October 2008 Issue


CEDIA Report

CustomRetailer talked to several industry insiders from the show floor at EXPO. The following is their thoughts on the show and our industry as we approach 2009: Bill Anderson, President of Genesis Audio & Video in Irvine, CA and Mike Kavanaugh, Principal of KA Marketing of Irvine, CA: Said Bill: What was really apparent at this year’s show, more so than at any other CEDIA EXPO, was that the industry has evolved into an art form. We’ve developed the tools and the products to perform and now with the level of design, documentation and creativity that we bring to the table, custom intgeration has

Commitment to Custom

Built-to-order manufacturing has woven its way into many different industries as a means to achieve flexibility in today’s consumer-centric environments. For Leon Speakers, manufacturers of on-wall and flat-panel audio, this has been an essential tool to compete in an ever-changing, rapidly expanding, consumer electronics industry. Leon Speakers’ most valuable asset is its ability to create custom cabinets at a breakneck speed while maintaining cutting-edge acoustic design. The company prides itself on handcrafting a wide range of elegant loudspeakers, custom-built and finished to match the exact dimensions and finish of any flat-panel display, with a very fast turnaround time: just three to five business days.

CR Survey Results: Human Resources

In the July issue of CustomRetailer, Gigi Dryer, Vice President, Human Resources, Sonance, devised an excellent Q&A Survey to find out if you are on the right track with your recruiting methods. Do you know why, how and when to attract the best employees? Gigi told CR readers that, “The recruitment process should be an important priority for business owners. A job opening should trigger business owners to think about the vacancy and the reasons it exists.” As opposed to it being as time consuming and painstaking as you may imagine, you can generally ask just three to five questions to weed out

Critical Gas

For custom retailers with delivery and installation fleets, the rising cost of fuel is a double whammy, one that drives up expenses while eroding consumer confidence and depressing sales. To cope, c-tailers are scouring their P&L statements, trimming costs, leveraging efficiencies and upping fees and warranty prices to restore margin. Operating its fleet of more than 200 vehicles, Abt Electronics & Appliances is in a unique position. It handles its own fueling and maintenance in-house, enabling the Glenview, Ill., company to maintain, wash, fuel and store its fleet on premises. “We save about 15 cents a gallon by having our own pumps,

CustomRetailer’s 2008 Excite Awards

CustomRetailer magazine is honored to present our annual EXCITE Awards to the best products available to the industry this year. Each year CustomRetailer invites nominations of products that stand out for being innovative, high-performing and solutions-oriented for the custom installation professional. This year the winners were selected from over 450 nominations received and judged by the magazine’s editorial staff. All product categories relevant to the custom installation market were considered. This year’s winners stood out as particularly impressive, considering the unique challenges custom installers face every day, not only on the job, but also with the current economic difficulties. The impact these products

Guerilla Marketing 101: Marketing is Whatever Works

Let’s face it. It’s tough out there right now. We all have to work harder to just keep pace with the volume of jobs, projects and revenues we have been used to achieving. Marketing is vitally important; you must be able to clearly articulate your unique value proposition and generate demand for your services. You need to understand what it is that sets you apart from the competition, what your specialty or expertise is, and then turn that into a message that will help win you business and more importantly, repeat business and referrals. “But I don’t have any budget for marketing…” is something

Insight: Making Your Clash Flow

In numerous conversations that CR Editor Maureen Jenson and I have had with custom retailers and integrators, cash flow is one of the most common recurring topics. Although virtually everyone is being affected by the lack of consumer confidence and the market uncertainties, some dealers are able to manage their cash flow better than others... How do you manage cash flow in uncertain times, when sales are not growing, and you are struggling each month to pay the bills? Here are some ways to improve cash flow and deal with the uncertain climate brought on by the downturn in the economy: 1.

One Voice: Give the People What They Want

As I returned from this year’s CEDIA EXPO I thought about all of the great conversations I had and components and systems I saw, and I was reminded of why we all strive so hard in this business. Not only is it the need to succeed and of course make money, but also the fact that every day we have the opportunity to go that extra mile to get satisfaction from a job well-done, no matter what position we hold in the custom integration channel. This is apparent on the pages of CustomRetailer Magazine this month. The EXC!TE Award winner manufacturers are commended

One Voice: The Winners Circle

I found this quote the other day, and it made me stop and think what a great blueprint this is for all of us as we face the challenges of life dished up every day. “A Winner’s Blueprint for Achievement: BELIEVE while others are doubting. PLAN while others are playing. STUDY while others are sleeping. DECIDE while others are delaying. PREPARE while others are daydreaming. BEGIN while others are procrastinating. WORK while others are wishing. SAVE while others are wasting. LISTEN while others are talking. SMILE while others are frowning. COMMEND while others are criticizing. PERSIST while others are quitting.” Our heartiest congratulations

Strategy Coach: Take the CR Luxury Survey

Private jets. Five-star resorts. Round-the-world cruises. Summers in the Hamptons. Endless spa treatments. High fashion. Fine dining. Concierge service. Rolls Royce. Gucci. Prada. Louis Vuitton. Ritz Carlton. Bentley. Cartier. Versace. Porsche. For most of us, these lavish lifestyles and luxury brands are out of reach and almost fiction-like. Luxury for many may be just a few minutes in a candle-lit warm bath with a glass of moderately-priced champagne. We’re more likely to have time shares in Mexico than fractional jet ownership. Jet skis are more in reach than 200-foot yachts. For a privileged few, though, jet-setting is a way of life. Luxury is defined as expensive

Trusted Partner

Don Krasen, of Krystal Clear Audio-Video of Dallas, Texas, has mastered the fine art of listening to his customers. It is evident in this letter from valued customer KA of Dallas. KA is so impressed, he is forwarding this letter to several other magazines to make sure everyone is aware of the merits of Krystal Clear Audio-Video! Congratulations Don! Dear Don: What (I) wanted in a dealer was someone who was both knowledgeable in the audio and video technologies of today, as well as tomorrow. Equally important, we wanted someone who made us feel special, someone who was willing to work with us one-on-one

Voicings: Focus on the Fundamentals

-All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. Any compromise on mere fundamentals is a surrender. For it is all give and no take. Mohandas Gandhi OK. I’ll admit it. I came home from CEDIA kind of bummed out. While I wouldn’t say we had a “bad” show, there just didn’t seem to the kind of buzz I’m used to feeling at EXPO. I usually get such a boost of creative energy and adrenaline at the show I’m still flying high long after I return. This year was different though. We had traffic