MAGAZINE: Asking the right questions helps to educate customers and suppliers alike
Awareness and education are key aspects of market transformation, and there are now a number of tools to help improve the purchasing process, writes Brian Owen.
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Following the article I wrote about the experiences of the (CALiPER mystery shopper), I now feel like the mystery manufacturer has contacted me. I use the term “manufacturer” loosely, because more people are springing up in the SSL business than a broken couch. Whether manufacturer, agent, distributor or representative, it is all the same; grab some product from a far-away source, create a website and you are in the LED business overnight. In some instances, I have seen the same product on multiple websites, all claiming to be the ‘manufacturer’.
In my presentations to lighting designers, specifiers and energy-efficiency organizations, I highlight some of the many resources and tools that are available to vet SSL products. The message is the same: educate the potential buyers in order to attempt to prevent purchasing pitfalls. At the same time, make the manufacturers and their channels aware of this process to put them “on notice” that the truth is out there and if they are not “bringing it” everyone will know when they are “winging it.”
This article was published in the May/June 2009 issue of LEDs Magazine.
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