Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


Custom Distributor Guide 2009

Distributor Strategies For The Next Quarter

The IP Networking section in ADI’s San Leandro, CA branch

What a year: from Ponzi schemes to mortgage liens, 2009 will go down in the almanacs.

Most businesses are still playing it safe, but several clues suggest that the U.S. economy is finally starting to level off. Dealers, distributors, and manufacturers are ready to reinvigorate sales and kick off a new season with stronger brand awareness.

Technology distributors that serve the custom AV integration channel have a special opportunity to support dealers through economic ups and downs. One way is by providing financing flexibility.

Digital Delivery Group, for one, has embraced this type of plan, according its executive director, David Kaplan. Other strategic initiatives by DDG include helping dealers find new and creative ways to reach out to previous clients with education and marketing tools; leveraging Nevo’s two-way Z-Wave capability with Z-Wave products from vendors to build affordable, retrofit energy management and automation packages; and developing special TiVo tools, forms, and training to help dealers make money from cable.

For Avery Baron, president of C.E.D., the key to success is seeing and seizing opportunities, even in uncertain times: “C.E.D. is a very forward-thinking company,” he said. “We saw the economic downturn coming a few years ago and saw it as an opportunity to grow. Now we have added lines and positioned ourselves as the premier CE distributor in our region.”

Distributor road shows are a big trend this summer. It’s a great way to meet dealers in their home turf and get the word out about new products and services.

And they’re fun too. Just ask AVAD’s executive vice president of sales and marketing Wally Whinna, who will host the AVAD Vend-O-palooza at the new AVAD Pine Brook, New Jersey facility on July 23. Vend-O-Palooza is a one-day event held at AVAD branches across the nation that connects area dealers with leading manufacturers.

Whinna says that AVAD’s dedication to quality, its committed group of specialists, full catalog of top brands and careful attention to custom support has helped make it a valued partner. “AVAD truly understands the unique needs of the custom installation professional, which is why we take a comprehensive approach that goes beyond distribution,” he noted.

ADI’s IP Point Roadshow is now taking place in cities across North America. The training series is educating dealers on the evolving IP market. Cultivating new business is critical, said president ADI Tom Polson, as is providing comprehensive coverage. “Our customers depend on us for our extensive product selection, fully stocked branch locations, and a strong sales and support team that provides educational opportunities to help them succeed in today’s market,” he said.

The Capitol Sales Learning Institute – Regional Outreach program is traveling to five U.S. markets this Summer to offer a “soup-to-nuts education” in the technologies affecting integration business and sales essentials. Capitol president and CEO Curt Hayes says that Capitol is also committed to providing the best customer support and recognizing current challenges, rather than shying away. “That means not only rapid response to any questions from the field, but extensive education and focus on groundbreaking new technologies that will maximize profitability, especially in the current market,” he said. The Capitol Sales Learning Institute will be in the Chicago area July 12–14.

Based in New York, Fesco Distributors prefers to set up camp and welcome dealers to an annual Product Showcase. Last year more than 1,300 people attended and were treated to lavish service as well as product demos and special, on-site product discounts. The 2009 event will take place in October.

Margot Douaihy is a contributing editor for Residential Systems magazine.


Benjy Goldstein, CEO, Fesco

Fesco Distributors Inc., founded in 1962 as a retail store, has grown into a leading Northeast distributor of brand-name consumer electronics and home technology solutions. From the largest inventory of LCD and plasma displays in the Northeast, to LCD and DLP projectors and an extensive line of mounts, Fesco offers a wide array of home theater products to its audiovisual and custom install dealers in the United States.

Fesco is committed to being a partner in its dealers’ success. It honors that commitment by always having in stock a variety of cutting-edge products at competitive pricing. By constantly adding new products, Fesco helps installers stay current with the best technology for a range of applications. More than 95 percent of orders are filled within 24 hours. Its efficient and knowledgeable sales staff, both in-house and on the road, are responsible for maintaining a high level

Fesco’s Brooklyn, New York headquartersof customer satisfaction. Most accounts are visited weekly by its sales reps, thereby achieving a personal relationship with their customers. This allows Fesco to keep its finger on the pulse of the industry, ever attentive to its customer’s needs.

