PerkinsChris Perkins, owner of Lightning Enterprises, Limington, Me, a hearing aid repair equipment company, recently took some time to speak with The Hearing Review. Perkins’ company specializes in UV cure units, vacuum pump systems, listening chamber systems, and battery substitutes. During his chat with HR, Perkins addressed a variety of industry topics.

Q. What role does a company like yours play in today’s hearing health care market?

A: We have been noticing, for the past several years a growing trend that has consumers looking to take care of their own hearing aids in the home. That means we play the role of trying to help these people, as far as offering the technology and products that enable them to do this at home.

Q. What do you think might be contributing to the growth of that trend?

A: For starters, hearing aids can be very expensive. People don’t want to keep replacing them, or getting expensive repairs done on their instruments, if they can buy the equipment that allows them do these things themselves. Also, we have discovered that more consumers are now willing to spend money to buy their own equipment and maintain their own hearing aids, where they weren’t willing in the past.

Q. Without going into specifics, could you talk about pricing? For example, how does price dictate how you do business?

A: Well, I can honestly say that we have seen a marked increase in the last 6 months of people buying hearing aid repair equipment. To meet these demands, we do definitely have to watch costs and try to offer products that this market will be willing to pay for. We recently developed a smaller repair unit that is more economical, because we thought it would be too pricey for home use.

Q. What are the pros and cons of working in this industry?

A: The biggest plus, is that we’re doing something that is helping someone, in this case to hear better and take care of their hearing equipment. The downside is that this industry is small, and as such it is directly tied to the economy. Therefore, our business cycles along with the economy.