Are data cable installers overestimating cable certifier usage?
According to IDEAL Networks, data cable installers are overestimating their usage requirements for cable certifiers. This suggests that this may be generating extra costs for contractors and installation companies.
“Despite the challenge that investing in certifiers can potentially pose to cash flow, installers frequently stated that having more certifiers would make their lives easier,” said Tim Widdershoven, Global Marketing Manager for IDEAL Networks.
“However, this is seemingly based on a misconception that cable certifiers are needed for the majority of customers’ installation needs.”
A cable certifier is only an essential test tool on jobs where the job has specifically specified that a certifier or a cable manufacturer warranty is required. IDEAL Networks’ analysis of the work typically carried out by data cable installers showed that manufacturer warranties were, typically required in 25% of jobs. Therefore, cable installers may not actually need to invest in more certifiers to improve productivity.
“It seems that many cable installers are using certifiers to test and document jobs for their own peace of mind, and to be able to prove performance to customers if the quality of their work is questioned,” said Tim. “Although a certifier is a great tool, if a contractor is only testing for certain activities on Layer 1 of a network, a transmission tester will provide the data required.”
Seventy five percent of the time, where a warranty is not needed or the job specification does not require a certifier, a cable and network transmission tester, such as IDEAL Networks SignalTEK CT or SignalTEK NT, can be used to create comprehensive proof of performance reports to industry recognised standards. This type of tester is easy to use, allowing installers to gather data that is sufficient for their own records, and that can be shared as professional reports with clients.
Importantly, these testers are far more affordable and, in most organisations, it is feasible for all installers to have their own. So rather than investing in more certifiers, businesses can instead meet their customers’ testing requirements with a mixed fleet. By combining a greater amount of transmission testers, alongside a smaller number of certifiers, such as IDEAL Networks LanTEK III, businesses could reduce capital expenditure on testers by up to 57%.
To help businesses select the right mix of test equipment for their particular needs, IDEAL Networks has launched Test4Less, a suite of solutions, care plans and payment options. Following 18 months of research with data cable installation businesses, Test4Less is designed to help reduce capital expenditure, increase productivity and improve cashflow.
Where a certifier is necessary for a business but may post a challenge to cash flow, Test4Less includes a ‘Pay As You Test’ option, to transform a certifier fleet from a capital investment into an operational expense.
With ’Pay As You Test’, test credits for the IDEAL Networks LanTEK III cable certifier can be purchased in batches and topped up as and when needed. Businesses can opt for either a free on loan certifier agreement, or to purchase the certifier with an additional initial up-front payment. For example, it could cost just £2,750 up-front for a new cable certifier with the ‘Pay As You Test’ option.