Kurt C. Peterson, Publisher
Summer is in full swing, the temperatures are rising and everyone seems happy to bid the cold winter weather goodbye. The change of seasons, albeit a little late this year, could be the signal to invest some time in business changes as well. Are you taking advantage of the slump to regroup your efforts, possibly adding product lines that are outside of the traditional water treatment spectrum?
Americans buy when emotional cues are right. Dealers and manufacturers can provide the impetus for consumers to look at a product package with a wider angle, to view additional offerings as complimentary rather than competitively, especially when environmental concerns are prevalent. The focus on environmental sustainability can contribute much to the industry, through enhanced products and innovative technology. Reawakened conservation attitudes and the premise of climate change, in addition to a new sense of frugality, have all helped to motivate people to consider previously ignored opportunities. There’s never been a better time to educate the masses about water treatment benefits and how they relate to the environment, to embrace changing attitudes and be the first to show consumers how to become good water citizens.
But there’s more to the environment than water. What about air quality? Several companies tout the benefits of expanding product lines beyond the traditional, with emphasis on rainwater harvesting, water reuse and air purification systems and equipment. Many dealers have found air quality to be a companion industry, one whose products are well received by ecologically motivated consumers. Moving away from a single product, system or treatment problem is an approach that could be the difference between red and black ink on the balance sheet.
Contributing Editor David Martin investigates the melding of the air and water treatment industries in Creative Marketing, while Will Kirksey examines water reuse, another aspect of sustainability that is gaining traction with communities around the country. Marianne Metzger offers insight into yet more regulation of contaminants and how it affects the water treatment industry. With the emphasis on contaminant removal very much in the news lately, reverse osmosis is often the treatment of choice. Tom Cartwright and Gary Battenberg cover some commercial aspects of RO installations, while Tom Palkon and Andy Warnes give an in-depth account of the US EPA purifier certification process.
Heightened awareness of water scarcity is just beginning to be felt in the US and coupled with the move toward greater conservation of our precious but limited resource, now may be the best time to offer a broader product line. Change comes slowly to most industries—those who have the fortitude to make difficult decisions quickly will lead the way into the next generation of water treatment options.