You’ve been hearing it a lot lately: Change has come to America. Well, it is coming to the water treatment industry as well, so you better be ready for it.
Last year, with the help of many industry associations and members, the water quality industry narrowly escaped AB 2270, California’s proposed legislation that would have banned the use of residential water softeners without any regard to science-based facts.
You may be surprised to hear this, but if you haven’t already joined Facebook you should probably do so soon. Research shows that most business executives and CEOs will also be joining Facebook at some point this year. The fact is, social media is having a profound impact on businesses, and the corporate world is adjusting.
Water is essential. It makes up 50% to 70% of an adult’s total body weight, and without it, survival time is limited to a matter of days. Globally, people are confronted with many problems relating to water. It is estimated that 1.5 to 2 billion people in the world lack access to safe potable water. Third-world countries specifically continue to be plagued by water-related diseases; however, even developed nations confront water problems.
It’s official: The numbers for January are in and more than 598,000 jobs were slashed in the first month of 2009, bringing the unemployment rate up to 7.6%—the highest it has been since September 1992.
The U.S. Labor Department recently reported that since the recession began in December 2007, the economy has shed 3.6 million jobs—half of them in the last three months alone. And the hemorrhage continues as small businesses—who are usually the first to create jobs and the last to cut them—made significant staff cuts for the 12th consecutive month, according to CNNMoney.com.
While it’s no surprise that sales are down, as consumers tighten their wallets amid economic recession, it may surprise you to know that when it comes to Internet sales, the outlook is fairly positive.
Online sales held up better than the rest of the retail market during the bleak 2008 holiday season, and on the day dubbed “Cyber Monday”—traditionally one of the busiest online shopping days of the year—online retailers saw a 15% increase in sales from 2007.
Last year at this time, many of us knew that the coming year would provide a plethora of opportunities and challenges for our industry, but I don’t think anybody quite expected to encounter the challenges we faced this past year. But as you have heard before, challenges provide the opportunity to rise to the occasion, and that we certainly did.
With 2008 coming to a close, we can now look back on what was an eventful and challenging year for the water treatment industry. But through our knowledge and active participation, we have been able to overcome the obstacles that confronted our industry this year.
On Sept. 30, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared the proposed water softener ban AB 2270 went too far as he exercised his authoritative right and declared “no” to the proposed legislation. Many months of hard work and passionate public-awareness efforts were repaid with this veto, and those in the water treatment industry who supported these efforts should be commended for the work you have done to help make this possible.
The topic of a lively discussion held during the Dealer Section meeting at the recent WQA Mid-Year Conference stuck with me long after the meeting adjourned. The subject of conversation was how to identify and address employee theft in your business, and every dealer in attendance had real-life examples to share. Now I?ll admit that going into the meeting I thought the discussion would be about employees who steal water-softening systems or perhaps dabble in embezzlement, but it turns out I wasn?t thinking simple enough.
For those of us involved in the water treatment industry, I think we are embarking on some pretty exciting times.
It seems as if you can’t walk pass a newsstand these days without seeing water in the headlines. From water shortages to drug-tainted water, this noble industry is quickly making its way into the forefront of America’s consciousness.