Education, Education, Education

One thing is for sure, economic outlooks continue to be more grey than black or white. The last five years have been a roller coaster ride for many industries, but how are things on the water front?

There is good news, according to a new analysis—Global Competitive Environment in the Residential Water Treatment Equipment Markets—recently released by Frost & Sullivan, a global growth consulting company.

The analysis reveals that revenues in the residential water treatment market segment exceeded $15 billion in 2005, and are expected to reach $41.53 billion by 2011.

According to the report, which surveyed more than 55 countries, every fourth house around the globe had a residential water treatment unit in 2005. Frost & Sullivan also estimates that every second household will have a unit by 2008, and every single household will have a water treatment unit by 2011. This is definitely exciting news for our industry.

I can’t help but think that this is related to consumers’ increased awareness of water quality. Most of this information, however, reaches consumers in the form of general media reports that merely brush the surface of water quality and available water treatment technologies.

The majority of consumers out there don’t necessarily understand the difference between one technology and another. While there is an increased interest in water quality, to most consumers, a filter is a just a filter.

This may seem a bit discouraging to dealers. After all, what’s to stop consumers from walking into Home Depot and purchasing the first unit they see? The answer is education.

It is true that consumers don’t know the ins and outs of our industry, but they are constantly seeking more information. As consumers become more interested in water quality and water treatment, they will trust those who can educate them on important issues and provide better service.

According to Frost & Sullivan, consumer education will be one of the main strategies that will make the installation of water treatment equipment a regular household necessity.

One way to keep up with consumers’ hunger for information is continued industry education. Industry knowledge is what makes consumers pick up the phone and call a dealer instead of heading for Home Depot. It is the industry’s responsibility to make sure consumers find the information they need.

With all this in mind, I think the WQA Aquatech USA show offers a great opportunity to widen your knowledge of the industry and refresh some of your technical skills. While vast halls filled with the newest products and technologies are tempting, the upcoming show has made an impressive effort to offer attendees a great selection of educational sessions.

I urge all of you to make the time to attend some of the training seminars at the WQA Aquatech USA show. These seminars will provide you with the necessary tools to educate consumers and stay ahead of the competition. Don’t forget, lifelong learning generates success!

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