The Custom Distributor Guide was sponsored by ADI, AVAD, Just Lamps, The Powerhouse Alliance, and WAVE Electronics as a supplement to Residential Systems, April 2014.
Distributors Focus on the Latest Trends to Help Integrators Get Ahead
The go-it-alone strategy hardly ever helps anyone. Having a solid partner to help navigate the ins and outs of the market is a fundamental criterion for success. Without a doubt, distributors fulfill this role. As the custom installation channel continues to evolve, electronics distributors remain committed to staying abreast of the trends and helping integrators stay ahead of the curve.
For Eric Lanham, president, Just Lamps, the changes in the industry are creating a renewed emphasis on services. “I sense that there is a growing trend towards revaluing the benefits of specialized service providers,” he said. “One-stop shopping and ‘we can do it all’ marketing will always have some allure, but I’m hearing more emphasis on differentiation and focus. This bodes well for those who offer services and products that clearly stand out from the pack.”
One of the biggest areas of growth distributors have been observing is in security.
“IP video surveillance continues to be one of our leading product categories at ADI,” said Michael Flink, president, ADI Americas. “We are delivering the total solution to dealers by offering technologies like VMS software from Milestone and Exacq, server solutions from Dell, switches from manufacturers like D-Link or Trendnet, and we are now shipping configured racks.”
Security has been and remains an integral part of WAVE Electronics’ business, according to Mark Fukuda, president and COO. “WAVE was the top 2GIG distributor in 2013, and we have added to our team to continue to focus on it.”
As a result, WAVE has expanded its outside sales team to include a dedicated security team. “Whether in person, over the phone, or through the web, our teams are consistently trained and updated to make sure they stay the first line of defense in training and technical situations,” Fukuda said.
IP products in general have become a top priority for WAVE, and ensuring they stand up to the demands of the modern home is a prime initiative conducted through product testing.
The consumer focus on the connected home and offering control solutions from mobile devices continues to be a dominant trend for ADI. “Z-Wave technology and peripheral products like thermostats, locking solutions and lighting controls will become more widespread,” Flink predicted.
He noted that Honeywell’s Total Connect solution has been receiving high marks from ADI customers. Also, “Z-Wave peripheral solutions are doing very well in the market, and ADI has partnered with a number of leading manufacturers to ensure we provide our customers with a complete line of Z-Wave based products.”
One of the most important services Just Lamps is proudly committed to providing is “helping our dealers navigate the muddy waters of the replacement lamp marketplace and [working] very hard to ensure that they have a clear understanding of the product options available within the market,” Lanham said. “One of our primary focuses for the year is to push very hard on our counterfeit product awareness initiative; the market is becoming flooded with counterfeit replacement lamps which represent a huge challenge. If the pricing, quality level, and provenance claims all sound too good to be true, there’s a strong possibility that counterfeit products are in play,” he advised.
AVAD has touted its vision of “Custom Install 2.0” by creating a complete business automation portfolio for each dealer to enable them to succeed and grow. “AVAD has evolved, along with the ever-important universal access to information available on the internet, by investing in relationships that bring our dealers exclusive product access, amazing promotions and other benefits that offer a significant edge in the marketplace,” said Jim Annes, VP and GM of AVAD. “The recent re-launch of www.avad.com included an easier ordering process with 24/7 access, an integrated shopping cart, comprehensive product content, and clearer visibility to AVAD’s multitude of promotions, products, and value-added services. Additionally, the website is now integrated with the AVAD Mobile app, which allows each dealer’s favorite products, shopping cart additions and recently viewed items to be viewable from either platform to save time and make product access between job sites quick and practical.”
Equipping dealers for success in the evolving custom install business for The Powerhouse Alliance, “The key is training, training, training,” said Dennis Holzer, executive director. “In all the categories we approach–residential AV, security, networking and light commercial–we continue to offer sophisticated trainings on a monthly basis on various lines in each of those categories to make sure the dealers know what vendors we offer and services we provide, and to make sure they are well versed on how to install.”
