The electrical manufacturers listed in the chart are all recalibrating their companies to adapt to the challenges and opportunities listed below. These challenges/opportunities may also have an impact on your company. EW’s editors have provided “points to ponder” for each of these areas. Can you come up with additional questions for your sales and management teams?
THE LIGHTING TRANSFORMATION TO LEDS
- When will the return on investment (ROI) with LEDs for general office applications push LEDs to a tipping point where they dominate sales in this key segment of the lighting market?
- Is my sales force knowledgeable enough in the new fundamentals of wireless lighting control to effectively sell these systems?
- How are my lighting control vendors solving the challenges in dimming LEDs?
- Which lighting fixture manufacturers are currently offering LEDs in streetlights and roadway lighting, and is this a new sales opportunity for my company?
- What is the most effective way to draw a line of separation between the LED lines that I stock and the poorer quality LEDs flooding the market from offshore?
THE ENERGY REVOLUTION
- How will end users, electric utilities and other buying influences in my local market be affected by a dramatic increase in the production of domestic natural gas?
- Could the solar and or wind industries survive in my area without federal, state, local and other financial subsidies?
- Are there other renewable technologies that may one day offer sales opportunities for my company (geothermal, biomass, wave power, etc.)?
- Where are my vendors at with electric vehicle supply equipment, and how far off are any real sales opportunities in this intriguing niche?
- If my company decides to become a provider of products for renewable technologies like solar or wind, how would we need to modify our external marketing efforts to reach new customers in these arenas?
THE EVOLUTION OF THE POWER GRID
- As the distributed generation market evolves and more buildings start producing power on site, will it present any new sales opportunities?
- Will the advanced metering technologies of the smart grid have any real-world sales impact on my market?
- If any utility-scale wind farms or solar power plants are built in my market, could I ever get in on the bids, or is this a national/regional contract play?
- I hear so much about how badly the U.S. power grid needs to be modernized. If a utility in my area invests in an upgrade, how do I get a piece of the action with these upgrades?
- The lack of security with electric substations is a pretty scary deal. What are my company’s emergency plans if my market got hit by a sustained blackout?
THE INTERNET OF THINGS
- It seems like we will always need more data warehouses to store all of this digital information everyone is producing. What would I have to add to my product and service offering to participate in the construction of these facilities?
- We haven’t done a ton in VDV (voice-data-video) in the past. Is it too late to get involved with all of this wireless networking that I hear about?
- Are there any opportunities with utility submeters, lighting control or other new-age digital technologies in the residential market?
- I understand that when any electronic device has an IP (Internet Protocol) address, you can communicate with that device remotely. What new electrical products could be invented with these capabilities?
- Is my company doing everything it can in the mobile arena, both with our employee-to-employee communications and in our communications with customers on job sites or on the factory floor?
THE NEW LOGISTICS
- As the United States produces more oil and gas domestically, there will be more need for transfer stations, rail depots and other facilities to move oil and gas from point “A” to point “B.” What are the related electrical construction opportunities?
- If commercial seaports are in my market, have I taken full advantage of any of the expansion now going on with so many of these facilities?
- Many metropolitan areas are expanding the intermodal facilities that handle the transfer of containers and other freight from rail to local trucking lines. Aside from the expansion opportunities that exist with this construction, would it ever make sense to have a branch located right in or near an intermodal facility in my market?