Fesco distributes from name brand companies such as Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, JVC, Yamaha among others, and is always improving its product mix with nationally known brands and accessories. Fesco participates in three shows throughout the year and is a member of CEDIA and CES. It also holds its own dealer show, which according to CEO Benjy Goldstein, “Allows us the opportunity to stay in touch with our customers’ ever evolving needs.”

See why Fesco’s customers continue recognizing them for their unparalleled customer service. Call 1.888.88.Fesco and become a dealer today.

Visit Fesco’s newly designed website at


ADI President Tom Polson

As a leading global wholesale distributor of low voltage products, ADI provides all the tools and training necessary to sell high quality, integrated A/V solutions in the custom electronics market.

Choose from an array of training opportunities to help expand your offerings including ADI Expo Seminars, Learn HOW Seminars, CEDIA ESPA Review, Technician’s Workshop, Fiber Certification Training, IP Point Roadshows, IP Advantage, IP Video Seminars and more. Our A/V Demo Rooms feature the latest technology to help you become familiar with the products before offering them to your customers.

For more than 20 years, ADI has been distributing the latest technologies and valueadded services to residential and commercial A/V dealers of all sizes. ADI’s superior product offering, convenient locations, and friendly and knowledgeable staff can be relied on to help you win new business. Now more than ever, we are here to provide you with the support, service and confidence you need to succeed in today’s market.

An ADI showroom in Teterboro, New Jersey

ADI’s solutions include:
■ Audio/Video
■ Home Solutions
■ Intrusion
■ Fire
■ IP Networking
■ Access
■ Tools and Hardware
■ Wire and Cable


An AVAD warehouse

With 26 locations throughout the United States, two Canadian branches, in-depth training opportunities, unique dealer programs and the industry’s most respected roster of brands, AVAD is the only supplier truly focused on the needs of the custom installer. As the company slogan “We Live This Stuff” implies, AVAD’s experienced and trained staff is dedicated to providing installers more-more selection, more technologies, more whole-house solutions and more key industry relationships-things installers need to grow their business.

Since 1998, AVAD’s powerful combination of experts and ideas has made it the perfect link between dealers and the most trusted brands in wide array of product categories, including home theater and home automation, distributed audio/video, lighting controls, HVAC, central vacuum and more. Among the many brands carried by AVAD include, Aprilaire, Dirt Devil, Escient, Infocus, JVC Pro, Life|ware, Lutron, Marantz, NetStreams, Niles Audio, Optoma, Panamax, Panasonic, Phillips, Polk, Pronto, RTI, Samsung, Sharp, Sirius,and Universal Remote Control. With showrooms at all 26 U.S. and two Canadian branches, AVAD offers professional installers high-end experience centers where they can see first-hand the latest technologies from these manufactures and present product demonstrations for their clients.

Jim Annes, Vice President and General Manager, AVAD

Committed to providing dealers scalable, easierto- install systems with high levels of functionality, AVAD recently introduced a new initiative called “Integration Partners” to improve interoperability among its roster of home technology manufacturers. AVAD’s Integration Partner program creates simplified installation solutions by having each manufacturer’s respective engineering department work together to provide a robust feature set with seamless interoperability.

Through AVAD University’s continuing education programs, manufacturers are made directly available to dealers through product training seminars hosted on-site at AVAD locations, as well as webinars and teleseminars for complete scheduling flexibility. Moreover, AVAD was the first distributor to partner with CEDIA to offer Installer Level I and Level II preparation and certification courses at each of its locations.

AVAD’s Vend-O-Palooza is another example of its dedication to helping a customerbase of over 10,000 certified dealers. Held at local AVAD branches, Vend-O-Palooza helps connect area dealers with leading manufacturers in an interactive forum.

Since launching in 2007, Gear Head magazine, AVAD’s award-winning custom publication, has provided dealers with the latest in technology trends, sales tips, new areas of profitability, customer service and new system design and installation ideas.

