Dealerscope Pride Award Winner - Myer-Emco
The road to incorporating a custom installation was not an easy one and continues to develop for the company. "We're still learning to be a contractor," said Myer, estimating that close to half his business is in installation, remarking that many of the houses being constructed near the new headquarters have been prewired by Myer-Emco. He admits that problems with labor efficiency, insurance and installation standards (i.e., placing wires in the same manner in every job so that future jobs at the same locations are easier to upgrade) were not necessarily anticipated. "These are the things we learned by not doing them the right way," he remembered.
Other problems in installation can deal with revenue. "It's a lot harder (compared to retail) to see if you are making money," Myer said, advising that attitudes on how you charge your clients for labor is not to be overlooked. "When you come out of retail the mentality is free, free, free," he said, citing an example that if you go back to a job to make small additions, it might be tempting to do it for free, but that the overall cost in the end is too much. Now Myer says, "We define custom as anything marked labor on the ticket," and the client is charged for extra labor no matter how minor.
The installation business for Myer-Emco has different levels. Some jobs are in prewiring, installing A/V distribution and control cables—usually in the form of RG-6 and CAT-V—into new homes not yet completed. Others, albeit to a lesser degree, involve computer networking jobs. In this case, Myer's own in-house IT specialist participates as an installer/designer. "The remodel business is significant in the install business," Myer said, crediting home improvement as a strong market for custom A/V. The company is excited about the grand opening of a Home Depot Expo—a high-end version of the home improvement superstore—across from its Bethesda, Md. store. It has even scored a marketing deal with that store, which will showcase Myer-Emco electronics.