be around for a very long time!”

 
 More information visit: www.zircom.co.uk