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Topic Title: any CEF users?
Topic Summary: I paid this for cable
Created On: 07 November 2010 07:41 PM
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 09 November 2010 06:08 AM
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HS54

Posts: 2
Joined: 04 November 2010

I thought everybody knew the three letter acronym for CEF stands for CHECK EVERY FIGURE!!!
 09 November 2010 05:12 PM
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BrucieBonus

Posts: 738
Joined: 20 February 2007

AKA S**tty Electrical Factors...

I've had an account for years, but have now stopped using them as they never have any stock in - "1 gang dimmer?" - "oh, sorry we're out..."

I've also had to return items - e.g. 6 white down lights - open up the boxes, and 1 is chrome... GRRR

I'm not a big spender, but they called me to ask why I wasn't using them (must be desperate!) and I told them that it's because they're rubbish and gave above examples.... Nothing changed!

I now use a mixture of WF and TLC. TLC prices are transparent so I pay as I go, but for WF I have an account and at the end of the month check all my invoices - its amazing sometimes how the same item is charged at a different price! That said, they always credit where they have made a mistake.

CEF - for emergencies only!
 09 November 2010 05:40 PM
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OMS

Posts: 19834
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My supply expenditure per year is currently in excess of £30K without having done the accounts in full, and is much more than half of turnover.


My advice - take a look at your business model, there is something very wrong if your materials costs are a significant part of turnover - you are either undervaluing your labour or paying far too much for materials.

Things like T&E, trunking amd fixings are basics along with white accessories and a few DB's - buy them in bulk and demand discount. Then buy your incidentals from whoever gave you the best price on the bulk orders - if they won't match the same discount then talk to the manager - if he won't do it cancel the order. For one off's, specials etc talk to manufacturers direct - they will be happy to give you a price and suggest a wholesaler.

Consider getting together with other local traders to increase volume purchased with resulting lower cost.

It's a tough world out there and getting tougher by the day (Connaught gone, ROK close behind to name but two) - if the market won't stand putting up your labour cost then you have to reduce expenditure on the materials and overheads.

Regards

OMS

-------------------------
Failure is always an option
 09 November 2010 06:44 PM
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Martynduerden

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Originally posted by: OMS

My supply expenditure per year is currently in excess of £30K without having done the accounts in full, and is much more than half of turnover.


My advice - take a look at your business model, there is something very wrong if your materials costs are a significant part of turnover - you are either undervaluing your labour or paying far too much for materials.

Things like T&E, trunking amd fixings are basics along with white accessories and a few DB's - buy them in bulk and demand discount. Then buy your incidentals from whoever gave you the best price on the bulk orders - if they won't match the same discount then talk to the manager - if he won't do it cancel the order. For one off's, specials etc talk to manufacturers direct - they will be happy to give you a price and suggest a wholesaler.

Consider getting together with other local traders to increase volume purchased with resulting lower cost.

It's a tough world out there and getting tougher by the day (Connaught gone, ROK close behind to name but two) - if the market won't stand putting up your labour cost then you have to reduce expenditure on the materials and overheads.



I quite agree OMS, I use one of the same wholesalers as Zs and they seem to require you to ask for a better price rarther that just offering the best they can do, one example was the most basic of basics.. socket boxes £0.39 each I had to ask if it came with the socket!! if you use the sheds for example appleby boxes are circa £0.24 each what's 15p you might say well it all adds up. I just had a quick look at the accounts, my "expenses" which is basically everything I spend to provide a profit is circa 29% of turnover still quite a chunk and I spend quite some time sourcing materials and other services I consume.

I would suspect that if I was to just pay whatever I was asked it would be much closer to 45-50%.

-------------------------
Regards

Martyn.

Only a mediocre person is always at their best



www.electrical contractors uk.com
 09 November 2010 07:07 PM
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Paradigm

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Just remember, business is just a game where money is used to keep score and like all games, some people cheat.