With these initiatives in motion and new ones always on the horizon, AVAD is focused on leading home technology providers to unsurpassed success and innovation. With one call, AVAD does it all.


Curt Hayes, President and CFO, Capitol Sales Company

Capitol Sales Company, Inc. is a highly successful distributor and, more important, industry partner that provides its customers with an unbeatable range of products from more than 115 brands, representing leading home theater, telecommunications, integrated home systems, and commercial A/V manufacturers.

Throughout its history, Capitol Sales has not only provided the best in currently available technologies, but it has continually taken the long view to ensure its customers are prepared for the changes and challenges that are a part of their day-to-day experience. As a result of this commitment, the company, in 2009, embarked on its first ever Capitol Sales Learning Institute™-Regional Outreach program. Simply put, the CSLI program is an extensive three-day program that gives custom professionals a soup-to-nuts education in the most important, groundbreaking technologies affecting their business, as well as proven tools and techniques for increasing sales through cost effective marketing opportunities.

The CSLI program, which stops in five major markets, offers a wide breadth of information that relates to the current state of the market, especially when it comes to new trends that are the perfect response to the current malaise. In particular, Capitol Sales Company is bullish on the No New Wires concept, and is 100 percent dedicated to giving its customers the widest selection of products that open doors when new housing starts are down. From Power Line Carrier technology to wireless and more, Capitol Sales Company is committed to being the No New Wires distribution leader.

The Capitol Sales distribution center stocking more than 115 brands

With all this activity, Capitol Sales Company never loses sight of its all-around commitment to customer service. A team of professionals are on call to help with any situation that may arise. It’s what put the company on the industry map, and, ultimately, it is the most important reason it has remained a distribution leader. Over 5,000 products are ready for immediate shipping at any given time, while Capitol Sales Company’s web site features diagrams and charts that help professionals and their customers visualize how the latest systems will serve their needs.

No matter how the custom market evolves over the remainder of the year, Capitol Sales Company will help guide its partners through challenging waters with the products, education, and customer service that has helped make it a true industry leader.


C.E.D.’s Northbrook, Illinois warehouse services Northern Illinois and Wisconsin

Since 1992, C.E.D. has been continuously expanding the breath and depth of its operations. Having established itself early on as the premier CE distributor in the Chicago market (the third largest market in the country), C.E.D. has created solid, long-term relationships with customers.

Why partnering with C.E.D. will elevate your brand to a new level of awareness and success:
■ Consistent communication on all aspects of the business
■ Product knowledge and training
■ Clear understanding of vendor partner strategies
■ Experience in all channels of distribution
■ Organized and experienced salespeople serving every ethnic market in the territory
■ Controlled distribution creating solid partnerships
■ Unsurpassed customer service
■ Focused approach due to concentrated line mix
■ Local delivery

C.E.D. has a three-tier approach to its mission: to be the primary audio and video supplier to the custom installation market in the Northern Illinois and Wisconsin; To be the premiere retail supplier in the Chicago and Milwaukee area for all consumer electronics needs; To be an E-Commerce partner to companies that support and understand the philosophies of its vendor partners.

Truly a local partner
C.E.D. has maintained a strong relationship with local, family-owned businesses and caters to the growing ethnic markets in each neighborhood. The company has multi-lingual salespeople calling on all of the territory’s ethnic markets and ready to support customer needs.

C.E.D. knows its markets
No other distributor has the customer base, experience, or exposure like C.E.D. Avery Baron, President of C.E.D., and Paul Thariath, CFO of C.E.D., said that the company truly understands dealers: “We have a clear understanding where and how new distribution affects current dealers and which dealers can effect distribution. We work with all dealers regardless of their current financial situation. We have the ability to go into emerging ethnic markets and sell them product.


DDG Executive Director David Kaplan

Digital Delivery Group, a consortium of regional valueadded custom electronics specialty distributors, is committed to being the leading source for sales and education of digital systems and convergence products.

DDG offers same or next day delivery across the U.S., exceptional support before and after the sale and unique products. DDG is your local Z-Wave specialist as well as CI channel partners for TiVo and Soundcast.

