Robert Lawton, Marketing Director for Lawton Tubes, offers valuable industry insight to merchants in search of a quality copper supplier.

Selecting suppliers is a significant business investment decision. Poor suppliers impact your reputation for quality products, while disorganised ones affect your reliability. Both damage customer trust.

This is especially true when you’re sourcing copper pipe. Copper is an excellent material for plumbing and air conditioning piping, yet the investment, transportation, and breadth of products means careful consideration is needed when placing orders.

With over 100 years’ experience supplying high-quality copper pipe and fittings to builders' and plumbers’ merchants across the UK, we understand firsthand the difficulties faced by merchants.

We appreciate the tricky balance stockists must strike. You want assurance you’re investing your resources – and trust – in a supplier that delivers on quality and quantity, every time.

Copper pipes serve many heating, plumbing and air conditioning and refrigeration needs, enduring dramatic pressure and temperature changes. Most applications require contaminant-free pipes, like those for drinking water.

Copper’s unique properties make it ideal for satisfying these requirements. However, the material’s quality must be matched by the product’s manufacturing processes.

When sourcing copper products, look for quality assurances. Standards vary depending on product types, like Kitemarking, UKCA and CE Marking. Products from reliable, quality suppliers should carry the appropriate marks and be backed under the ISO 9001 Quality Management System.

We would recommend protecting your purchases with a supplier that offers extended warranties. We offer a 25-year warranty against manufacturer defects across our entire range. Whether pipes or fittings, we offer peace of mind for the complete pipeline.

Copper prices

Copper prices are determined by the London Metal Exchange, the metal industry equivalent of the Stock Exchange. Metals appeal to traders looking to make profits in much the same way as trading stocks and shares so you should source copper products from a supplier that’s transparent about pricing.

We are  steered by the fluctuating market price of copper. Our prices change in accordance with the LME where we purchase our material.

We have a knowledgeable team that is experienced in obtaining the best available prices. A good supplier will always be transparent about LME pricing and share savings with its customers.

Under one roof

Placing orders, tracking deliveries, balancing books, and managing multiple accounts is a headache familiar to many merchants – yet vital for securing a reliable reputation.  

The convenience of sourcing all your copper products from the same supplier carries multiple benefits for strategic business growth.

You should opt for a copper pipe supplier that also has an extensive range of fittings and can fulfil all your orders with one phone call, or even better, online. We offer Electronic Data Interchange, making life easier for multiple product line orders.

With only one account to manage, ordering and invoicing is easier, freeing up time to develop your business.

Suppliers that deliver

Smooth supply-and-demand chains are central to success. If customers can’t get copper products from you promptly, they’ll likely go elsewhere.

Reliability, flexibility, and handling are the most important factors. Don’t settle for excessive lead times. With 4,000 plus products in our warehouse, we can despatch UK orders within one to three days.

Flexible delivery is another key perk. A supplier that caters to your schedule is essential for running an efficient operation.

All our UK mainland orders are despatched and delivered by our own fleet of drivers – not a third party. Plus, we pack and ship our own stock so customers are confident their orders always reach them on time, in premium condition and at low costs.

We don’t  deliver high-volume products to national distribution centres, we go the extra mile, delivering stock orders directly to branches – typically multiple product lines, including less popular customer-specific requirements.

Sustainable suppliers

Sustainability is a growing issue that poses particular challenges for building and plumbing. Choosing copper pipes over plastic is an easy start, thanks to copper being infinitely recyclable, never losing its quality.

To go the extra green mile, consider an eco-conscious supplier. Taking steps both big and small benefits the planet long-term.

For example, we removed two million plastic end caps from our supply chain last year and we collaborate with the Copper Sustainability Partnership, championing sustainable building practices.

We also run a paperless office, have switched to motion-sensor LED lighting and use electric vehicles whenever possible.

Obviously, you want to deliver top-tier customer service consistently. With a copper supplier that offers you a premium buying experience, you can pass that same high-quality experience to your customers.

If you think you’ve found your ideal copper supplier, just call it, or better still, pay a visit. Ask questions, put it on the spot. Dependable, knowledgeable suppliers will answer your questions confidently and substantiate any claims.