New Head of Sales Role for Andy Harper

Following the exciting news of our new MD, Andy Laycock, we are very pleased to announce that Andy Harper has been promoted to the role of Head of Sales from 4th January 2021.

Andy Harper has been working as part of the ERF team since 2013 and has always played a pivotal role in the management of our key accounts. Moving forwards, he will drive the ERF sales team to ensure that our customers continue to receive only the very best customer service.

Andy Laycock commented:

‘I am delighted Andy has joined the company leadership team as Head of Sales. His passion for customer service and satisfaction is infectious and has directly influenced how we trade over recent years.

Andy’s deep understanding of the relationship between contracting and wholesaling, combined with our business strategy provides a great fillip for our planned future growth and expansion into other markets.

I have no doubt Andy will excel in his new role and will ensure a tighter coordination of our sales operations to better serve our customers and meet our market goals.’

We are constantly evolving and adapting to the world in which we live and work in and having the right individuals in the right roles within the business, is critical. This will ensure we are fighting fit, to face the challenges which will be thrown at us, and to best serve our customers, who are our top priority.

Andy Harper added:

‘It’s a privilege to move into this new role at ERF. I will focus on doing the basics right, ensuring our customers are at the heart of everything we do.

Now more than ever, excellence in service levels will be why our customers continue to trade with us. We know that we have the right products and the right team in place, to truly put the customer first. We are a family business and give that personal touch to the service we provide, meaning that we can add value on top of providing the essential products our customers need.

I am very excited about what 2021 will hold for ERF.’

We wish Andy all the best for his new role and we are looking forward to supporting him with the results that he is striving towards.

Andy Laycock Moves into Managing Director Role as Part of Planned Company Evolution

We are delighted to announce that ERF’s own former Sales Director, Andy Laycock, has stepped into the role of Managing Director from 4th January 2021. This move sits as part of a planned and managed set of changes, focused on propelling ERF into the next stages of its growth.

Andy has been part of the ERF family for 15 years and has been a crucial part of its success during this time, working closely alongside our now former MD and current CEO, Robin Combellack.

Robin commented:

‘This announcement is part of a planned transition, throughout which, a committed and talented team has been built. Headed by Andy Laycock, they will drive through on our investment and achieve the targets they have set themselves. Andy has played a huge role in ensuring this team is ready to go.

Andy has the company’s interests ingrained in him and has played a major role in writing and embedding our core values into the business. 15 years of working together along with 2 years of planning, mean I have every confidence Andy will expand the business and allow me to work on the group and our strategy as CEO.

As ERF enters this new phase, it is clear that more time is required on strategic rather than operational matters. The industry is changing, as is distribution and we want to be at the forefront of these changes. ‘

Andy continues to play a key role in helping ERF navigate through the COVID-19 crisis, which has presented its own unique challenges.

Andy commented:

‘I am delighted and feel truly privileged to be given the opportunity to lead our business into the next phase of transformation. A new “Post-COVID” era is emerging, and it is one in which we will drive growth and customer service levels forward through digitalisation, whilst at the same time continuing to embrace the importance of personal relationships throughout our entire supply chain.

Early in 2021, we will launch our online business to business trading platform. As the world has accelerated its move to digital sales and customer interaction, electrical wholesaling will be no exception and ERF will be at the forefront of the independent wholesaling market moving online.

Ease of trading has been the focus throughout the complete development process, and we are very excited by how ERF Online will enhance our customer service offer.

I encourage and welcome all to make contact with us and discuss your own service requirements. I want our customers to keep returning to us because of how great trading with ERF feels.’

To coincide with Andy’s move into the role of MD, ERF is going through a planned process of digitisation. This was part of the strategy long before we even knew of COVID-19 however, the pandemic has highlighted to our business that there is a critical need for digitisation, more so than ever before.

We have been investing in digitising our business since 2018, in systems such as our new ERP system, which allows us to be cloud based and operate from any location. We are also now able to utilise the new technologies available to us with a CRM package just about to launch, which will focus on helping us to manage the relationships even better, that we have with our customers.

Shortly after, we are very excited about the launch of our B2B ecommerce website which will allow our customers the opportunity to trade with us 24/7 online.

Robin commented:

‘Digitisation is going to be key to offering our customers the service that is now expected. Same day deliveries, placing orders online, online visible stock holdings and pricing for every customer. It sounds simple, but this has required significant investment and ERF have made this commitment throughout 2019 and 2020. We have invested in this technology despite the difficult recent trading conditions, as our commitment to the future is unfaltering.

