Shoal Group offer customers access to over 35,000 cable management, identification and termination solutions and to over 5,000 flexible and specialist cables products; with first class customer service and technical support; custom-made product and inventory solutions. Established in 2019, Shoal Group brought together FS Cables & Cablecraft. SWA was acquired by the group in 2021 and is proving to be an excellent addition to the group. Combined, Shoal Group’s customers now have access to over 40,000 cable management, identification, termination and specialist cable product and service solutions. All their trading brands offer strong frictionless e-commerce platforms providing flexible ordering options supported by robust distribution and delivery processes. Shoal Group operates with the agility, energy and nimbleness of an SME but enjoys the benefits of being part of Diploma PLC (FTSE250) Controls Sector that actively supports the company’s organic and carefully targeted acquisition growth plans and initiatives. Shoal Group’s people are the most valuable asset, and their wellbeing and development is of paramount importance to the company, as are sustainable long-term partnerships with the customers and suppliers. Shoal Group is committed to doing business the right way whilst reducing our environmental impact and improving their ecological performance. Interview with Greig Martens, Export Sales Manager at Shoal Group Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company? Greig Martens: We are working in all the typical industries – Construction, Government, Manufacturing, Energy, Healthcare, Transport, Food & Retail and Information Technologies. Typical projects include Smart Homes and Shops, Data Centres, Wind Turbines, Luxury Yachts, Rail and many more. We also have a huge resale customer base and are keen to develop and enhance our redistribution network. Our sales teams are covering the whole of the UK and our dedicated export division – Shoal Export – is looking after overseas customers. E.E: What’s the news about new products? G.M: TruEV is the latest addition to the Tru range of home automation and building control cables. With the use of electric vehicles on the rise and the requirement for EV charging points, FS now stock a high-performance EV Power + Data cable. Designed specifically for EV (Electric Vehicle) charging points, this cable is also an ideal solution for other installations where both power and data are required. Comprising of power cores with either 2 data cores or a Cat 5E FTP screened cable all within one cable, this ‘all- in-one’ wiring solution makes for a quick and easy installation, saving you both time and money. With XLPE insulation and an outer CarbonTek® sheath as standard, these cables can be installed in air, clipped to surface, on cable tray/ladder work and embedded in concrete. For direct burial, SWA (Steel Wire Armoured) versions are also offered, providing excellent mechanical protection. All cables in this range have been tested for compliance to CPR (Construction Products Regulation) and have been classified to Class Eca. E.E: What are the ranges of products? G.M: The ranges of products are very diverse and as already mentioned we have >28,000 cable management, identification and termination solutions and to >4,500 flexible and specialist cables products! The product groups can be broken down into the following categories: Cable Management Solutions Cable Markers, Identification & PrintersCrimp Terminals & ConnectorsTest & Measurement EquipmentToolsEarthing, Jointing & EnclosuresCable Glands & AccessoriesCable Ties & FixingsCable Sleeving, Binding & GrommetsHeat Shrink Sleeving & Cable RepairCable Trunking & ConduitRail Sector Products Cables Audio VisualBMSCoaxial CablesControl CablesData CablesFibre CablesFire Resistant CablesHigh TemperatureIndustrial AutomationInstrumentationMarinePower CablesSecurity CablesTelephone Cables E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active? G.M: All of the markets we are working in seem very active at the moment, however it is a challenging landscape to operate in given the different global crisis that are going on at the moment. E.E: What can you tell us about market trends? G.M: As mentioned, all the markets we are working in are very active. The general trend is upwards however this may be masked by the cost increases we are all experiencing at present. The individuals we are working with are all positive and buoyant for the future. E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed? G.M: There are many innovative products in our offering and this is driven by the innovative people that we have working here. Personally, I love the cables we produce for the yachting industry. Many of these are developed from standard every day cables which are used in audio and visual applications; however they have been redesigned to meet the strict rules for installation on the yachts. This includes making them smaller and more compact, whilst retaining flexibility and also improving the way they will react in the event of a fire. We also have the new TruEV range mentioned above. This product will prove important in the huge expansion of electric car charging points that will be required all around the UK and indeed mainland Europe. On the cable management side, we have our Custom Identification offering. This is a printing and engraving service for custom labelling and marking solutions with endless possibilities. Identification is a must for safety, efficiency and for future reference. When it comes to custom printed and engraved labels, markers and signs, we offer a comprehensive service that has you covered in every detail. E.E: What estimations do you have for 2022? G.M: For Shoal Group Ltd the future is looking very bright and positive. The merger between FS Cables, Cablecraft and most recently SWA, brings together the experience and expertise of multiple supplier teams into a single offering and this along with our planned strategic acquisitions will help us grow quickly and achieve our forecasted budgets. There will be challenges along the way, but we are ready for these, just like we always have been.