America finds ultra-portable
LCD projector an outstanding investment
cant tell you how many times over this projector has paid for
itself," says Lori Unterberger, Sales Department Administrator
at Distribution America, a marketing organization serving about 25,000
hardware stores, home centers and lumber yards across the country.
The firm uses a Lightware
VP-100 constantly, on the road in off-site meetings and at their headquarters
in Des Plaines. " The only problem we have is that we have to get
another one," says Unterberger. Though its main purpose is
for sales presentations, " theyve probably used it for 30
training sessions" over the last five months.
The sales department at Distribution
America is responsible for sales management and support of 28 distributor
members and thousands of independent retail stores. (Among their member
programs are Hardware Hank, How-To, Trustworthy, Sentry, Golden Rule,
and Our Own Hardware.) The Lightware projector is used mainly by the
firms three retail sales directors and the vice president of sales,
but it can go out with any of their own 28 distributors or their members
"Our people travel
about 75% of the time," Unterberger reports. They use the projector
for presentations to current customers and potential new customers,
showing them the firms marketing programs, product assortments,
and pricing. In addition, the firms marketing department will
take it when its not booked, and various departments use it for
staff and vendor meetings.
Obviously a projector being
shared potentially by hundreds of people is subject to some misuse.
Lightware had also some problems with the first units it shipped, including
this one." We had a little problem at first with the lamp,"
says Unterberger, " because we didnt really understand it.
We were closing the projector up without letting it cool down. At one
point, we shut the unit off, immediately unplugged it and sealed it
in its shipping case." As a result, the lamp overheated, shattered,
and damaged the unit. Lightware, however, immediately shipped a replacement
at no charge. " It was really fast," says Unterberger. "
We had a new one the next day."
Since that time, the only
real problem Unterberger reports is answering questions about the wide
variety of computers that users connect to the projector. But Uniteds
account manager has been able to help here. " Because I dont
understand everything about the computers," says Unterberger, "your
guy gets on the phone and calls the members for me. He handles the problem
and I dont have to intervene." She adds that " hes
also very good about sending information, and he hand delivers things
to me that I purchase. Customer service has definitely been 150%."
The projector, too, has obviously
been performing at 150%. " Its really been helpful,"
says Unterberger. " I have to say, its definitely earned
its money around here."