I look forward to heading the group and supporting Andy and his team in the growth of ERF Electrical Wholesalers Ltd.’



We are open as usual

Our doors are open and we are here to help.

Following government guidance, we continue to operate as an essential business, supporting other essential businesses.

We operate COVID secure practices in all our branches and for deliveries also.


Our opening hours remain the same:

07.30- 17.30 Monday to Thursday

07.30 – 17.00 on Fridays


We are here to support in whichever way is best for you.

Call & collect, deliveries and walk-ins.

Talk to your Area Account Manager or Branch Manager.


We always make sure that we have the stock you want, when you need it.

Don’t forget, ALL Essentials products, are IN STOCK, AT ALL BRANCHES, AT ALL TIMES.


At all ERF branches, we have PPE for you to buy for your teams, and also FREE masks for you to wear while in branch.

Stay safe and we look forward to seeing you soon,


The ERF Team

ERF Christmas Opening Hours 2020


 Thank you for your business and support in 2020.
We wish you a safe Christmas and New Year and we will be here to support you in 2021.

This Is Where There Are The Biggest Shortages Of Electricians In The UK 

With recent analysis predicting an additional 15,000 fully qualified electricians will be needed over the next five years, it is clear businesses have to make developing the next generation of electricians a priority. 

Although the pandemic has provided the trade with many challenges over the last seven months, one positive to come out of the coronavirus crisis could be the opportunity it provides to attract new people into the industry. 

In a bid to encourage companies within the industry to invest in the electricians of tomorrow and to aid those within the trade currently out of work find a job, we have mapped out the areas of the UK where there are the biggest shortages of electricians.

Having analysed a job website for all of the vacancies for electricians, we found Middlesex – which has 574 openings – is the county with the highest number of electrician jobs going and ultimately the area with biggest shortage of electricians. With 566 job vacancies, Surrey is second, followed by Hertfordshire and London. 

The areas in the UK with the biggest shortages of electricians 

Rank  Location  Number of ‘electrician’ job vacancies
1 Middlesex 574
2 Surrey 566
3 Hertfordshire 555
4 London 531
5 Buckinghamshire 195
6 Greater Manchester 181
7 Leicestershire 143
8 Berkshire 142
8 West Yorkshire 142
10 Derbyshire 115
11 Cheshire 112
12 Merseyside 111
13 Nottinghamshire  108
14 West Lothian  103
15 West Midlands  101
16 Bedfordshire  99
17 Somerset  98
18 South Yorkshire  97
19 Wiltshire  94
19 Midlothian 94
21 Tyne & Wear 92
21 Isle of Man  92
23 West Sussex  91
23 Warwickshire  91
25 Staffordshire  90
25 Herefordshire  90


With no job vacancies, the Scottish county of Wigtownshire is the area with the fewest openings for electricians. Caithness in Scotland, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, Moray, Scotland, Selkirkshire, Scotland and Sutherland, Scotland, all have just one job vacancy in their respective areas also.

While the majority of existing vacancies are for fully qualified electricians, there are a number of apprentice and trainee roles available as well. 

Founder member of recruitment company District4, Ian McDiarmid, specialises in recruiting within the electrical industry and said employers are beginning to widen their talent pools.

He said: “Over the last year or so businesses, especially those who have deals with the bigger contractors, have started to invest in additional training courses for new starters. The emphasis is definitely starting to shift from solely employing skilled electricians. Now, individuals who have the right work ethic and soft skills are being given the opportunity to be trained up which is a promising sign for the future. 

“Like all trades, electricians have been hit hard as a result of the pandemic but we are slowly starting to see the job market recover.” 

It’s not just the electrical industry which is suffering from a lack of qualified employees though with a government report in 2016 finding skill shortages were responsible for a quarter of all job vacancies. Recent analysis has also found 43 per cent of vacancies in skilled trades were as a result of skills shortages, with 13 per cent including electricians. 

As the demand for new houses continues to grow and smart home installations increase, the need for businesses to invest in the next generation of electricians could not be clearer. 

Andy Laycock (Head of Sales) of ERF said: “With the industry needing around 15,000 fully qualified electricians over the next five years, businesses really have got to make developing the next generation of electricians a priority. Although the pandemic has thrown up many challenges for us all, there is no doubting the opportunity it provides to attract new people into the trade. 

“Our research shows there are several areas in the UK where qualified electricians are in extremely high demand and we hope businesses can incorporate this insight into their recruitment strategies as they build towards developing the electricians of tomorrow. 

