Company: L-com Inc., North Andover, USA
Company Description: L-com Inc. is a manufacturer and world-wide distributor of high-quality connectivity products such as cables, connectors, antennas, amplifiers, and both wired and wireless system equipment. Founded in 1982, L-com now has 4 facilities, including a wholly-owned sales & trading facility in Suzhou, China. They have received many awards for their educational web site, catalog, and innovative products.
Nomination Category: Products & Product Management Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Best New Product or Service of the Year - Telecommunications - Hardware
Nomination Title: L-com's New Telecommunications Hardware
Tell the story about this nominated product or service (up to 500 words). Describe its functions, features, benefits, and sales results to date:
Every commercial office building has phone wiring installed, and the vast majority also have Ethernet wiring. Any conductive wiring is susceptible to lightning. When it comes time to add to or change drop points (or the wall socket where a user would plug his computer in to access the Ethernet or phone), however, lightning protection is usually the last priority, sometimes not even considered. At L-com, we faced this problem: to help companies that are adding or changing drop points include lightning protection. We designed a new kind of lightning protector to tackle three challenges: ease of use, safety, and price.
The resulting "in-wall" electrical box mount lighting and surge protectors for Ethernet or phone lines (L-com's WP line) have solved all problems and have enjoyed a terrific launch.
When a company shifts around office space -a very common occurrence- they are faced with a large number of difficulties involved with designing, rewiring, and conducting the physical move. With all these considerations, it's no wonder lightning protection is often overlooked. In order to minimize the complexity of adding lightning protection, our new WP products are pre-built into stainless steel wall plates, easily installable on in-wall and surface-mount single gang boxes. We even include mounting screws to make using our product as quick and simple as possible.
Whenever dealing with lightning protection, safety and data integrity are important considerations. Our new line features directly mounted ground lugs for maximum safety. They use shielded connectors which, together with the steel plate, offer the best available EMI/RFI protection for the data. We used new Thyristor diode technology to provide high-speed semiconductors that clamp any voltage -positive or negative- up to 58 volts, while still allowing up to gigabit Ethernet speed and power-over-Ethernet transmission if required.
While a lightning protector is always cheaper than the cost of the damage caused by lightning to unprotected equipment, a good protector can range anywhere from $30 US to over $90 US, depending on mounting and environmental requirements. Our new high-quality protectors start at under $25 US, andtogether with the installation cost saved by their ease-of-use, they are one of the best value protectors on the market, world-wide.
Following the original launch of these products in late October 2011, we sent out a press release and featured them in a "new products" email alert. The resulting attention has been very positive. Four top trade magazines picked up the press release in November, including Cabling Installation & Maintenance, Electrical Line, Electronic Design, and infoTECH Spotlight. Top companies such as BAE Systems and Graybar Electric have requested quotes for these products and we've already sold over 35% of our initial stock. Thanks to our lean and domestic manufacturing, we are able to enjoy a healthy profit margin even at the low price-point. Though they have only been around for about six months, the WP line is set to be one of L-com's most successful new product launches to date.
Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the leader(s) of the team that developed the nominated product or service:
Ed Caselden became L-com's president and CEO in 2006. Under his leadership, L-com's revenue has grown a remarkable 84% since 2005, and the company has expanded to four buildings world-wide, more than doubling the work force. Early on, Ed placed emphasis on building a strong management team and promoting from within. He also invested in cutting edge systems and tools in order to offer a wide range of quality, in-stock products and exceptional customer service. Since Ed became CEO, L-com has received fifteen high-profile awards from business and marketing associations, trade publications, and top customer or vendor partners.