HTSA 2017 Fall Members Conference
During its HTSA 2017 Fall Members Conference this week in Chicago, Home Technology Specialists of America (HTSA), the hybrid-retail and custom integration buying group, said that it is working aggressively to grow its residential lighting business, and has begun offering new design capabilities, an expanded assortment of high-performance LED lighting fixtures, and other associated services. The announcement was made at a special press conference held during the conference at the Intercontinental Chicago Magnificent Mile Hotel in Chicago, IL.
More than 90 percent of HTSA’s members were in attendance at the Fall Meeting, which included 257 people, including manufacturer partners and members of the press.
The plans revealed by the organization today were developed in conjunction with Tom Doherty, the organization’s recently added director of new technology initiatives. Doherty has spent the last nine years specializing in the high-performance lighting systems and services business and worked with HTSA management to put a plan in place to drive their overall residential lighting segment.
HTSA's Tom Doherty during the press conference
“The overall lighting business is huge, but there is comparatively little penetration of the high-performance lighting segment in residential custom integration today,” said Jon Robbins, executive director HTSA. “There are many reasons why this situation exists, including low consumer awareness and the convoluted distribution practices of the lighting industry. However, HTSA has developed a plan in partnership with several key lighting fixture manufacturers that will allow HTSA members to offer an exciting package of new products and services that will dramatically drive their revenues and profits.”
HTSA’s plans include assisting members in expanding services in the design of lighting systems, as well as involvement in a wide range of other associated services. While HTSA members are well supplied with lighting control systems from brands such as Control4, Savant, Vantage, and Coastal Source, the group will add additional lighting fixtures to the mix, significantly expanding their selection of high performance lighting products.
To this end, HTSA has partnered with four major lighting fixture manufacturers that offer the latest in LED lighting technology. These lines have agreed to adjust their normal operating processes to better meet the needs of HTSA members. These new brands are: Q-Tran, Lightology (including edge lighting and pure lighting), DMF Lighting, and Ketra. These brands are offering group exclusivity through 2018.
“The lighting fixture industry alone is a $32.5 billion business that dwarfs the $14 billion custom integration industry,” Doherty said. “There is a tremendous opportunity for HTSA members to introduce their clients to a powerful expanded mix of new fixtures, as well as lighting design and other associated services, delighting their customers and increasing their share of the lucrative lighting market at the same time.”
Executives from the new lighting suppliers fully participated in HTSA’s Chicago event, including participation in seminars, panels, and other presentations.
According to Doherty, not all HTSA members will be good candidates for the category, but 12 are already working actively in it and are ready to ramp up with more opportunities through the buying group program. He foresees 50 of the 78 member companies being strong candidates for lighting fixture business.
Robbins said that the lighting business is more complicated than AV, so he wants members to move into it in an intelligent way. Now that the vendor partnerships are in place, the group is working through training programs for its members and lighting designer partnerships.