“We see through our customers, that being an electrician really is an extremely rewarding job and the skills you develop while training enable you to focus on a wide range of specialisms later down the line. Due to there being such a demand for new starters, there are also lots of fantastic opportunities to progress in a relatively short space of time.” 

Five reasons why you should become an electrician 

Electricity plays a huge part in all of our daily lives and as the population grows the demand for electricians is only going to increase. Here are five reasons why you should consider pursuing a career as an electrician. 

A well paid career  

Due to qualified electricians being such a vital component to the economic growth of the country, it is unsurprising it is a career which pays extremely well compared with other trades. In fact, data recently published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found electricians earn the most out of all the trades with an average salary of £33,495. While money isn’t everything, we all like to feel as though we are being paid relative to the value of service we offer and as an electrician this often proves to be the case.

Varied working environment

One of the great perks of being an electrician is the fact you aren’t stuck in the same workspace everyday. Being an electrician is a very hands-on job and while one day you might be wiring a new home, the next you could be repairing an electrical panel at a warehouse. You are therefore constantly being faced with new problems and then ultimately coming up with the solutions which is an extremely valuable life skill to have. 

Plan your own career path 

As has been mentioned, you learn lots of different skills when you’re training to become an electrician which provides you with the opportunity to shape your own career path. From installations, repairs or upgrades – there’s lots of scope for variety. 

Affordable training 

While a lot of careers these days require people to go to university which results in them accumulating a huge amount of student debt, you don’t need to do this to become an electrician. Many businesses are now paying part of or even all of the cost of training courses in a bid to attract more people into the trade. With the demand for electricians continuing to rise, employers are only going to continue investing in the next generation of electricians. 

A demand for your services

Due to the ongoing shortage of electricians, those in the trade are struggling to cope with the demand for their services. With the need for new housing more evident than ever and smart home technology becoming all the more desirable there are going to be no shortage of opportunities within the electrical industry for many years to come. 


We analysed more 7,500 vacancies which had been posted on a job website under the search term ‘electrician’. We then broke this data down by the regions of the UK they were being advertised in. From this we found Middlesex had the highest number of job vacancies in this particular field and ultimately the biggest shortage of electricians. 


The data is correct as of November 2020. 

ERF Branches to Remain Open During Second Lockdown

For all ERF customers,

On behalf of the ERF family, we want to let you know that all our branches (excluding Birmingham) are to remain open, as we enter the next period of lockdown.

The team is here for you and our focus remains on great customer service alongside stringent COVID-19 safe working practices.

The safety and wellbeing of our staff, customers and suppliers is our top priority and we are proud that we can continue to serve you in a COVID secure manner.

We want to take the opportunity to thank you again for you unwavering support and know that together, we will all get through this.

If you have any queries or concerns, then please reach out to your local branch manager,

Stay safe,
The ERF Team

How can Electricians Earn Themselves a Five-Star Review? 

At ERF Electrical we wanted to know what makes a customer give an electrical installer a five-star review.

The answer? One in five customers give top marks to those that clean up after themselves. We analysed 1,000 five-star Checkatrade reviews across 10 major cities, with our research showing that electricians and electrical contractors are most likely to receive an ‘excellent’ five star review for being tidy, professional, punctual, friendly and courteous. 

Interestingly, those living in Bristol value cleanliness above anything else, while residents in Liverpool, Glasgow and Leeds praise good time management. In Liverpool, punctuality was mentioned in 25% of top reviews.

The highest-ranked qualities, according to the percentage of reviews they appeared in, were:

  1. Tidy/clean (21%)
  2. Professional (20%)
  3. Polite/courteous (20%)
  4. On-time (18%)
  5. Friendly (16%)
  6. Reliable (10%)
  7. Efficient (10%)
  8. Helpful (7%)

The research also reveals that Leicester residents are most likely than anywhere else to praise those with good manners, with one in five (22%) of reviews mentioning the friendliness of an electrician.

The highest-ranked qualities, according to city, were: 

  1. Bristol – tidy, professional, efficient, reliable, friendly
  2. Birminghamprofessional, tidy, polite, reliable, friendly
  3. Edinburgh – professional, reliable, tidy, friendly, on-time
  4. Glasgow – on-time, professional, efficient, tidy, friendly
  5. Leeds – on-time, professional, friendly, tidy, polite
  6. Leicesterfriendly, professional, on-time, tidy, helpful
  7. Liverpool – on-time, professional, polite, tidy, friendly
  8. London – professional, friendly, polite, reliable, helpful
  9. Nottinghamprofessional, polite, on-time, tidy, courteous
  10.  Sheffield – professional, friendly, polite, efficient, tidy

Tidiness and friendliness were mentioned among the top qualities in nine of the ten cities we looked at. Other five-star reviews gave credit to knowledgable, trustworthy and respectful electricians. 