Nick

-------------------------
"be careful of what you write"
 09 November 2010 07:38 PM
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sparkingchip

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I now where the CEF gaffers house is and seen it! I'll refrain from letting you get it up on street view, but you should see what you lads and lassies have paid for

Andy

I don't use CEF as the counter staff lack product knowledge.
 09 November 2010 10:16 PM
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Zs

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Joined: 20 July 2006

You should see Martyn's!

Scrubbing out the CEF stuff and letting this thread take its path; OMS, what a brilliant and inciteful post.

I am happy to say that for once I am one step ahead of you and I cannot move for socket boxes and capping etc. I have a place to put them now so I placed a bulk order on line. Getting through them at a rate of knots too. I'm also not a great fan of appleby boxes which are the stock thing round here in the wholesalers, so have done just that and saved some money and using a different brand too.

But here's a job from last week; To put up a new light fitting in your lounge. 1 hour £50 ( no VAT) Cost of fitting £378.00 trade + Vat.

And the one I'm on: To install new wiring and accessories to your kitchen (that's first and second fix a kitchen in our language) Labour £1000, cost of sockets, switches and light fittings £1900 trade + VAT.

They are not all like this and I do get them to buy direct where possible, that kitchen one is. so as to avoid the VAT threshold. But show me a plastic socket to install, Oh please do.

Floursecent fitting five foot £18, coloured sleeve from the theatre company to go on the tube £21.

However, walk into my wholesaler and ask them for an electrician and they will give you my card and one other. That's reliable and worth a bit. Ask them for an electrical inspector and they will only give you mine. Priceless.

Not a cheap trick OMS. I thought you knew that hunny.

But I truly do take yours on board. I've cracked this business at last and now is the time to work out how to get it to work for me.

The pen in front of me, which is a promo mock Mont Blanc from Arthur Andersen says 'we realise the value of people'. Interesting.

Thanks OMS.

Zs
 09 November 2010 10:25 PM
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Martynduerden

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Originally posted by: Zs

You should see Martyn's!

Zs


House.... yes its still derelict!

-------------------------
Regards

Martyn.

Only a mediocre person is always at their best



www.electrical contractors uk.com
 10 November 2010 09:35 AM
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AJJewsbury

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I cannot move for socket boxes and capping etc. I have a place to put them now so

let me guess - capping (and anything else long and thin) - on the stairs?
- Andy.
 10 November 2010 11:39 AM
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TJWatts

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Joined: 21 December 2009

Originally posted by: Zs

22/10/10 2.5mm grey T&E 100m £51.89 + VAT
Zs


43 + VAT at TLC the other day for 100m drum, and I don't have an account, though the manager knows me on sight now.

I like that about TLC - simple web prices that are reasonable and quite competitive (for a self-builder anyway).

They've been extremely helpful getting me non stock Hager parts too.

Much better than going non trade to a woodyard or builder's merchant - spend half a day researching prices on the internet so I can ask them to halve their silly list prices, which they always do.

Cheers

Tim
 10 November 2010 12:16 PM
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OMS

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Originally posted by: Zs

You should see Martyn's!

Ohhh errrr missus

Scrubbing out the CEF stuff and letting this thread take its path; OMS, what a brilliant and inciteful post.

Steady on - you'll have me blushing

I am happy to say that for once I am one step ahead of you and I cannot move for socket boxes and capping etc. I have a place to put them now so I placed a bulk order on line. Getting through them at a rate of knots too. I'm also not a great fan of appleby boxes which are the stock thing round here in the wholesalers, so have done just that and saved some money and using a different brand too.

Good stuff - personally my favourite was MK ZIC boxes, you will get fed up with MMT on the stairs though


But here's a job from last week; To put up a new light fitting in your lounge. 1 hour £50 ( no VAT) Cost of fitting £378.00 trade + Vat.

Yes, I agree that some items will carry a cost premium in relation to labour but in addition to your £50.00 quid I preesume you have a mark up on the luminaire

And the one I'm on: To install new wiring and accessories to your kitchen (that's first and second fix a kitchen in our language) Labour £1000, cost of sockets, switches and light fittings £1900 trade + VAT.

