Electrician turned businessman, Mike Page, kits out new Loadout headquarters with Scolmore Group products
He describes himself as an electrician first and foremost having worked on the tools for over 10 years. More recently, however, Mike Page has developed a reputation as a businessman and entrepreneur after setting up of his company Loadout, which specialises in the supply of hand tools, tool storage, test equipment and workwear. The idea came to him after he began sharing a lot of content of product tests and reviews online, which led to a growing number of followers keen to hear what a qualified electrician had to say and wanting to get hold of the products he was demonstrating. Having moved from sending links to sites where his followers could buy the products, he set up his own business, Loadout, to get products direct from the suppliers to the end users. As the business grew, the need for dedicated facility became evident.
Earlier this year saw the opening of Loadout’s brand new headquarters in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, a unit which comprises office space, a showroom and an extensive warehouse facility. Having initially used drop shipping to get products directly from suppliers to end users, Mike took the decision to take full control of the whole process to provide the best customer service possible to his clients. The new warehouse facility allows him to hold vast quantities of stock on the premises and offer next day delivery.
A well known face on Scolmore’s YouTube channel, SGTV, and a long-time fan of Scolmore products, Mike opted for solutions from across the group to kit out the entire premises. Click wiring accessories, Ovia light fittings and emergency lighting, and fire detection products from ESP, have all been installed.
Products that are fit for purpose and easy to install
At the entrance to the unit can be seen products from the Click Essentials Metal Clad range. Perimeter trunking running through the premises houses a range of sockets, fused spurs and switches from the range. Comments Mike: “I’ve installed Metal Clad for years as an electrician. These accessories are extremely hardwearing – just what you need in a warehouse environment - and also reasonably priced. They also work well with the military/industrial look we were aiming to achieve with the fit out.”
Two-Wire Fire Protection
When it came to securing the premises with the appropriate fire alarm system, Mike worked with the design team at ESP to come up with the most appropriate scheme. ESP’s MagDuo two-wire fire system was selected. “I knew enough about fire systems to install it and with MagDuo it was really easy to set up. ESP were great in ensuring we had the right system and products for the coverage we needed and to satisfy my insurance requirements for the building. We have a zone plan which shows the layout of the building and clearly highlights the separate fire alarm zones to help evacuations in an emergency situation. Most electricians know the regs, and how to install the products, but when it comes to zone plans and design schematics for example, this is an added benefit of the ESP service.”
Self-test saves time and money
Just above the door at the entrance to the unit is one of Ovia’s 3W LED emergency maintained exit signs. “I’m so used to the bulky, brick style emergency lights and I love this slimline version. It’s got lots of knock outs making it conduit compatible. My favourite thing about this exit sign is the light below, so when you’re locking up at night when it’s dark and turn the lights off you’ve got that little bit of light. I keep it maintained for that reason.”
Ovia’s emergency twin spots have also been installed with the self-test versions chosen. In the event of loss of power, these will come on and illuminate the warehouse. “What’s cool about these ones is the self-test element”, says Mike. “I was here the other day and they just kicked in to run the self-test one after the other. So that’s another great time saving feature.”
The warehouse is very well lit with four of Ovia’s very powerful 100W highbays. “I was working in the warehouse in darkness for a couple of months when we were renovating the place. We just had the use of site lights before the highbays were installed. It now feels like we have drenched the place in light. We had a site visit from one of the Ovia lighting designers to assess our requirements and then a scheme was worked up with the correct positions and spacing for the lights to deliver the best possible light output. The highbays are very adaptable and we used brackets to secure them directly to the concrete. They just worked really well like that with the way the ceiling is pitched and much easier than fiddling with hooks and jack chain to secure them”.
Showcasing some of the products he supplies is the new showroom, which also incorporates a studio area where Mike films videos for the business. Featuring CCTV cameras for security, Mike explains that the CCTV system used to protect all aspects of the premises, inside and out is ESP’s Rekor IP CCTV system. A total of six cameras have been installed, covering the office area, the warehouse and showroom and the exterior. “I haven’t done a lot of CCTV to be honest, but this was just so easy to install. You literally just crimp the ends and plug them in. I probably spent more time setting it all up on the computer and that didn’t take a lot of time. The cameras all go back to the Rekor HDView NVR which has 4TB of storage and again is very easy to use.”
Inceptor Slate LED panels have been installed in the showroom and Mike chose to have these suspended rather than surface mounted, as it worked better with the structure of the building and the positioning of the rafters. “They are really adaptable, and I like the floating aspect they create. The diffuser spreads the light which works well in this showroom and studio environment. We do filming here for YouTube and Instagram and needed it to be bright but not flooded with light and these are also dimmable which gives us more control.”
Commenting on the overall job, Mike said: “I’m really happy with how everything has turned out. With the help of the design teams at Ovia and ESP we have the best products and solutions for all aspects of the business here – power, lighting and security. We wanted to create a military aesthetic throughout the unit and all the products work well to help achieve this.”