Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A word the salespeople don’t want to hear

I’m going to use a work that no one likes to hear, especially when it’s applied to their products. That word – let’s call it the C word – implies that the product is no different from everything else in the marketplace, and so means the only way to sell more is to undercut the competition.

And what is that word?

Commodity. The definition of a commodity is something that can be bought from many different sources with little to no difference in the product. For the vendors this means the only way to win business is by being cheaper than the competition. In the short term, that’s good for customers, but in the longer term everyone loses. With survival depending on aggressive cost-cutting, innovation goes out the window, profitability following close behind.

So who are the guilty parties? Well I’ve already fingered the LED lighting people, so now I’m going to turn my attention on the camera vendors.

Now don’t misunderstand me; I’m not criticizing the camera products; it’s just that they’re all the same. The sensors come from the same few fabrication plants, produce the same size images, and run at the same speed. Given so little differentiation, how do I select the best camera for my application?


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