We speak to Caroline O’Connor of CSGL Electrical. Caroline leads a trusted expert team with over 20 years’ experience in the sector.
Tell us about yourself
Married to Stephen and have a son and daughter, Greg and Lynn, hence where the name CSGL came from.
I am a very positive and motivated person who thrives on helping others reach their potential.
Tell us about your company
We are an independent electrical wholesaler operating since 2011 in Ennis Co Clare. A family run business with an emphasis on customer care, efficient service, while supplying quality products at competitive prices. We operate from a 5000sq ft warehouse and showroom. We have a very motivated committed team that strive to be the best we can be within the industry. We follow a mantra of continuous improvement for everyone.
How did you end up working in the electrical industry?
By default – Starting with an administration role. I developed a passion for the industry, I have held various roles over the last 20+ years from admin to credit control to store manager within the industry before embarking on opening CSGL.
What area of the industry do you focus mostly on?
All aspects, industrial, commercial, domestic and agricultural.
Our customer base is so varied we provide what our customers need in whatever category it falls into.
Have you remained busy throughout the pandemic?
Yes thankfully. Fear of the unknown focus you. During lock down we remained operational behind closed doors to provide emergency backup for companies/ contractors that remained open to provide essential services.
Like many others we saw a dip in our sales, but I think every business from the largest to the smallest experienced the same.
What type of projects have you predominantly been supplying to during the last 18 months?
Projects varied, but we did see a shift in consumer spending for outside projects for a while. Returning to normality the focus now seems to be on energy saving for all sectors.
Do you think the pandemic has impacted the type of projects (in a good or bad way) you’re being asked to supply to?
The pandemic restrictions caused major issues for our business sector but after the initial shock and restrictions started to ease, some companies / businesses took the opportunity to revamp so we were involved in several commercial projects. We have also seen an increase in domestic projects as the need for houses has increased.
What are your top achievements to date since establishing CSGL?
Female Owner – Independent Electrical Wholesaler growing the business year on year.
Winning “Best Trade Counter 2019” (EIFI Industry Award).
Reaching the final in the Clare Business Awards 2021 – Best Micro Business Category.
Surviving a global pandemic.
Which of the above are you most proud of?
Growing the business to what you see today, an established independent electrical wholesaler. Our goal is to provide a quality-led and easy to deal with service which has helped our reputation in the market and subsequently, our growth.
How are you and your customers adapting to the new I.S.10101 regulations? For example, what percentage of new reg CU’s do you sell versus old?
There was a lot of confusion around the regs at first, but I think that has eased, take up is about 60/40 % so far this year. Hager provides excellent ready to access information both in form of leaflets along with a comprehensive catalogue on their website, which we direct our customers to. The “Wired for Change” leaflet was a huge help for contractors to understand the changes. Hager’s I.S.10101 Regs Hub https://www.hager.ie/regs is a great source of information for the new regs.
What do you value most in a manufacturer?
As a company we look at the quality of a product first with technical backup support. We have found this in Hager products, John Morrison is our first port of call and has been a huge support to us throughout the years. Selling quality products, with excellent technical support and easily available product literature and information also reflects well on us as a company.
What do you like best about Hager?
I can’t praise John (Morrison) and the team at Hager enough for the support they have shown us over the past 10 years. To our delight we have shipped Hager products to Belgium and Scotland for customer projects. Our Irish-based customers have looked to support their own clients abroad, we have worked alongside them which has helped us maintain our growth ambitions. Hager’s support from day one has been exceptional.