Successories: Profit or Perish
More than ever, dealers today are living with situations that continue to decrease the prospects of the long-term survival of their businesses. Time has proven that it is the most adaptable, rather than the strongest, who survive, which is exactly what today’s electronic specialty dealers will have to do: adapt or die.
The challenges facing today’s dealers include declining margins, elimination of formerly profitable product categories, i-devices with inexpensive apps, and all the major service providers picking the dealers’ pockets.
ADT, Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and others are offering technology along with content delivery that can circumvent what used to be the dealers’ domain. Yet, in spite of all this, the client who experiences a coincidental failure still presumes that the integrator is solely responsible for the smooth operation of all the technology in his home. As a result, today’s dealer will spend more time on third-party integration issues for less profit than he’s ever made before. What’s a dealer to do?
In order to equalize this imbalance, a new revenue stream must open. To be of real value to the dealer, it needs to be the antithesis of the current market conditions: high profit and no after-the-sale service, as opposed to continued hand-holding and site visits for little or no money.
The dealer has to capitalize on his strengths—to take advantage of his natural position, as it were. Clients’ perception that you are responsible for the trouble-free operation of all of the technology in their homes can be offset by their perception that you are the acoustical expert. You must make use of this. As the economy has brought the age of the McMansion to a close, people are making more efficient use of less square footage. As homes get smaller, the cost per square foot is rising. Therefore, people want to maximize the use of their precious space, and acoustical isolation is key to their satisfaction. The trend toward “aging in place” means people are staying in their homes as long as they can. Products that can make their homes more livable, both now and into the future. Acoustiblok is such a product.
While Acoustiblok has patents and trademarks on an entire family of products for sound and noise abatement, it is with their namesake Acoustiblok barrier material that dealers will find their greatest success.
Acoustiblok was born out of an AV specialist’s need to provide acoustical isolation for a home theater. After a number of successful installations, Lahne Johnson, owner of Tampa’s Sensuous Sound Systems, found that homeowners requested this product for more than just theater treatment. It migrated throughout the house.
Current soundproofing materials do far less than Acoustiblok to reduce noise. Extra drywall or spray-in foam cannot reduce sound efficiency like Acoustiblok does. Even the hallowed “staggered-stud” wall does not perform as well as one layer of Acoustiblok. In fact, Acoustiblok has more sound reduction (STC 53) than 12 inches of poured concrete (STC 51). It also allows easy access to the interior wall for plumbing, and especially for wiring maintenance or changes.
Acoustiblok is a truly unique product that has taken years to develop. It’s a proprietary formula—heavy mineral-filled viscoelastic polymer. While other sound abatement material attempts to reduce sound with solid or absorbing materials, Acoustiblok does neither. The thin, flexible 1/8-inch material is stapled or screwed to studs before drywall. As Acoustiblok vibrates from sound, it actually transforms the acoustical energy into inaudible friction energy.
Acoustiblok is 100 percent recyclable, and made from 90 percent recycled, barium-free, organic material. It’s highly UV tolerant and will not mildew or mold, so it can be put in basements or attics. It adds virtually no thickness to walls or floors, and will not compress under carpet. It is impervious to salt water and most oils, and in fact, it acts as a moisture barrier and crack isolator. It is flexible enough to be cut with a box knife, and can be nailed, stapled, glued or screwed. It’s UL rated. Acoustiblok’s U.L. Classification file number is R21490, and it’s approved for use in over 350 wall and floor/ceiling assemblies.
The sound-proofing contract is a separate contract outside of the technology budget. It should not infringe on the dollars allocated for electronics. This is one contract both spouses will approve. Once accepted, this project is executed and paid in full before the drywall even goes up: No exchanges, no firmware updates and no contract renegotiations at the end of the project.
Even if your client’s project is not new construction, you still have an opportunity to sell sound treatment. Acoustiblok-WallCover can be applied directly on top of the existing drywall. It’s only 1/4-inch thick and has similar noise-blocking properties to that of original Acoustiblok.
While many dealers are comfortable working on a 50 percent margin for acoustic material, others work on even higher margins to offset the inevitable losses on technology go-backs. The installation of Acoustiblok is one more profit opportunity for the dealer, as it doesn’t require expensive technical labor to install. Since Acoustiblok materials are ordered by the project, you have no dollars or space in inventory, and every sale is a full physical and financial turn.
At Acoustiblok we got our start in the electronics industry, and want to see it survive. Acoustiblok is a viable option and a logical extension of the products and services dealers currently offer, and it speaks to the needs of a changing society. See us at CEDIA; booth 2058, to discuss how Acoustiblok can help your business turn the privacy clients want into the profits you need. CR