By David Bond, Chairman, Centiel UK, Board Member of Centiel and Board Member Centiel AP 

What an eventful first five years!  In 2017 Centiel, the Swiss based UPS manufacturer, decided to enter the UK market via a subsidiary and rather than start up a new UK company, Centiel’s Swiss board chose to acquire an existing UPS service company. This strategic decision was made as we believed that it would not be possible to sell Centiel’s high quality, leading technology products successfully without having an established service and support infrastructure in place to support the company’s customers.

In October 2017 Centiel UK was launched and following the principle that “you can’t fire a canon from a canoe” Centiel UK spent the next 15 months building a battleship by adding a Sales & Marketing team, investing in its IT infrastructure and developing new policies and procedures to enable the company’s planned growth. This time and effort was well spent as since 2017 Centiel UK has successfully launched a new brand into an already crowded and mature market and grown orders fivefold despite a global pandemic, multiple supply chain problems, global recession and a war in Europe.  Indeed, when the pandemic hit, Centiel’s staff moved seamlessly to remote working as part of the company’s newly revised disaster recovery procedure and continued to support its customers fully. This point was best illustrated when Centiel UK was, at very short notice, called upon to supply, install and commission many megawatts of high-power modular UPS into a truly critical UK Government facility. Despite all the challenges of such a project its experienced UK Sales, Project Management and Field Service teams were able to manage the scale, complexity and the speed of the project with confidence.

Most respected business management books will tell you: “it’s all about the people” and this is definitely true of Centiel.  By far the fastest growing sector of the UPS market is three phase modular and the founders of Centiel were responsible for the design of the first, second, third and now fourth generation of three phase true modular UPS.  A quite remarkable achievement.  Furthermore, Centiel UK’s Sales Managers are all highly experienced power protection specialists who are required to act as “trusted advisors” to customers.  Centiel’s clients rely on the advice and expertise Centiel gives to design solutions to maximise power availability, lower Total Cost of Ownership and future proof the protection of critical loads. Our Sales Managers do not “sell” UPS, they work with customers to identify their critical power protection needs and then advise them on the best way to meet these needs.

In business you succeed by either being the cheapest or being the best. Combining Swiss quality and leading-edge technology is never going to be cheap, but would you buy the cheapest parachute before jumping out of a plane?  Probably not. This is why Centiel focuses on being the best and minimising Total Cost of Ownership. Centiel manufactures the most available UPS systems on the market, combining flexibility, resilience and serviceability. For example, Centiel’s true modular UPS, CumulusPower, can be installed to support load demand at day one with the ability to add modules using a pay as you grow approach. Rightsizing the UPS from day one reduces overall capital expenditure and minimises running and maintenance costs. Resulting in the lowest Total Cost of Ownership.

As for the next five years, further innovative product developments are on the cards and Centiel’s biggest challenge will be fuelling its continued growth with talented, passionate and client-focused individuals that complement its innovative product portfolio. Surely the next five years will not be as eventful as the last!

Originally featured in Electrical Contracting News Magazine November 2022.

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