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Sunday, October 6, 2013
What this means is that distributors, if they want to retain the % of their business that is lighting, need to "up their game" and be much more than a "quotation shop" or "order point" (especially if a lighting agent thinks they control the business) and ensure that they have training and marketing processes in place to continuously educate their salespeople, their branch managers and inform customers and prospects.
Some do this sporadically. Some salespeople are interested in the topic so become self-educated. Some distributors have lighting specialists (and even fewer have LED specialists) and we doubt that any distributor is marketing themselves as the "LED specialist / resource" for their marketplace.
And while it can be a "harder" sell due to the price point, the market is quickly evolving to LEDs and the lighting manufacturers are committed to this space.
So the question becomes, are you, as a distributor, committed to:
- retaining, and maybe increasing, the % of your business that is lighting?
- do you have a plan, and processes (with metrics), to increase your LED business?
- NAILD is hosting a webinar (Oct 8) on the various LED technologies and when to use / not use LEDs. And if LEDs are a focused area for you, you should consider joining NAILD as well as receiving their newsletter A Light Read.
- According to this report the LED market (solely LEDs, not LEDs for lighting) is expected to be a $13.9 billion market in 2013 ... and 39% of that market is LEDs for general lighting (which means that the value of LED lighting is higher as need to add the housing to the LEDs)
- AV integrators are LED lighting into their offerings. Are you selling to this market? If not, you can be sure that your manufacturers are looking for someone to reach this audience!
- Here's a 6 step process from Sustainable Plant advising end-users on how they can get the most from their lighting retrofit
- Here's a webinar entitled "Controlling LEDs: Hallway to Hallway" that is presented by Cree and promoted through Buildings magazine / www.buildings.com ... reaching the end-user! Should distribution attend? It's scheduled for October 23.
- "Maximize the Potential of LED Lighting with Smart & Simple Digital Controls by Acuity" is a video that was promoted Hanleywood (Builder magazine and Remodeling magazine). Register at the link to see it. Again, reaching the end-user (but do you know about it? could you promote it to your customers?)
- LED lighting market to grow to a $25 BILLION market by 2021 according to Navigant Research. Think about what the size of the lighting market currently through distribution is (less than $25 billion).
- Here's an article on MDM regarding research that Rexel conducted with end-users on their interest in energy efficiency. In the words of Chris Hartmann, "In just a few years, we've made great strides in creating an environment that has facilitated the implementation of energy efficient solutions in both the residential and commercial construction sectors, however, there are still a lot of improvements that can be achieved and it will take the collective effort of the industry, government and consumers alike if we want to make a serious impact to improve our energy efficiency."
- Graybar, with Acuity, conducted a webinar entitled "Digital Lighting in Data Centers" earlier this year. There is a white paper at this link. (digital lighting being a euphemism for LED?). Again, an end-user initiative, this time driven by a distributor who has involved a manufacturer ... leveraging their content. Perhaps more distributors should consider? or multiple non-competing distributors coordinate with a manufacturer?
- Kichler has also sponsored some webinars targeting the builder / remodeler market.
- Check out this website, www.allledlighting.com
- And we know that distributors like Grainger, Anixter, DigiKey, Allied Electronics, Ferguson and others and we've seen distributor websites that emphasize LEDs in their url.