For our new series of interviews with home technology professionals, Residential Systems reached out to Matt May, president of KMR Audio Visual of Fulshear, TX, to find out about the state of his business, what manufacturers he can count on, and what today’s customers want. His company (kmrav.com) is a full design and integration audiovisual and automation firm servicing the Houston, Austin, and San Antonio markets.
KMR Audio Visual’s demo room in Fulshear, TX.
RS: Are you seeing an uptick in growth? If so, from where? Have you had to hire new people?
Matt May: KMR is privately owned and currently consists of four employees between Houston and Austin, TX. We have been in business since 2010 and have experienced exponential growth from 2010 to 2015. In 2015 we were running a six employee staff but 2016 has been slower due to the job loss in the energy sector in Houston, which is why we are now a four-employee company.
What can manufacturers do to make your job easier?
Since forming our company, we have had many resources available through our wholesalers. Many of the manufacturers provide free demonstrations and training on their products to the resellers as well as help in system design and implementation. The only difficulties we have experienced in dealing with direct manufacturers has been shipping times in getting products delivered to our business to meet the installation deadlines. Savant has been excellent every step of the way; they were very supportive when we got into the business. When we became Savant integrators, we had to attend a one-week training in their facility, and we had to invest in a demonstration system, which now runs our home showroom.
Who else has been special from an integrator/dealer’s perspective?
It has been a pleasure working with SVS and watching their company grow. Their representatives have taken the time to listen to our requests and we know they are working to provide the dealers with valuable products and training. The build quality, price, and most of all the sound produced by SVS is unlike any speaker we previously had available. Carrying Epson projectors has also had a huge benefit for us; 90 percent of the projection systems we install are Epson. We love the company’s philosophy, they make excellent projectors, and they give our customers the best bang for their buck. In an industry that is heavily competitive, it can be difficult for prospects to differentiate one AV integrator from another. By partnering with Savant, SVS, and Epson we have been able to offer an excellent level of products, which are not easily available to all integrators.
What manufacturers, products do you deal and what is most important to your customers in 2016?
When we started the business, we purchased our products through local wholesalers, and we now have partnered with a few direct manufacturers. Our experience enables us to match the best combination of products within the customer’s budget. We primarily use Marantz AV receivers, Epson projectors, Definitive Technology in-wall and in-ceiling speakers, SVS subwoofers and speakers, and provide Savant home automation.
Where do you see the largest growth potential for our industry?
As we move forward, we have positioned our company to heavily rely on our specialty manufacturers and the relationships we have with them. By working with the manufacturers that we do, we can help to promote their excellent products and to take advantage of our partnership with them. We see our company appealing more toward the home automation and specialty home theater market, and we plan the growth of our company based on these relationships.
Based in Los Angeles, Maureen Jenson is a contributing writer to Residential Systems.