Four ways you can boost customer satisfaction

Here are a few ways you can increase your chances of getting an excellent rating:


Ask for feedback

It might sound obvious, but how do you know what you’re doing well, or not doing so well, if you don’t ask? Sending out customer satisfaction surveys are a great way to identify any areas of improvement and track progress over time. It also shows customers that you take your customer service very seriously, with an opportunity to ask those who were most impressed to provide a review or testimonial to your site.


Provide a personal service 

People like to be treated as individuals. Personalise your emails and requests for quotes, or even better pick up the phone and get to know your customers. If you own an electrical company, it may also be worth considering if you can implement a system whereby an electrician is assigned to a customer, so that they can get the same person each time. This helps build better personal relationships.


Reward loyalty

Is there a loyalty scheme you can implement to encourage repeat business and thank your returning customers? It could be something as simple as sending them a card at Christmas, or giving them a little discount off their bill.


Think technology

Providing a good service doesn’t just happen on the job – customers will begin to form an impression from the moment they visit your website, or pick up the phone. People want a quick response, which is why so many businesses have turned to AI for help (think chatbots!). While we will always value a more personal service, chatbots can provide answers to your most frequently asked questions, or point someone in the direction of where they can find the information they require, for example.


Electrical Meter Calibration Day at ERF Blaby Sparks Great Turnout

ERF Blaby Assists Large Numbers of Local Electrical Contractors to get Their Meters Calibrated

Last week, on Wednesday 9th September, the ERF team at Blaby calibrated over 40 customers meters.

The calibrations were conducted by a calibration partner, who are experts in electrical testing calibration. Meters were either collected or dropped off between 8am and 12.30pm and were all calibrated on the same day.

We know that it may have been difficult during lock down and this period of uncertainty to get your meters tested, and that is why we are even more committed to ensuring we are able to provide this service to you.

Missed the calibrations at Blaby? No problem. We have a large number of calibration dates throughout the rest of the year. Check out the dates and book yourself a place here: ERF Calibration dates.


ERF Blaby Service Manager Jack Skelton commented:

“ERF Blaby’s calibration day yesterday 09.09.2020 was supported overwhelmingly. 42 testers were calibrated for our loyal customers as well as food, drink and a lot of laughs. As a whole, the day reiterated the unmatched support from the local area our ERF branch receives, which we are hugely grateful for”.


Social Distancing and PPE

During these times we are committed to continuing to provide services like these in the safest way possible. We have FREE masks for customers to wear whilst in branch, hand sanitiser, gloves and lots of signs to help let our customers know how to keep themselves safe. Social distancing is practised at all times by both staff and the ERF team and we are confident that we continue to operate in a covid secure way.

Should you have any concerns, or need you meters collecting, please speak to you local ERF team.

Electrical Meter Calibration dates for 2020

Electrical Meter Calibration events

ERF offer an expert repair and calibration service for all brands of electrical test equipment.
Our partnership engineers understand and appreciate the technology and provide both repair and calibration services.

ONLY £25 per meter +VAT

Register your place at a calibration event near you here

Drop-in or drop-off your meters between 8am and 12.30pm.

Electrical meter calibration dates at the ERF branches:

All calibration events have now been held for 2020. Stay tuned for 2021 dates.

Meters included:
– Multifunction testers
– Pat testers
– Single instruments
– Checkboxes
– Earth resistance testers
– Mulitmeter
– Clamp meter
– Thermometer
– Rcd & insulation testers

Register your place at a calibration event near you here

Some branches will want you to attend on the day and others may be able to arrange collection of your testing equipment.
Please speak to your local branch to find out more.
kewtech meter

Extended Opening Hours for all ERF Branches

From 1st September 2020, all ERF branches will have extended opening hours.

The new opening hours are:

Monday to Thursday: 7.30am – 5.30pm

Friday: 7.30am – 5pm

This decision was made so that we can better look after our customers, from the branches and ERF Support Centre.

All 12 ERF branches will have the same opening hours.

Hope to see you soon!

The ERF Team