AVAD, the specialized network of distributors, is will unveil a new program called D2B (Dealer to Builder) at CEDIA EXPO 2003 in September. Having realized the “disconnect” in how builders perceive technologies and products offered by the custom installation business, AVAD and its managing director Joe Piccirilli decided to create a program bridging the gap between the two communities. Piccirilli recently answered responded to questions about this new initiative, previewing what dealers will learn more about at EXPO.
Jeremy Glowacki: Why did AVAD choose to offer a D2B program?
Joe Piccirilli: AVAD has always been committed to offering a wide variety of products and services to help our dealers maximize their sales and profits. Two years ago at the urging of our Middle Atlantic/NY partner, Kip Dellinger, we began to interview builders to determine what prevents them from offering our technology products on a large-scale basis to their customers. From that research, and the information we gathered at the International Builders Show last January, we determined that there is a disconnect for builders in that they are aware that there are loads of hot technologies and products in our industry, but they need to learn more about them, and don’t know who can install them and integrate them into their new homes. AVAD is in the best position to facilitate a relationship between builders and installers. That was the genesis of our D2B (Dealer to Builder) program.
What exactly is AVAD’s D2B program designed to accomplish?
The Dealer to Builder (D2B) program is designed to facilitate a relationship between builders and installers. For builders, we are committed to provide pre-packaged systems and step-up packages based on the price points of the houses in their development. Those systems can include home theater, central sound, central video, central data, central vacuum, telephony and structured wiring. By offering pre-packaged systems and a generous demo deal, we make the selling proposition on the builder’s side much easier. We also commit to our builders that we will introduce them to a qualified installer who has the capability to sell, install and service the equipment for that project. For our dealer/installers, we are committed to facilitate access to the large and potentially very lucrative new home construction market. In conjunction with CEDIA, we will also offer our dealers training courses and testing to make sure that they have access to the necessary knowledge to maximize their participation in the builder market. In fact, to qualify for builder referrals, a dealer/installer must be certified in at least four product categories, be working on a fifth category certification, be a CEDIA member, be CEDIA Level One certified and have completed the AVAD business basics course.
What are the benefits to custom installers?
First of all, the greatest benefit is to be part of a national program with a significantly greater level of credibility and critical mass than any single dealer could likely achieve. As an AVAD D2B partner they will benefit from a national marketing effort utilizing the resources of AVAD and our vendor partners. Once qualified, a custom installer will be introduced to builder projects that would not be available to them without the assistance of the AVAD D2B program. It should be a source of a large amount of new business and profits for all of our qualified dealers.
What are the benefits to builders?
Builders get access to a national register of dealers who have qualified through a measurable, consistent set of criteria. We set clear benchmarks for dealers so that builders can recognize that minimum but substantial qualifications and commitment are in place. Builders also get a manageable set of products and systems for their customers plus access to the best equipment and the most qualified installers for each of their projects. In other words, we greatly simplify the process for builders.
What makes the AVAD D2B program different than other builder initiatives?
The difference between our program and the others is AVAD. We are the only people who can put together the vendors and installers that are appropriate for any builder’s needs–be they large or small. Our self-interest is that our installers buy the equipment they sell to builders from AVAD. Since, for the most part they already do, it is a win-win.
When will the program be launched?
The program will be launched to dealers at CEDIA EXPO 2003. Certification course will begin after CEDIA EXPO. It will then be introduced to builders at the International Builders’ Show 2004 in Las Vegas with a launch date of April 1, 2004.
How does a dealer become qualified?
Program details won’t be announced until CEDIA EXPO, but there will be technical and management skill requirements with a strong tie to the CEDIA education. The dealer must meet these criteria and be willing to buy their equipment from AVAD.