Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Rare Earth Situation, and How It Affects You

By now, many of our customers are aware of the rare earth issues leading to pricing adjustments for our fluorescent and compact fluorescent bulbs.  In short, phosphor salt, one of the raw materials used by our manufacturers to make these bulbs, is a rare earth element mined mainly in China.  These rare earth elements haven’t actually gotten any rarer, but new tariffs and regulations recently put into effect there have led to increased costs for our suppliers.  While avoiding passing these increases on for as long as possible, we were, in the end, forced to change pricing to reflect the current climate.
Fortunately, there are a few things that you, our customer can do to make your fluorescent bulb purchases run as smoothly as possible in spite of these new issues.  What are some of your options?

Plan, and order, far in advance.  Even further than you typically do.  Not only have the new regulations led to higher prices, but supplies have, at times, come in less frequently.  Plan ahead to avoid getting caught in a shortage.

Increase your inventory.  In addition to planning ahead for usage, it’s also a good idea to increase the number of replacement bulbs that you keep on hand.  This makes an emergency replacement situation much less likely.

Stay informed.   Visit our home page to sign up for our Light Times newsletter, a monthly update on all bulb news, including industry developments and special offers.  You can also Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and connect with us on LinkedIn.

A few simple adjustments in your procurement procedure can make a big difference down the road in replacement situations.  As always, contact us with any further questions.

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