By February 26, 2018 Read More →

Why wholesalers should be homing in on the building automation market

Marie Parry, Group Marketing Director, with Scolmore, asks if wholesalers are making the most of the growing building automation market.

According to the latest market report from AMA Research – ‘Home Automation Market Report – UK 2017-2021, the UK home automation market is worth £160 million annually. It has experienced significant growth since 2010 as homeowners seek out system solutions that include access, security, climate, lighting controls, home entertainment and communications systems.

It describes the market for home automation products as a rapidly growing market that has benefited from the spread of wireless and app-based technologies. Technological advances driving the home automation market include the progress of wireless controls and LED lighting, but also include the widening market for connected audio and visual content via home networks, and the adoption of ‘app’ driven control interfaces.

With smart technology and the internet of things continuously evolving, this presents a great opportunity for the electrical industry and there is a real prospect for more commercially-based projects. Building controls play a vital role in commercial buildings, helping to maximise energy efficiency and building performance, but it requires professionals with the desired skills to deliver the optimum results. It is more than important than ever, therefore, to keep up with the latest advancements available.


As smart technology continues to develop we are seeing more and more home automation integration with security systems. Those electricians and wholesalers who have embraced the opportunities to develop the security side of their business will be at an advantage as the integration of security and building automation continues.

Such is the pace of development that it is proving difficult to keep up with the raft of new products and solutions that are coming on board and this is where wholesalers should be seeking the knowledge and expertise of their suppliers who are, after all, responsible for developing and bringing these new products to market.

As a group, we have always put great emphasis on the importance of training and development as part of our service to customers. Having invested time and money to harness the latest technologies to develop cutting-edge products, we want to ensure that our customers are given every opportunity to understand how the products work and how they can be utilised to best advantage on a project.

We offer a range of training opportunities designed to keep customers up to date with the latest products, technologies and legislation, including a course aimed at wholesalers and contractors looking to expand their knowledge of home automation.

Faster installation

By arming themselves with latest information on products, technologies and legislation, wholesalers are in a prime position to add value to their customers. With contractors under increasing pressure to complete projects within tight deadlines and budgets, wholesalers can be advising them on products that will deliver faster installation, for example.

At the same time that smart technology is providing huge opportunities, the skills shortage continues to bear down on the industry, and the need to appeal to the next generation has never been more acute. These are the youngsters who have grown up with the 21st century technology which is rapidly shaping the industry.

Everything possible needs to be done to encourage more youngsters into the industry and to educate them about the prospects that this sector can offer them – taking them from on-site sparky to boardroom director. There are a number of schemes targeting apprentices and we are pleased to have a key role to play in the annual NICEIC and ELECSA apprentice of the year competition, which is all about encouraging and developing the talent of the future.

The advance in smart technology will continue to affect the way products are specified, installed and commissioned and maintained. Ultimately this is good news as it puts electrical wholesalers in a prime position to diversity their offerings and adds further revenue streams to their business.