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What are an engineer's most common concerns when selecting instrumentation?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by JacobCheng, Mar 29, 2017.

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  1. JacobCheng

    JacobCheng

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    Mar 29, 2017
    Hi everyone, I'm Jacob Cheng from China, working in an electronic instrument manufacturer, and this is not a promotion content, I'm here asking for help.
    As a freshman of marketing promotion in the electronic instrument, I have no idea about what topic will engineers interested in. So, I'm here today to ask for a little favor from an expert like you guys, sincerely.
    We manufacturing digital DC power supply, frequency converter, all kind of power testing equipment the most. For example, the frequency converter, use to simulate power network for product testing. Then you wanna know about this machine, what you want to ask? Here is some of my thinking:
    • What's the feature of this machine? (compare with general model)
    • Compare with XXX brand, what' the result?
    • What's the power core? What's the capability between different core?
    • What material made of? That decided how long I could use it.
    Anything else comes up?
    I know I maybe ask a stupid question, but I really need help, please leave your comment, thank you, guys.
     
  2. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

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    Jan 21, 2010
    Some of my first questions are:
    1. Can I trust the specs
    2. Is it well designed and reasonably free of bugs
    3. Will it do the job correctly and safely
     
  3. JacobCheng

    JacobCheng

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    Mar 29, 2017
    Thank you for your advice.
    For the first point, should I post some testing report or certification on our website? Will you trust that?
    How to show you this is a well design product? By posting a video shows the machine how it perform?
     
  4. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

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    Nov 17, 2011
    A test report or certification is a good indicator for a quality product, provided the testing laboratory has a good reputation.
    Even if you cannot provide lots of test reports, stating th efull specs (as Steve noted) including any standards that are observed (CE, UL, CSA, EN, IEC, whatever applies to the product) at least show that you are aware of the requirements for such a product, that you care for quality and last not least that you fulfill the requirements of the applicable standards.

    A video can be considered today's equivalent of a presentation by a sales representative. But videos can be manipulated so he potential buyer has to put trust in the makers of the video.

    For starting business I'm afraid you are in a vicious circle which is not easy to break:
    • People need to be convinced of the quality of your product to buy it.
    • In order to convince them, you need to have a good reputation.
    • A good reputation comes from having sold quality products in the past - and here you are back on field one ;)
    When doing business on the internet, it is rather common to have a comment section on each page offering a product where people who bought the product can leave a comment. The experience of a community of users gives new users a feeling of trust. Some companies even give away free samples for testing, preferably to potential users who already have a large community e.g. of followers on a social network to make their marketing (hopefully) viral.

    And: be honest. No product is perfect. When a (hopefully only minor) problem arises with your product, have an open communication with the users and fix the problem. Do not to hide or deny the problem. In my opinion, most people, especially engineers, know that no product is perfect and will accept measures to imrove a product they already own. These people will not tolerate being told a lie or being betrayed. This would lower your score of reputation.
     
  5. JacobCheng

    JacobCheng

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    Mar 29, 2017
    Everything has their first step, right? Talking about the way you mention above, we are a Chinese manufacturer, not a retail business, do you really think this will help? I'm confused.
     
  6. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

    11,794
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    Nov 17, 2011
    A manufacturer has to sell, too.
    From your first post it isn't clear whether you are going to address end customers or in-between retailers. In my opinion you will face similar issues inboth sales channels, namely how to convince the end-user or the retailer.
     
  7. JacobCheng

    JacobCheng

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    Mar 29, 2017
    I can't believe I learning marketing from you guys, but I got to say it's really persuasive. Not just because you're a potential buyer, yet you really sharing your thought, you had my thanks, sincerely. I will try to transfer this to my team.
     
  8. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

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    Jan 21, 2010
    Well, as a manufacturer you need to do the bulk of the marketing. What retail business will want to stock your stuff if they don't know about them and there is no demand? And who will buy them if they don't know who you are or what makes your product worth investigating?

    Let's say your product is an oscilloscope. The market is already crowded with oscilloscopes from known manufacturers and frankly, they would probably be my first option. Why look at you?

    If you tell me that your scope has a really great interface, and marvelous accuracy, and has a string of features, will I believe you? Again, probably not. I'd certainly be looking for someone else (and somebody who's well respected and independent) to collaborate your claims.

    So maybe if you send a few of these scopes to well known bloggers, or people who you know will make their findings public then I might see them and take more notice of your offering.

    Obviously, if you get honest reviews, not all of them may be completely positive. Another thing I'd be looking at is how responsive you are to these complaints. Can you release fixed firmware quickly? How easy are these to apply?

    You might run competitions to give away some of your equipment. Unless you have a market presence you may be better off selecting some bloggers etc., and passing them another unit(s) to give away -- they already have an audience, and it is presumably the audience you wish to sell to. Some sites/bloggers may be able to run your advertising in conjunction with the review or the competition. And, of course, you can offer "introductory pricing".

    Another thing I'd be interested in is the after sales support. Who will handle warranty repairs? Who can do calibrations?

    Once I've taken more notice of you, I might turn to your web site. Does it offer useful information about your products? Is it obvious where I can download firmware updates? Do you have downloadable manuals (in GOOD English -- or German, or French, or whatever languages you will support). Do you have a forum where I can ask questions? If there are any negative comments or complaints, how have you handles them (I once dealt with a company who simply removed all negative comments from their forum and denied the existence of problems. I didn't deal with them for long).
     
  9. JacobCheng

    JacobCheng

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    Mar 29, 2017
    I don't know you are an engineer or a top salesman, seems you really good at this:D. Glad to have your word, seriously. We still got a looong way the go.
     
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