How to keep up with the latest salon technology

How can salons keep up with all the latest technology, when there are new models entering the market all the time?

Do they run the risk that their new device, which is usually a considerable capital investment will be obsolete in a year or two?

This was the sixth and final question mulled over at the fifth Professional Beauty Industry Roundtable.

Sharing their thoughts and experience at the event was Mandy Gray from True Solutions, Karen Austin from Skin & Laser, Farshad Kazazi (Kaz) from Eden Laser Clinics, Daniel Clifford from ClinicalPRO, Bruce Byers from Cynosure, Metro-Dora Clifford from Beauty Thru Nature Skin & Laser Clinic, Mathew Green from Syneron Candela and Meredith Langley from The Beauty Room Cosmetic Clinic.

The group of thought leaders were almost unanimous in their decision that even though today’s society was dominated by the idea of ‘new’, it didn’t necessarily mean it was any better. Our industry experts stressed how important it was pick your supplier’s brain about each piece of equipment.

Meredith said you had to invest in a piece knowing that it didn’t matter if something newer came along, while Kaz said he’d been lucky to have selected the technology that hadn’t been made obsolete in any way shape or form.

Mathew said to remember at the consumer level, unless it was a particularly new type of treatment, people didn’t necessarily know what machine they had been treated on, while Bruce said he had a very big obligation to keep clients, salons and doctors in the clinics up-to-date on what was happening.

Metro said it was very important to the end user, to make sure that you were giving your most up-to-date treatments to your clients, while Daniel said having new technology was always important for that business growth.

Karen said she always invested in the latest technology that’s FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and TGA approved.

Watch the video below for the full discussion.

“There’s always going to be a newer shinier product on the market. There’s always going to be a used car salesman coming to your shop wanting you to buy their product but some products don’t change. Some equipment doesn’t change, or you hope it doesn’t change. It either works or doesn’t work. It might be a different colour or it might have something else attached to it, but if you’ve made that commitment and bought good quality equipment, then you have the confidence to know it’s going to do you well for at least five years and you’re going to feel confident knowing that it doesn’t matter if something newer comes along. “

“It’s one of the things you have to check because sometimes someone says, ‘This is our number four model’ and you have to question what happened to number three and number two? Quality does last. You do have to check with brands, what happened to one, two and three before you buy number four. A new machine might offer extra benefits, but then when you really think about it, do you want them? Equipment has to be very precise and you have to choose it with precision. “

“We have a range of devices that range from about $2,500 in value up to about $15,000. With these devices, if you bought the wrong model or if a new one has come in, your existing equipment has paid for itself many times over. Then we have the laser technology and we are lucky that with the current equipment, essentially the technology has been the same for about 20 years. The newer equipment is slightly quicker, they come with the bigger spot size, they are a lot easier to service but the actual principle is the same. We’ve been lucky to have selected the technology that hasn’t really been made obsolete in any way shape or form.”

“People need to remember that within the industry, we know what’s new and what’s coming out and we get excited, but at the consumer level, unless it’s a particularly new type of treatment that has a lot of branding and has consumer awareness, people don’t necessarily know what they have been treated on. They know they’ve had laser or IPL or RF but they don’t know what model it is. It goes back to results. If you’ve got a piece of equipment that’s reliable, that has a robust ROI and that is delivering results and your customers like it, does it matter if it is 10 years old? If you’re looking to buy equipment, and you’re worried that it might become obsolete, ask the supplier are they still supporting older devices? Do they have devices that are 10, 15, 20 years old still out there that they carry parts for that support? What are they? Where are they? How many have they got? Call someone who is using them. What is the average production life of the machine? When was the last time something went end of life? How old was it? You can find these things out from your supplier. Machines made in China are basically disposable and the price point reflects that. You buy one, it dies after two years, you throw it away, you buy another one. If you buy a really good quality piece of well manufactured equipment, the market research tells us that in Australia and New Zealand, the average life cycle of one of these devices if its quality, is seven years. That doesn’t mean it’s dead in seven years, it means the business owner has decided to turn it over. It might still be supported by the manufacturer until it is 20 years old. You don’t need to worry about what’s newer and shinier, unless you have customers requesting it.

“As the manufacturer we have a very big obligation to keep our clients, salons and doctors in the clinics up-to-date on what’s happening. What we do is have workshops where you can come and listen to the experts talk about the advances in the technology and then have hands-on demonstrations where they get to feel it, touch it, put in their hands and actually treat a human. Our nano second technology, which has been out since 1991, removes tattoos very well without causing very many side effects. It took us 10 years to develop the next stage of laser solutions, which was the pico second product, and now we can remove tattoos in half the time that nano second could do it. There are times when advancement makes sense, especially with the short pulse technology market, but the advancements we’ve made are not just on tattoo removal but also the treatment of melasma, pigmentation, dermal, epidermal, we’ve seen great advancements in that. It’s an obligation for us to get that out there so that everybody is aware of it and I the best way is to do it with these intimate workshops where the people that are going to use the equipment have a chance to really see what it does.”

“It’s very important to the end user, to make sure that you’re giving your most up-to-date treatments to your clients. At the same time, you want to also make sure that you are not over-investing and at the same time, time is money. Yes, I want to invest in a hair removal system that will cut my time down to half, even a quarter. The ClinicalPRO treatment removes hair from a mans’ back in seven minutes. That was great, because we slave away with wax doing large areas. We formed a plan among the staff and then went out and got it so everyone benefits. Technology is important but it doesn’t have to be obsolete. Results are what our clients want at the end of the day.”

“Having new technology is always important for that business growth. As a supplier, it is something that you get excited about. Then it is exciting to release a new version of something that’s a little similar. There’s also options nowadays that are coming out with a platform system that has a foundation to it that enables additional modules or such to it, but the other side is we’ve got systems that haven’t changed over 20 years. They still do the same procedure, treat the same concerns, do it very well. They have not changed, they have not had to get any faster. Technology can improve in some areas. It might be the options for the clinics or the end user, for saving that much better. People now have expectations that that want hair removal and they want it fast. It comes back to that budget side as well. Make sure you service it to match the need of your demographic. You’ve got the right return on investment. If you really need to do that faster, that’s when you need to upgrade.”

“I always invest in the latest technology that’s FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and TGA approved. It’s very important to do that and from a credible supplier. My marketing plan always is set out in a three to five year life cycle, to make sure that I get my return on investment and I have income to upgrade the technology in future or pieces to the technology.”

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