March 2, 2017
I came across an article listing new opportunities for electrical distribution. These products were listed: LED in solid-state lighting control, solar, utility upgrades, electrical vehicles, and IoT (Internet of things).
Two of the products identified, LED in solid-state lighting control and utility upgrades, are naturals for most electrical distributors, assuming those distributors that already have a lighting division for solid-state lighting controls and a utility division for the past few years and actually invested time and people were successful.
That these are success stories can be traced to distributors that have a utility division and have been servicing this market segment. Highly trained salespeople and internal technical service within the distributor don’t draw a direct correlation to success.
Involved cases success can be linked back to a well-trained sales team and the investment of time and money in these two market segments.
The solar marketplace will for some distributors be the bridge too far. There have been success stories for electrical distributors that have worked closely with utility rebate programs for alternative energy it also have a Commercial/residential marketplace growing at the same time. The key element again what is a trained sales team and investments from distributors when entering this emerging marketplace.
The last two market segments, IoT (Internet of Things) and electrical vehicles, brings new challenges for electrical distributors.
Within wireless communication (IoT), the key factors are that most manufacturers using wireless communications have a unique proprietary protocol for their products. This presents a problem when products from different manufacturers having their own proprietary protocol in the same market segment cannot communicate. Therefore, the key to success is for distributors to look for companies that offer products that communicate with a truly open Wi-Fi protocol.
This is an emerging market segment. Only a few companies will offer products with the true Wi-Fi protocol (think of an email address for the product). This is drawn from the fact that most manufacturers using the proprietary protocol want the end-users to use their product line today and in the future.
The electrical vehicle market has been around for years. Some wiring device manufacturers have been working with standards committee for the actual plug-in receptacle to be used in power panels for electrical vehicles. You may notice that some hospitals and other public buildings in parking lots are offering dedicated parking spaces with electrical vehicle recharging panels. I truly believe, betting on the future, you will see commercial facilities offering more of these dedicated parking spaces in the future. For those distributors that dedicate time and effort and dedicated salespeople, they will find these new emerging markets to be profitable.
There’s an old saying that runs true to this fact: “What time and effort you put into a new venture will have a direct correlation to the result.”