CONNECTING THE SMART LIGHTING STRENGTHS BY BILL ATTARDI When you stop getting better, you will stop being good.

Last week my debate partner Chris Brown, with many years of distribution upbringing, bloviated on the strengths of the traditional distributor in the electrical industry: CONNECTING THE STRENGTHS.
Hard for me to admit it but he knows what he’s talking about. I even asked him for what he thinks about the additional strengths that the channels of distribution must develop to compete effectively in the new Smart SSL Lighting Industry. We came up with a list of fourteen (14) below. Your input is welcome…..

As you know, as Captain Sunshine, I still feel that the existing traditional supply chain will continue to serve this market as long as they see change as an opportunity, adapt, reposition and develop the strengths necessary to compete. It will not be easy but you do have the resources…….last time I looked, NAED said it was a $100 billion industry. You have to put up the bucks if you want to play. Let me repeat what I have said in subsequent blogs: the existing channels must make the necessary investments to serve 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 weak / ineffective channels of distribution. Intelligent investments to strengthen your position cannot be avoided. Just Do It!

It’s time to strengthen your company 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 this 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!

1. Expert understanding of the technology of the Smart SSL Lighting Industry
2. Complete company dedication to value-added solutions in addition to the new product offerings
3. Social media savvy and activities to communicate effectively to your customers
4. Knowledgeable and proactive – IoT, IoE, PoE
5. Dedication to innovation – per the Dirk Beveridge book
6. Specialize in building controls, building and home automation, operating systems and tools
7. More diverse leadership: Chief Technology Officer; Chief Innovation Officer; VP of Content Marketing; Director of Social Media, in addition to hiring tech savvy millennials
8. Focus on content marketing – the message is the message
9. Effective Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) & Customer Relations Management (CRM)
10. Risk adverse mind-set: plan / implement / control
11. Working with manufacturers involved with network programming to advance other uses of lighting
12. Professional sales force with create demand / problem solving sales skills
13. Data collection, post purchase evaluation gathering and action to maintain a satisfied customer base
14. Specialize in alternative marketing strategies: proactive rather than reactive

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  1. Bart. Pastetnak says:

    As airways you are right on the mark. However,
    If you look at the industry, it has historically been adverse to investment outside the box. Buy a competitor, sure, open another branch, why not. But, make the kind of investments necessary to succeed in the new lighting world? Too risky, not enough short term payback. This is why the great distributors will flourish in the new lighting environment and the others will sit by the side of the road wringing their hands and wondering how the world passed them by.

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