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PLANET WAVES GAINS CI MARKET KNOWLEDGE AND ADDS NEW PRODUCTS

In 1998, D’Addario & Company Inc., a guitar strap company out of Hicksville, Long Island, acquired Planet Waves and its cable product line, eventually leading to specially designed home integration cables and a solderless connector system.

Recent additions to the Planet Waves product line include new connectors for the ZM, ST, and BC Series. Planet Waves has reorganized the bulk cable side of the business as well, re-branding the HD Series as the “HD Finishing Wire”

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“Planet Waves has built the brand on the premise that we provide innovative solutions to common problems.” —Robert D’Addario, Director of Sales and Marketing, Planet Waves CI solution and introducing a new low-cost alternative known as the “Pre-Wire” solution. As the company has grown to become full home solution rather than simply an interconnect company, it also has branched out into a new category with the Planet Waves Wall Plate System. Featuring Decora styling, each wall plate utilizes Planet Waves’ two-piece reusable connector technology, securing the insert between the connector base and tip. The product is designed to enable fast, reliable connections in the wall, near component racks, behind flat-panel displays, or at any other AV components locations.

Planet Waves CI’s director of sales and marketing, Robert D’Addario, recently answered a few questions about his company, its new products, and the state of the economy.

With your company’s background in the musical instrument market, what would you say is the most valuable lesson Planet Waves has learned about what custom installers need?
The most significant difference between custom integrators and music retailers is, without a doubt, the availability of product and the lead times. Because of the nature of their business, integrators require that the product always be in stock as they are typically ordering for a specific job and need those parts to complete it. The other priority for integrators is the lead time of the order. The norm in the CI industry is same-day shipping. This is understandable when you consider that most orders are planned for particular jobs, and they likely need to be stocked or staged for the installation technicians before going out on a job. Because of these two factors, we had to re-think our planning and operations. Initially, it was isolated to only CI orders, but as time has progressed we have implemented the process across the board. Currently, we guarantee all orders received by 4 p.m. EST are shipped the same day; we usually exceed this promise by shipping all orders received by 5 p.m.

How have you overcome objections about the durability of your solderless connector solutions?
Since we launched this product line there have certainly been some naysayers. However,

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we have been able to combat that by educating the market. Luckily, there is a long history of success with our parent organization, D’Addario & Company Inc. Being part of a company that traces its roots back over 400 years helps settle everyone’s concern that we would likely disappear quickly, never to be heard from again. After that initial hurdle, it was just a matter of being clear about technical aspects of the products and the associated benefits. We are fortunate to have a fantastic group of independent sales representatives, which facilitates the effort and enables us to constantly drive our message with potential customers.

Are you looking to add anything new for the CI line?
Like most, Planet Waves is scaling back product initiatives for the upcoming year. Planet Waves has built the brand on the premise that we provide innovative solutions to common problems. As always, we will continue to respond to customer feedback; refining our current products or packaging to make them easier to work with and simpler to understand. Planet Waves is currently playing around with some extremely compelling ideas for a custom speaker wire solution, but you’ll just have to wait and see where it takes us.

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