Additionally, The Powerhouse Alliance has experts at all 38 of its locations that can sit down the dealer or installer to help them design a home theater or security system. “It’s the technical expertise at the local level at all of our locations that we can help dealers out with and what sets us apart from the competition,” Holzer said.
The PowerHouse Alliance
The PowerHouse Alliance now 3 years young, 13 members strong and growing, has firmly established itself as the respected national consortium of regional distributors, providing quality name-brand, high-tech AV & security products to custom installers and dealers nationwide.
The PowerHouse Alliance, members combined, represents annual sales in excess of $800 million dollars. Individually, each member, had significant strength in their individual territories, but recognized they could gain, additional opportunities and benefits by joining similar forces, both for themselves and the dealers they each service.
PowerHouse Alliance member, Volutone’s Van Nuys, CA, location “The group has far exceeded its initial goals, including expanding into new categories, adding additional tier one vendors, increasing membership and group buying power for better pricing to our dealers,” says Dennis Holzer, Executive Director. In addition, “for vendors looking for national fulfillment, we have created significant cost efficiencies for vendors by using a partner’s closest warehouse to fulfill the orders. We’re opening up additional opportunities for larger retailers, buying groups and custom installers our main focus, since as a group, we cover all 50 states. Of most importance, our overriding goal is to bring together our customers with our multiple vendor partners to create a seamless, profitable, and successful relationship.”
Dennis Holzer, Executive Director, PowerHouse Alliance The PowerHouse Alliance has over 800,000 square feet of fully stocked warehouse space in 39 locations nationwide. Products span the spectrum of home theatre, consumer A/V, security, IT, and now commercial electronics. With more than 250 lines on the roster – Holzer continues to put together core vendors that all members are required to support, creating stronger relationships with key manufacturers and additional benefits for all of our customers.
“We continue to develop exclusive opportunities with reoccurring income streams, total solutions for custom installation, convenient local availability, pre-paid freight programs and more,” Holzer stated. Vendors, custom installers and retailers are realizing that with The PowerHouse Alliance, they benefit from a complete national footprint, coupled with local “feet on the street” representation, immediate product availability with very convenient pick up locations, regularly scheduled product trainings, local technical support and truly innovative one stop custom solutions.”
Members of The PowerHouse Alliance are: 21st Century, Garner, NC; Audio America, Jupiter, FL; Autco, St. Louis, MO; CED, North Brook, IL; CTD, Ft. Wayne, IN; Dorrance Supply, Youngstown, OH; ECD, Houston, TX; EDI, Portland, OR; MRI, Plainville, CT; Mountain West, Salt Lake City, UT; Sierra Select, North Highlands, CA, Ultimate Integration, Clifton, NJ. and Volutone, Simi Valley, CA.
• Atlanta, GA
• Austin, TX
• Buford, GA
• Bensonville, IL
• Cerritos, CA
• Carmel, IN
• Charlotte, NC
• Clifton, NJ
• Dallas, TX
• Denver, CO
• Indianapolis, IN
• Ft. Wayne, IN
• Garner, NC
• Houston, TX
• Irvine, CA
• Las Vegas, NV
• Marlborough, MA
• Merriam, KS
• New Berlin, WI
• Northbrook, IL
• North Highlands, CA
• Orlando, FL
• Jupiter, Fl
• Miami, Fl
• Ontario, CA
• Phoenix, AZ
• Plainville, CT
• Portland, OR
• San Diego, CA
• Salt Lake City, UT
• Simi Valley, CA
• St. Louis, MO
• Tukwila, WA
• Van Nuys, CA
• Wichita, KS
• Youngstown, OH
• Universal Remote
• Digital Watchdog
… And 200+ more
* Not all lines available in all geographic territories
As a leading distributor of residential and commercial AV, security and low voltage products, ADI offers the solutions, support and services you need to grow in today’s market. ADI represents more than 500 top industry manufacturers and offers thousands of items in stock every day at its 100 locations across North America. ADI is ready to support all your presales efforts, and their knowledgeable sales staff and systems support team can assist with product selection and design to help you provide complete, end-to-end solutions.
