For many years the main focus of 50-year-old Centronics has been the distribution of products for the satellite (DBS) and off-air antenna markets. Though the company remains heavily involved in those areas,it recently expanded into the home theater accessories and security markets as well. Here’s how general manager,
Tony Pelura, Centronics Tony Pelura, responded to editorial director Jeremy J. Glowacki’s four questions:
1) What’s the key to your company’s 50 years in business?
I think the biggest reason for our longevity is due to our willingness to change while maintaining our core expertise. We are always keeping up on the current trends and can troubleshoot our products or design installation jobs for our customers. Last, and this is sometimes overlooked with distribution, is that we stock our products. More than 97 percent of our orders ship same day from stock.
2) As a distributor, what motivated you to create your own branded products?
It’s always risky to create branded products as a distributor because you may risk bigger brands coming after you or your brand being lost. We do it only with products that we see as innovative. We’ve always had our own brand of off-air antennas and amplifiers and now our EHD line is a direct result of talking to installers and having them tell us what they need. As a result, Centronics was one of the first to come out with the HDMI cable tester, as well as some Cat-5e-to-HDMI converters.
3) In what ways do you back up your customer service philosophy?
Customer service is extremely important to us and is a big reason we have been around for 50 years. We always remember that it is the customer who keeps us going—not the other way around. We have a fairly liberal return policy, offer free technical help on any and all of our products, and really try to be a partner to our customers and not just a place to pick stuff up.
4) Where do you see the future of residential AV, satellite, and security in the short and long term?
In the short term, I see the industry becoming more specialized and “professional” because installers and contractors are going to have to become more knowledgeable in what they offer and what they do. Long term, we are going to see more convergence in these industries because a successful installer will have to become an “all-inone” and able to offer home theater, satellite, security, and IT in one job. As far as products go, I see much more growth in the networking arena.
The Centronics EHD-Brand HCCX-powered HDMI repeater