The Consumer Electronics Association of New Zealand (CEANZ) is looking for more involvement with PC manufacturers and distributors as the trend towards convergence of PC, television, video, and audio technology gains momentum.
CEANZ, whose 18 members include Sony, Philips, Fisher & Paykel, and Sharp, met recently to discuss concerns over the computer industry's poor public image regarding warranties and service.
CEANZ executive officer Garth Wiley says the organisation is looking at setting standard service requirements.
"An example is having a generic service form and adopting the Iris coding system," he says.
Under the Iris system, which is used extensively in Japan, technicians servicing a PC or appliance fill out a form by entering codes for the type of work done. Wiley says in Japanese factories in particular, these codes are used ascertain the service history of an appliance.
At the recent meeting members had the opportunity to talk to a representative of the Ministry of Commerce about what is and isn't allowed under the Fair Trading and the Commerce Acts.
Another concern raised was the dearth of trained technicians. Wiley says CEANZ members are looking at ways around the problem, including the possibility of contributing to a fund to pay for a training campaign.
Wiley says emerging and current technologies such as cable TV, digital video, and MPEG are starting to become issues for CEANZ members in general.
"A lot of the issues being raised by the traditional consumer electronics companies are the same ones being raised by the PC and printer companies."