ADI’s complete line of solutions includes intrusion, fire, video surveillance, access, power, audio/video, networking, telephony, central vacuum, tools and hardware, and wire and cable.
At ADI, we believe it’s our responsibility to provide dealers with the training they need to win new business, and we are proud to offer more than 1,500 educational opportunities per year. With training facilities in our 100 branch locations, we are able to provide valuable learning experiences to our dealers.
In addition, ADI is set to host 48 ADI Expo events across North America this year. The ADI Expo Training Series has taken place for over 20 years, and reaches more than 12,000 dealers. Free for industry professionals, the ADI Expo offers education on the latest technologies and introduces dealers to a broad array of leading manufacturers. Dealers can participate in hands-on learning, attend industry accredited training seminars, meet with manufacturers, and network with industry peers.
ADI has 100 fully stocked branches and nine warehouse locations across North America. “In Q3 of this year, we will be launching a unique online training academy for our loyal customers,” said Michael Flink, president, ADI Americas. “This online tool will enable dealers to offer world-class training materials to their employees. This has been a multi-year, multimillion-dollar investment for ADI, and we are extremely excited to launch this initiative. Look for more details later this year.”
Other benefits ADI offers dealers include:
• 100 fully stocked branch locations across North America
• Education and training opportunities
• ADI Expo Training Series
• Dedicated training room in each branch
• Branch events
• Industry tradeshows and events
Michael Flink, President, ADI Americas • Knowledgeable sales representatives
• Systems sales and integration support
• 24/7 pickup anytime convenience
• Rapid next-day delivery
• Just-in-time delivery
• Flexible Credit Terms
• Online shopping & account management
• Extensive product catalogs and monthly sales promotions
• Weekly online newsletters
• United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.
• Atlas Sound
• CE labs
• Channel Vision
• Hayden Canplas
• JBL Pro
• JVC Pro
• Key Digital
• Lee Dan
• Middle Atlantic Products
• Music & Sound
• Nady Systems
• Paso Sound
• Pico Digital
• Pro Control
• Sharp Pro
• Speco Technologies
• Tripp Lite
263 Old Country Road
Melville, NY 11747
For orders: 1.800.233.6261
For Systems Sales & Support: 1.800.234.7971
AVAD is an industry-leading provider of consumer electronics solutions to the residential and commercial custom installation markets. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fortune 100 parent company Ingram Micro Inc., AVAD supplies integrators access to the industry’s top products and integrated solutions for video, audio, lighting control, content management, whole-home, and more. AVAD offers the broadest consumer electronics and business automation portfolio in North America, distributing over 90 major brands.
Further differentiating its services, AVAD invests in the business tools, technical support, and services integrators need to grow their businesses, including the fully transactional AVAD Mobile smartphone application, providing integrators on-the-go access to products and value-added tools. AVAD positions itself as a distribution partner by providing easy access to the best products and a full range of value-added services that enable customers to receive complete commercial solutions.
AVAD Experience Centers and Local Product Availability
With 23 locations throughout North America, AVAD’s Experience Centers offer local, hands-on access to the latest products and technologies from hundreds of the industry’s best brands. Dealers and their customers can see, hear, and feel the products and solutions before installation.
Leveraging its network of 24 branch locations, all products can be picked up at will call or shipped directly to the dealer or the job site. AVAD System Design Group
For larger and more complex residential and commercial jobs, the AVAD System Design Group provides a full range of complimentary design services, including needs analysis, bill of materials specifications, AutoCAD presentations, product selection, and much more, allowing dealers to develop the best solutions for their clients with the best product selections.
AVAD Technical Support Group
While most of our competitors rely on third-party technical support, we’ve invested in our dealer’s business by providing an in-house team of product and systems experts. Whether they’re in the office or the field, AVAD offers support tailored to your needs.