Sounds reasonable if you have some elegant lighting going in - I take it you are also making some margin on the materials generally and the luminaires in particular. (10 - 20%)


They are not all like this and I do get them to buy direct where possible, that kitchen one is. so as to avoid the VAT threshold. But show me a plastic socket to install, Oh please do.

LoL - well it's always a balance of risk between you supplying kit that fails to perform and the client doing so - that said, you usually have far greater opportunities to make margin on what you supply - more difficult on labour unless you work faster (harder)

Floursecent fitting five foot £18, coloured sleeve from the theatre company to go on the tube £21.

However, walk into my wholesaler and ask them for an electrician and they will give you my card and one other. That's reliable and worth a bit. Ask them for an electrical inspector and they will only give you mine. Priceless.

Can't disagree with that - but I wouldn't let it stop you from demanding more discount


Not a cheap trick OMS. I thought you knew that hunny.

I wouldn't have thought it a cheap trick - much better to win work firstly from your existing clients and then by recommendation that to crack new clients cold, liebling

But I truly do take yours on board. I've cracked this business at last and now is the time to work out how to get it to work for me.

Well I guess we are back to your pension plan thread - I suggested a few things that may avoid you having to physically do work in later life - much easier to sell knowledge than brawn as the years progress. I would seriously consider something perceived to be green and environmentally sound into your portfolio of services - either renewables (and the attendant MCS issues) or CSH/BREEAM - it strikes me from this forum that there are enough of you in loose contact to come up with a good business model to everyones benefit


The pen in front of me, which is a promo mock Mont Blanc from Arthur Andersen says 'we realise the value of people'. Interesting.

and true. To be really effective you need to extend that philosophy both to yourself and to your clients - although I wouldn't neccessarily suggest Arthur Anderson as being a proponent of ethical business practice per se


Thanks OMS.

No worries


Zs


Regards

OMS

-------------------------
Failure is always an option
 10 November 2010 05:10 PM
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Paradigm

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Originally posted by: Zs



They are not all like this and I do get them to buy direct where possible, that kitchen one is. so as to avoid the VAT threshold. But show me a plastic socket to install, Oh please do.






Zs


I take it Zs that most of your work is to the domestic market, because if you registered for VAT your materials bill is immediately cut by nearly 15%, soon to be nearly 17% gross, but you do have the disadvantage of having to charge 17.5% on your labour, soon to be 20%. One way of increasing the gross profit margin.

Worth thinking about if you do lots of work for Vat registered companys, you also et to reclaim all the VAT back on legit (and not so legit ) expenses, not that I would dream of such a thing.

I have the same problem as you with regards to materials versus labour, I am currently assembling heaps of panels, very little labour, loads of materials, but I do make a markup on goods I supply, wish it was 20%, but I have some very keen and on the ball people that I work for, but you know what they say, 10% of something is better than 20% of sod all and secondly, thats how I work, live by the sword and all that.

regards

Nick

-------------------------
"be careful of what you write"
 10 November 2010 09:15 PM
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Zs

Posts: 3002
Joined: 20 July 2006

Put capping on my stairs and you'll get a smack! Have a garage round the corner for £7.33 a week. it's grand and I hide in it shuffling things around.

Zs
 10 November 2010 09:26 PM
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slittle

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I've got a shed on a farm for free (well I do change the odd lamp etc and don't charge)..

It's also a handy place to stick the illuminated christmas decorations for the 11.5 months a year that we don't need them at home.

Stu
 11 November 2010 10:29 AM
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OMS

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Joined: 23 March 2004

Originally posted by: Zs

Put capping on my stairs and you'll get a smack! Have a garage round the corner for £7.33 a week. it's grand and I hide in it shuffling things around.

Zs


LoL - ah yes, attributes of female of the species coming out there madam

If you keep copper in it I would recommend the best lock you can afford - and best not to reveal the location I'd say.

Can't argue with shuffling things around though - it's an acquired art this shed culture you know - you'll be building little cupboards and labelling tins and drawers with the contents next

Regards

OMS

-------------------------
Failure is always an option
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