SAN JOSE, Calif. - End users in a wide range of commercial fields are becoming increasingly aware of water quality issues and are beginning to acquire the right equipment to treat water more effectively. Products that are simple and reliable will see the greatest sales among commercial customers.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (www.water.frost.com ), U.S. Commercial Water Treatment Markets, reveals that this industry generated revenues of the $551 million in 2000 and is projected to earn $773 million by 2007.
"Most commercial end users have little interest in adding complicated water treatment systems to their operations," says Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Matthias Kubr. "Manufacturers must provide water treatment equipment that is simple to use and easy to maintain."
Automated systems could be the answer for many end users. Automatically regenerating resin beds in water softeners and long-lasting filter cartridges should attract many busy customers.
"Service contracts, which outsource regular service of the equipment to water companies or dealers, can offer part of the solution," says Kubr. "But systems also need to be stable and immune to break-downs."
Meanwhile, product differentiation remains a top challenge among market participants. While there are a few large, national manufacturers, the market is crowded with a number of smaller, regional players.
"For most commercial water treatment end users, the price and capabilities of the systems are more important than the associated brand name of the manufacturers," says Kubr.
As a result, market participants find it difficult to differentiate their products from those of their competitors. Developing innovative products or supplementing sales with superior service could help companies attract more customers.
Frost & Sullivan presents 2001 Market Engineering Awards to companies who have worked diligently to make a positive contribution to the commercial water treatment industry. The Product Line Strategy Award was presented to Cuno Inc. The Market Engineering Leadership Award was given to Culligan International. The Brand Awareness Development Award was awarded to Liquid Metronics Inc.