AVAD Product Exchange Policy
Unique to our industry, AVAD’s vendor relationships allow more flexibility to control a dealer’s inventory. Should any product fail within 30 days, they can exchange it hassle-free. In addition, we also offer a 90-day “good as new” return program for any current product.
AVAD National Freight Program
AVAD streamlines dealers’ operations to save time and increase profits. Leveraging its network of 24 branch locations, all products can be picked up at will call or shipped directly to the dealer or the job site.
Jim Annes, VP/GM, AVAD AVAD’s award-winning education programs will increase dealers’ industry IQ and business acumen, allowing them to stay a few steps ahead of their competition by learning about proven solutions and best practices from the marketplace and industry leaders. Online and classroom product training and certification, technical certification, and complete system coursework is offered at the convenience of the dealer to accommodate their schedule.
AVAD VendoPalooza, VendoCOMM, and Local Industry Events
AVAD brings the industry’s newest products and the best technologies right to the dealers’ doorstep through its VendoPalooza and VendoCOMM tours. Local industry events save integrators valuable time and money, enabling them to see the best products from the best manufacturers without traveling too far.
AVAD puts solutions into play by demonstrating the commitment to delivering leading products backed up by best-in-class support as a clear blueprint for success.
• United States and Canada.
• APC by Schneider Electric
• Arlington Industries
• Bogen Communications
• Boston Acoustics
• Calrad Electronics
• Crown International
• Current Audio
• Denon Professional
• DoorBell Fon
• Draper (Home Theater Sales)
• Global Caché
• Hosa Technology
• H-P Products/Dirt Devil
• Intuitive Designs
• JBL Professional
• JVC Professional
• Key Digital
• Klein Tools
• Kramer Electronics USA
• LG Commercial
• LH Dottie
• Labor Saving Devices
• Leviton Manufacturing Co.
• Lutron Electronics Co.
• Middle Atlantic Products
• Niles Audio
• Optoma Technology
• Panasonic Professional
• Parasound Products
• Platinum Tools
• Polk Audio
• Pro Control
• RGB Spectrum
• Samsung Professional
• Screen Innovations
• Sharp Electronics
• Sharp Professional
• Sirius XM
• Speco Technologies
• Structured Cable Products
• Universal Remote Control
• Wilson Electronics, Inc.
AVAD Corporate Headquarters 5805 Sepulveda Blvd, #750,
Sherman Oaks, CA 91411
WAVE Electronics has again established itself as the largest, fastest-growing independent custom installation distribution company in the South.
Specializing in products for custom installers, WAVE offers a unique blend of key product lines and value-added services that provide its dealers with the products, training, and support they need to complete every job. More than 30,000 SKUS of audio, video, automation, security, lighting control, commercial, and other custom installation-related products are made available from more than 100 manufacturers. There is $15M of inventory stocked and ready to be in customers’ hands when and where it is needed by pick up or ship out.
Nine locations—two in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Ft. Lauderdale, and New Jersey (New York metro)—enhance the company’s ability to deliver product in a timely fashion. Two more locations are being added in 2014 as originally planned.
In addition, each new facility includes a state-of-the-art showroom that is available for custom installers to visit with their clients, enabling them to demonstrate a wide variety of options.
WAVE Electronics’ Ft. Lauderdale branch is one of nine nationwide, with two additional locations scheduled to open in 2014. “Our locations provide everything needed to complete a low-voltage project worthy of any client’s satisfaction,” said Gary Wermuth, CEO. “All our locations incorporate handpick warehouses and emphasize efficiency, so orders are both accurate and timely. Our showrooms are filled with a wide range of video displays, audio products, security products, control products, and home theater, including all types of speakers.”
In addition, WAVE created fully automated designer living spaces featuring high-end equipment, such as surround sound demonstrations, integrated lighting controls, automation, and motorized shades, encouraging dealers to bring in their customers.
WAVE’s internal marketing department has the ability to quickly launch promos, brands, and vendor initiatives; as well as help dealers with their own marketing projects. To ensure that its customer base is current with the latest technologies, products, and installation methods, the company also offers a training facility at all its locations in which vendors conduct year-round training seminars and certifications.
