Network Communications News (NCN) NCN-Sept2017 - Page 23

TEST EQUIPMENT & TOOLS needlessly adding to the already large burden of equipment that an installer must transport to a job. Nowadays, up-front investment in large quantities of cer tifiers is just not always feasible. To better suppor t data cable installers in future, test and measurement equipment suppliers will need to explore new ways to help businesses change their investment in cer tifiers from a capital expense to an operational one. In response to the recent research, IDEAL Networks has launched Test4Less, a new suite of solutions to help reduce capital expenditure, increase productivity and improve cashflow. This 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 (from 500 to 10,000 tests) 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*. *Requires three or more certifiers For further Information visit: www.idealnetworks.net. Three reasons to stop sharing cable certifiers ‘Cable certifiers are undoubtedly one of the more expensive pieces of equipment for installing or testing data cables.’ Recent research by IDEAL Networks showed that many data cable installers are sharing certifiers between their workforce in an attempt to reduce costs. Tim Widdershoven explains why sharing data cable testers doesn’t benefit businesses. It’s a false economy Cable certifiers are one of the more expensive testers that someone installing or testing data cable will need to use, so it’s easy to see the appeal of buying a few certifiers to share, rather than equipping each van with one. However, in practice, this is rarely a cost effective solution. With this approach, certifiers are ordinarily held at a central office location and then couriered out to a particular installer at the job site as and when needed. However, the costs of shipping and administration can amount to a considerable expense, rather than offering a cost saving. This is especially true where installers are working across a large geographical area. It causes delays Another common problem caused by sharing cable certifiers, which the research uncovered, is that it can cause delays in carrying out and completing jobs. Jobs that require a warranty simply cannot be completed without a certifier. However, sometimes all the certifiers in the pool are in use elsewhere, or it takes time for the couriered unit to reach the installer on site. This can prevent installers from being able to carry out billable work and disrupt cash flow. It can also cause jobs to run for longer than planned, preventing installers from moving onto other jobs. It’s often unnecessary The research showed that many businesses feel that they need more certifiers. However, cable installers typically require a certifier, such as IDEAL Networks LanTEK® III, for around 25% of jobs. These include building specifications that require a cable certifier, or if cable manufacturer warranties are needed. On the remainder of installations, a less expensive transmission tester, such as SignalTEK® CT or SignalTEK NT, can be used which provide proof of performance to clients with a professional report. As cable/network transmission testers are far more affordable, in most organisations, it is feasible to equip each van or installer with their own tester. With this simple approach, businesses can prevent delays and save money. In fact, businesses could reduce capital expenditure on testers by up to 57%*. The feedback from the data cable installers interviewed suggests that selecting the right type and quantity of equipment is vitally important for ensuring profitable, flexible data cable installation operations. With the assistance of equipment suppliers, companies should closely interrogate the work they carry out and match their certifier and tester needs to this to make cost savings. To further support data cable installers in considering how to reduce capital expenditure, increase productivity and improve cashflow, the key research findings are summarised in the White Paper ‘Five frustrations and challenges for data cable installers in 2017’ which can be downloaded for free at www.idealnetworks.net. September 2017 | 23