It had to be said, and I’m glad I said it. I’m talking about my most recent contribution to CE Pro—a three-part opinion piece arguing why the smart home industry needs to change or it will perish.
I’m thrilled to see it already has readers thinking, talking, and reacting. I’ve spent the last three days at the CEPro 100 Summit in Washington, DC, where the top integrators from around the country come together to discuss trends in the industry and learn about new concepts/technologies. These articles served as a great lead-in to the discussions as many of us talked about how much the industry needs to continue to change.
I hope this serves as a helpful impetus for the industry to make the changes it needs to. So far, the reactions people are having to it suggest it will do just that. We’re seeing comments to it on CE Pro’s website like these:
“This article is eye-opening and profound. Joseph is absolutely on to something and I will bet that most ‘typical’ AV integrators will have their lunch handed to them by this IT-centric and service-centric approach. Adapt or die.”
“Excellent article! it is amazing that some of these companies are still thriving. it has always been our position to act as responsible partners to our dealers and support them in a professional and courteous manner.”
“Maybe the most important article I have seen to read all year!”
“Great article! There’s a big shift happening. I believe these types of problems and client frustration with a/v, smart home etc. can largely be attributed to a stubborn/antiquated leadership style by baby boomers vs. younger generation of leadership coming up…and not being able to adapt quickly enough or realize change is necessary. Love the last paragraph.
We need to adapt and it all begins and ends with the leadership in our companies.”
“Excellent article, best of this year!!”
“This is an awesome point. Tech is tech and many many clients struggle to operate it and stay on top of it. There will always be a place for top notch service.”
“There are no standards, no certifications that people care about, just a bunch of guys who know a lot about electronics with out a way to prove it! AMEN!”
Here are summaries of and links to the three story parts themselves:
While IT manufacturers and dealers encroach into the custom A/V industry, there are no successful examples of the A/V industry moving into IT. Eventually, both dealers and manufacturers will pay the price for not focusing on services.
Three disturbing conversations with leading manufacturers and a top custom installation company that still do not perceive how the industry must shift from an equipment markup business model to one based on providing valued services.
Without industry-wide generally accepted rules and standards (not regulations) for installation, the custom electronics industry will always ‘Get no respect.’ We need traditional schooling, pricing standards and expected service levels.