It’s now time to Connect the Lighting Industry Dots on the Opportunity side. You know what a sports nut I am and one thing is certain, every time you take the field, there is the threat of losing and the opportunity of winning. This is not Little League though where everyone get a trophy. There are consequences and you know what they are, certainly if you are a Cubs or Mets fan. Even when you win, there are those who will accuse you of cheating…but I digress. A Coach from Indiana, Bobby Knight once said, “The key is not the will to win… everybody has that. Few have the will to prepare to win.”
Well, it’s time to prepare to win in the lighting industry. The one over-riding, most infectious opportunity we have ever seen in the Lighting Industry is that every single light source now burning will be replaced by a better mouse trap. If that has happened at any time in our history, please let me know as I have only been at it for 50 years. If you are in the lighting business, you most likely sold what’s out there. Now it’s time for you to prepare to replace them all. That spells OPPORTUNITY.
Let me give you an example of opportunity lost. History has shown that the relationship between the electrical manufacturer and the electrical distributor has in essence developed a thriving industry making its products readily available at cost competitive prices. In the early years, consigned inventories made it possible for more diverse lighting products to make it to market. Steady growth for decades. Then, times, they are a changin……energy efficient lighting caused the pain Chicken Little Chris Brown is talking about. Electrical Distributors heard from their customers that they wanted to upgrade and realize bottom line savings from their energy bill. It wasn’t just a product sale anymore, it was a money deal. Customers were told they had under-performing assets in the ceiling. That lighting cost them too much to operate. Who told them that…..? Not Electrical Distributors. It was Energy Services Companies (ESCOs). Their sales pitch was very effective, “I’m here to improve your business, not just sell you product.” A new channel of distribution emerged because the existing channels did not or are not capable of serving the new needs of their customers. End-User customers in the final analysis determine with whom they chose to do business and continue to switch away from ineffective channels of distribution. If you do not adapt, they will switch away in the future too, you can bet on it.
Dirk Beveridge of 4th Generation Systems in his new book INNOVATE talks about how wholesaler-distributors need to create a relevant and sustainable business. “With everything moving faster, businesses must keep up. How are we going to remain relevant in the future? Innovation is the key, both professionally and personally. The future success in wholesale distribution will be based on the ability of distribution firms to innovate.” Order his must-read study at: http://www.naw.org/innovate
Folks, this is still a SWOT Analysis……Here’s what we are looking for now: identify and connect those external market opportunities to our traditional lighting business that are in common………what opportunities are so in agreement with each other that we have to pay specific attention as they will lead to dynamic growth and successful participation in the lighting industry of the future. Then Chris (see @illumigeddon) and I will work on the Strengths & Weaknesses. Let’s Connect the Dots:
2015 EXTERNAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE TRADITIONAL LIGHTING INDUSTRY
They control the lighting business now and are in the best position to take advantage of the opportunities in the future. Will they give it away to the new Entrants?
Eaton / Cooper
Other lamp companies
Other fixture companies
The focus should always be on the end-user customer. Are you in a position to serve the various markets that present significant opportunities? Which markets are you positioned to target?
Institutional / Educational
Will you participate here or give it up to the Technology Companies?
Advanced SSL technologies: LED, OLED,
Nano-technology, Laser Diodes
Integrated Lighting Controls
IoT and IoE
Light as a service
Selling light not light bulbs
Automated demand response
Value & Benefits of Smart Lighting
Innovative applications and services
Mobile integrated communications
Indoor location technology
Digital marketing platforms
Connected LED lighting infrastructure
Energy monitoring & verification
Wireless protocols: Wi-Fi, Li-Fi, Bluetooth
Connected Lighting Alliance
Smart Lighting Engineering Research Center
Integrated security, facial recognition
Home and office automation
Research the space i.e. retail store activity
What other opportunities do you see having the most significant impact on your business?
Increasing energy rates
Deregulation / Restructuring of the Power industry
Opportunity to differentiate yourself from your competition
Ability to grow in a dynamically growing market segment
End-user customer pressure to increase profits
Implementation of a strategic marketing plan in the SSL lighting business
Selling the new advanced technologies to new customers
New markets / new technologies / leading edge / incremental sales