One of the speakers at the recent Electrical Distribution Association (EDA) Regional Business Forum, held in Glasgow in May, made an excellent presentation about the “internet of things”. This is not just about connecting with each other via email or social media but more about how we can begin to use internet technology to help with our day-to-day lives. Things like switching our heating and lights off and on, opening and closing security doors, and keeping track of elderly parents are all now possible thanks to the growing connectivity of products and the internet. As more and more of these products are designed and installed, the more common place these things will become. We might be dismissive about these types of connections, but who would have guessed 10 years or more ago, the huge part the internet would play in our lives.
The final presentation of the day, entitled Great Expectations, was made by our own Newell McGuiness. This presentation was based on the results of a survey SELECT had carried out amongst its Members on their views about their engagement with manufacturers and distributors. Interestingly, one thing installers still valued highly was the use of traditional trade counter to order and uplift materials. This type of face to face connection is still highly regarded and was viewed by many as a key component of dealing with distributors.
Whilst these two presentations are at first glance quite far apart, the key message from both was about the importance of connections.
“Connection is a key part of what SELECT aims to do. Our team of Membership Representatives and Technical Advisers are in regular contact with Members.”
Connection is a key part of what SELECT aims to do. Our team of Membership Representatives and Technical Advisers are in regular contact with Members. Over the past 6 months, over 250 Members have received a visit by a member of SELECT staff and, more encouragingly, Members like the fact that we connect with them in this way. Our very successful Toolbox Talks will be coming to an end by the time you read this, but they have allowed us to connect with more than 400 delegates - plus around 50 private sector landlords.
We also connect with others in the wider industry and beyond for a whole host of reasons. Currently we are engaged with our colleagues in the ECA in negotiating the next wage agreement. We are also connecting with the new intake of MSPs to make sure they know about SELECT and understand our Members’ needs.
Connecting with clients is also important and over the last few months we have been visiting a number of client bodies including all of the NHS Trusts to speak to them over their connections with SELECT and exploring how we can help them. This has been a very rewarding experience as all of them have been pleased to speak to us and most are now looking at ways in which we can develop our relationship and strengthen our connection.
So, whether you’re a SELECT Member, client, politician or any of the other groups we connect with, reach out and we will be there to help.