A lot has changed in the first seven months of Ed McConaghay’s tenure as CEO of RTI. Following the sudden death of company founder John Demskie at the age of 48 last fall, McConaghay was brought in to help the control brand find its focus for the future and to bring products to market that had been promised but never delivered.
One of those products–showcased at CEDIA last month in San Diego–is the company’s Integration Designer APEX programming software, the much-promised but long-delayed backbone of RTI’s control and automation solutions. RTI’s now-shipping new programming platform combines time-saving automation with the complete freedom to design custom control experiences that RTI hopes will set dealers apart from the competition. The new software features automatic generation of the graphical user interface and programming. Getting APEX to market was a result of McConaghay’s initiative to get products to market faster.
|At RTI’s CEDIA booth were (l-r) Mike Everett, Mark Derus, Ed McConaghay, and Kevin Marty
“We’re trying to step up the speed in which we get products out the door,” McConaghay said. “Some of that is cleaning up products that we’ve announced for some time but that really needed to be completed and launched. It’s more rapidly completing new products that we need to have in the marketplace.”
Not only was the APEX launch much anticipated, but it was unique for the company in that when that product came out, it had already been announced to distribution partners. In fact, distribution partners had already been trained on how to use APEX, and the company had already begun offering training programs for dealers.
“In the week of July 24, we trained more than 1,000 dealers in 10 separate webinars, and thousands and thousands of copies of APEX were downloaded,” McConaghay said. “That training continues, and the unsolicited accolades coming into the training department have just been wonderful and very rewarding.”
At CEDIA, RTI also introduced its integrated 10-inch, touch-capacitive 1280x800 WXGA-resolution LCD screen. The now-shipping CX10 goes beyond control, also serving as a vibrant HD video display supported through an integrated HDBaseT input and stereo speakers. Designed for countertop or under-cabinet mounting, the display has a tilt range from 10 degrees to 90 degrees for the best viewing angle possible. Additional features include video intercom support and a built-in composite input to view video from security cameras and other devices. For convenience, a proximity sensor automatically brings the unit to life when it is approached, while an ambient light sensor automatically adjusts the backlighting for the best visibility.
Under McConaghay’s guidance, RTI developed a “roadmap” to help keep the company focused on quarterly product development goals, as well as informing distribution partners about their plans. Company executives traveled around the world over the past seven months reconnecting with distributors and dealers in Europe, Asia, and Australia.
“We wanted to reinforce our distribution strategy,” McConaghay said. “We go to market with our distributors, who then feed product to our dealers; we need to be a company that is easy to do business with and is responsive. We also want to be more transparent with our distribution partners so they know what we’re doing. So we’ve got a marketing campaign system that’s up and running that’s giving a lot of our partners a lot insight into what’s going at RTI, what’s going on with product, what’s our direction–the kinds of things that make communication with our people much easier.”