The members of DDG specialize in networking products, whole house control, content storage and management, and new technology. More than just a buying group, DDG functions as a strategic resource for its vendor partners and its dealers. Digital Delivery Group’s members bring a unique level of capability to the task with many years of distributor, retail, factory and marketing experience among its members.

Digital Delivery Group is the only consortium of independent specialty distributors serving the custom installation channels to have a full, national footprint. With 29 warehouse /showroom locations DDG offers will-call and same or next day delivery across the country.

More than just a buying group, DDG functions as a strategic resource for its vendor partners and its dealers.

Digital Delivery Group embodies a vision unlike any other distributor group or purchasing team in the country. It is not enough to merely sell product – they embrace each line with a determination to lead the market toward total digital convergence. The television while continuing as a cornerstone of the media experience will also simply become one of many experiences on the family home network.

In addition, DDG firmly believes in the idea of selectivity. Digital Delivery Group carefully partners with a manageable number of lines. Maintaining a selective assortment allows us to be a better partner for our vendors while consistently delivering a higher level of support in the field.

Typical distributors collect lines…DDG builds strategies
The group, popularly known as DDG, has been a trailblazer in bringing new technologies to the custom market. While others are just now wandering down the path, DDG is focused on carefully coordinating its next move to solidify the company’s position as the leader in sales and education of digital systems and convergence technology.

This long-range vision and keen understanding of business give manufacturers, our dealers, and DDG members themselves, the competitive edge throughout the country.

Dealers choose DDG not by default, but by preference.


Doug Robison, President of DSI Systems

DSI Systems is the nation’s largest distributor of televisions, satellite equipment, and custom integration accessories. Dedicated to serving independent dealers, DSI has 25 years of experience providing efficient customer service with strong product lines, fast shipping, and dealer programs to assist retailers with their promotional and floor plans. With 30 locations nationwide, DSI partners with retailers to help increase their profits.

Multiple Brands, One Shipment
DSI offers over $50 million in inventory of television and satellite products, complemented by an extensive array of installation and consumer accessories. Choose from lines including Toshiba, Pioneer, Sharp, Mitsubishi, LG, Haier, Hitachi, DIRECTV, Monster Cable, WildBlue Satellite Internet, Onkyo, Pinnacle, Yamaha, Chief, Sanus, Techcraft, and more. This wide selection of brands and products creates a unique one-stop shopping opportunity for retailers.

Additionally, dealers purchasing any mix of products totaling over $2,500 receive free shipping for a $49.95 handling fee, orders of $3,500 receive free shipping for a $19.95 handling fee, and orders of $5,000 ship with no handling fee. This freight policy allows retailers to replenish many products and lines in a single order. DSI’s “Mix and Match” freight plan is specifically designed to save retailers time and money, enabling them to combine product lines to purchase at a higher volume rate, and therefore a lower price category.

30 Locations Nationwide (Soon 31 Locations)

One of DSI Systems’ Regional Distribution Centers and Sales offices in Dallas, Texas. DSI’s strategically located warehouses from coast to coast also help reduce freight costs. All orders received by 2p.m. are shipped the same day, and most orders are delivered in one to two days at ground rates, allowing dealers to keep stock to a minimum. Retailers can benefit from additional savings when paying cash and when picking up their order at a branch.

A Strategic Partnership
When dealers partner with DSI, they gain more than just a vendor. DSI continuously assists dealers with dedicated and knowledgeable account managers, year-round training, and educational opportunities on product lines. Exceptional product promotions are offered in conjunction with many of these programs, allowing dealers to make even larger margins, often on products that are in high demand. Vendor representatives, DSI trainers, and DSI senior management also share extensive product knowledge that helps give retailers an advantage over big box stores. DSI believes that educated dealers have the power to out-sell the competition.

By providing products from world-class manufacturers, sharing information on the latest technology, and working closely with dealers to move product, DSI offers a wealth of services to consumer electronics and custom retailers. To begin a working relationship with DSI’s dedicated team, retailers are invited to call today and ask for a DSI catalog.