Chris Perkins, owner of Lightning Enterprises, Limington, Me, spoke with HR about how his company sets itself apart from the competition in the industry.
q What is new at Lightning Enterprises?
a We recently introduced Lightning eDirect, a communications program that enables our customers to connect directly to a special section of our Web site by computer, where they receive special pricing on many of our products, as well as company announcements and upcoming product releases. We also released our line of digital battery drain meters that supply working voltage to a hearing aid while displaying the battery drain, and the My Vac consumer vacuum pump, an easy-to-use suction unit designed for the consumer to clean their own hearing instruments.
q How does your company set itself apart from your competition?
a Lightning Enterprises really has an unusual position in our industry. Most of our products are unique and have stemmed from projects where a customer had a specific need and wanted a custom product. We consider every request we get for a product, because if one person needs it, there is a good chance someone else needs it too. We dont focus on whether we will make a million of a particular item, we just look at whether the product has a useful place in our industry, and whether others will find it useful also. If we feel they will, then we make it. And because we develop and manufacture in-house, we are able to offer exceptional pricing.
q What can we expect in the future from Lightning Enterprises?
a In January 2005, we plan to unveil an Affiliate Program through our Web site, which is designed to pay subscribers for referring customers. Our Affiliate Program will be free to join and open to anyone in our industry. We will have a variety of links and banner ads available for promotion, and subscribers will be able to log in and check their statistics anytime.
Micro Audiometrics Corp
HR recently spoke with Kathy Keller, cofounder of Micro Audiometrics Corp, Murphy, NC, about the role her company will play in the future of the hearing health industry.
q What is unique about Micro Audiometrics and its product line?
a While other companies in our industry continue to be bought and sold, we have remained the small, family-owned corporation that will celebrate our 25th anniversary in 2005. Our size allows us to focus on the quality of products we manufacture and personally respond to every customer and distributor.
We are dedicated to producing quality audiometric test equipment utilizing the latest advances in technology. Earscan I, a clinical impedance and pure-tone computer peripheral audiometer, emerged years before personal computers found their way onto every desk. Innovations like LCDs, membrane keypads, and microprocessors arrived in 1983 with the introduction of Earscan II, which is still being manufactured today. It is extrememly gratifying to meet customers and distributors at conventions who tell us that the Earscan they purchased 10 to 15 years ago is still performing perfectly.
q Describe the pros and cons of your industry.
a The audiometric industry is relatively conservative, and technological improvements tend to be adopted rather slowly compared to other industries. This does provide opportunity, however, for innovation in the audiometric test equipment marketplace in many different areas including computers and communication between equipment.
q What role will Micro Audiometrics play in the future of your industry?
a The audiometric test equipment industry has had few major advances. The most important may be the introduction of microprocessors, digital switches and converters, digital signal processors, and personal computers. Micro Audiometrics has implemented each emerging technology in the past with each product introduced. With the new Earscan 3, pure-tone audiometer tests can now be stored on removable storage devices, giving the customer virtually unlimited storage capacity. Earscan 3 also has the ability to receive software updates from the Internet to ensure the firmware in the audiometer is always up to date.