Mark Fukuda, President and COO, WAVE Electronics “Our services don’t end there,” Wermuth said. “We provide a variety of financing and delivery options, and our new website not only makes ordering easy, but provides information on trainings, sales, and promotions. We took it to the next level by implementing significant improvements to online ordering, and we have won awards as a result.
Our new website incorporates features that make it even easier for our dealers to get the products they want when they need them, even using a mobile device. With all the products and value-added services we offer, it’s no wonder WAVE continues to be the go-to distributor.”
• Houston, TX
• Dallas, TX
• San Antonio, TX
• Austin, TX
• New Orleans, LA
• Baton Rouge, LA
• Ft. Lauderdale, FL
• Edison, NJ (New York Metro)
• Two more locations coming in 2014
• Sony and ES
• MSTR Brand
• Pioneer and Elite
• Pro Control
• IC Realtime
• Just Add Power
• Screen Innovations
• Tripp Lite
• Middle Atlantic
• Panamax / Furman
Company information and advertising:
Will Breaux, VP Marketing
Specialist. (noun) Someone who devotes themselves to one subject or to one particular branch of a subject or pursuit.
Just Lamps is the world’s largest specialist lamp distributor. While others include lamps as one of many product lines, we devote ourselves to lamps as our sole range. Lamps are all that we do… and we do them very well. The result is a number of key differences between Just Lamps and other suppliers. Four business “cornerstones” set us apart from—and above—the others.
With warehouses and staff located in North America and throughout Europe and Asia, Just Lamps is well established as a global player. Excellence – Excellence of service comes down to small details, and being purely focused on lamps means we can spend time ensuring that we always get the detail right. For example, the breadth of our stock is not only greater than any competitor, but we ensure that it’s the right stock to support our customers’ immediate needs. Excellence is also evident in our simpleto- use, yet powerful, website tools; there are no unnecessary messages or annoying Flash features, just a full array of useful resources that make ordering lamps a breeze. Add in our fully customizable packing slips, blind-drop shipping, and a team of full-time lamp specialists, and it’s a service offering that’s hard to beat.
Consistency – With Just Lamps, there’s no anxiety about whether a call or e-mail will be promptly returned, if a request will be fulfilled, or whether an urgently needed lamp will arrive as promised. Our approach is simple. If we say we’re going to do something, then we do it. When we say that we hold the widest range of lamps in stock and ready for shipment, we mean it. More than 90 percent of Just Lamps orders are shipped from stock within 24 hours. Customers dealing with Just Lamps receive a consistently high level of service, wherever in the world they happen to be.
Eric Lanham, president and COO, Just LampsSpecialist – Because lamps are all we do, we can focus and ensure our staff has the best product knowledge in the industry. We embrace our role in educating the market about lamp-specific developments and overall market trends. We have recently highlighted the issue of counterfeit lamps, and we offer a free service to resellers where we will check if lamps they have purchased elsewhere are authentic.
Global – With warehouses and staff located in North America and throughout Europe and Asia, Just Lamps is well established as a global player. Having a global presence affords us a better opportunity to assess markets and accurately predict trends; we’re large enough to leverage the information that we need to help us support our customers, but local accountability ensures we are nimble enough to execute quickly and efficiently.
Just Lamps continues to flourish and grow by focusing on our area of expertise—lamps—and by meeting our customers’ needs, while often exceeding their expectations. It’s a strategy that has served us well while delivering over one million lamps worldwide during the last 11 years and one that will carry us forward in delivering the next million.
Regions Covered: Worldwide coverage through United States, European, and Asian warehouses.
• 3D Perception
• Anders Kern
• AV Vision
• Digital Projection
• Dream Vision
• Elite Video
• Hewlett Packard
• Hughes JVC
• Media Vision
• Packard Bell
• Saville AV
• Schneider AG
• Studio Experience
• Video 7