Originally established 50 years ago as a family run engineering company, the Unitrunk Group developed a specialised division manufacturing Cable Management Systems in 1984. Unitrunk continued to grow and in 2000 the Group added a strong international dynamic and breadth of cable management services with the strategic acquisition of Vantrunk in Runcorn. PEW spoke with Managing Director, David Morrow, to see what he has planned for the future.
How did you get into the industry and your current position?
You could say that Unitrunk is in my blood and always has been. The company was established as a family business before I was born and I have grown up with it, so while I was never under any obligation to make it my career, it was a natural step for me to get involved with the company.
Being born into a successful family business is a privilege but one that comes with significant responsibilities, because I had to ensure that I knew the business inside out from the ground up. I have been actively involved now for more than 20 years and worked in a number of roles, including design, sales and production. That variety means that I know the pressures different parts of the business face and the challenges of roles across the company.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
The electrical supply chain market is very price-driven and cable management is often seen as a commodity item, with contractors making purchasing decisions based on making small cost savings here and there, without always considering the bigger picture.
We could choose to get involved in that race to the bottom in order to increase volumes, but doing that would let our customers down and compromise the quality assurance and design values of our products. Instead, we’ve chosen to drive innovation in the cable management sector with our RIS (Rapid Installation Systems) approach to designing products that offer a robust installation with reduced installation times, helping contractors complete within programme and minimise labour costs.
How do you feel the industry has changed over recent years?
I think the sector has always been characterised by price competitiveness and short lead times, but both these trends have become more acute recently, with contractors under pressure to minimise budgets and turn projects around quicker.
The goal is to achieve both those objectives without compromising on quality and Unitrunk’s product development, operational and commercial models have all been designed to ensure we support faster and more cost-effective high quality installations.
What do you consider Unitrunk’s unique selling points?
Our aim is to support contractors through the wholesalers with high quality, well-designed cable management systems that are faster and easier to install, resulting in labour cost savings.
Our in-house design team ensures we’re constantly innovating in product design and are able to offer bespoke design solutions for customers, while our UK manufacturing facilities give us an agility that allows us to meet any spikes in demand and maintain excellent stock-holding levels. We’re also able to respond quickly to customers’ needs at every stage in the relationship, with commercial leads across the country to advise customers and a depot network across the UK and Ireland to offer same day collection or next day delivery of our entire product range.
What is Unitrunk trying to achieve in the next few years?
One of our key goals is to shift the marketplace from a culture of buying cable management at the cheapest possible price to a much more considered approach that involves considering the installed costs of the project and the best way to address the challenges of the programme.
We have invested in the commercial and operational functions of the business and this has prepared Unitrunk for future growth.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
To learn more about Unitrunk, visit: www.rdr.link/WH004