Chief Teams With Gentec for Canadian Distribution
December 13, 2006

Chief Manufacturing has just closed a deal which will allow for the distribution of its mounting solutions in the Great White North. Gentec International will handle Canadian distribution for Chief’s retail-focused iC Mounts product line. Gentec President and CEO Joel Seigel explains, “over the past year, we have been actively searching for a leading manufacturer and marketer of mounting systems which would satisfy the needs of our customer base. We believe that working in concert with the sales & marketing team at Chief Manufacturing, we will be able to achieve a high level of customer satisfaction in this dynamic product category.”

From Custom Retailer: Electronics Expo to Sell K2 Mounts
December 12, 2006

Electronics Expo, a West Caldwell, N.J.-based specialty dealer and PRO Group member, will display K2 Mounts’ X-arm robotic flat panel mounting solution at all six of its store locations in the Garden State. Electronics Expo will “highlight applications that allow consumers to eliminate problems associated with flat panel displays, such as glare and reflection from plasma displays and off-axis viewing issues associated with LCD displays such as color shift and loss of resolution,” said K2. “They can even enter a favorite viewing angle in one of the two user-programmable memories and watch as the mount adjusts to that position at the touch of a

SRS Goes Mobile
December 12, 2006

Simply Reliable Software has introduced the latest module for its SRS SmartOffice business software, SRS Mobile. The product is designed for on-the-go management of work orders and proposal information. Field staff can use their Palm OS or Pocket PC device to update data on-site. Real-time labor and job cost changes can be recorded and sent back to the office. Jonathan Knapp, president of Simply Reliable Software, said, “With SRS Mobile, the installer, project leader or any other employee can make changes or additions to the project from a remote location. No more lost change orders or misplaced work orders.” SRS

Karp Named AVS COO
December 12, 2006

Audio Video Systems (AVS) has announced the appointment of Franklin Karp to Chief Operating Officer. The 34-year industry veteran comes to AVS from Harvey, where he served as President and CEO. Karp will oversee AVS’ long-term growth strategy, which involves real estate, inventory control, buying, personnel and new business tactics.

Conctacts: John Hightower, Tweeter Store Manager, Wilmington, DE
December 7, 2006

Got a soft spot for Godiva chocolates? Do some business with some of John Hightower’s salespeople and you’re likely to find a big basket of caramels, truffles, pralines and ganaches on your doorstep. “We do lots and lots of follow up with our customers,” says Hightower, the manager of Tweeter’s newest “concept store” in Wilmington, Delaware. “We have to make it a pleasure. We put the names of our salespeople and our intallers on the gift basket card.” Hightower’s store pulls in about 8-9 million dollars in sales each year, but he’s hoping that a new showfloor design and sales strategy will up

OmniMount Launches “Industrial Design & Engineering” Team
December 6, 2006

OmniMount’s Industrial Design and Engineering team (ID&E), has been established as a team-building process designed to enhance the quality of the company’s consumer and professional product lines. The move effectively brands the collaborative internal development process of the company’s designers and engineers. OmniMount GM Dan Falvey explains, “By bringing our in-house design and engineering departments even closer together, ID&E will not only streamline our product development process even further, but it will also offer pride of ownership for each and every product.”

CEA and CompTIA Create New Certification
November 17, 2006

Shortly after teaming with CEDIA and NSCA to form certification programs for contractors, CEA has joined forces with the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) to create a new certification altogether. The CEA-CompTIA Digital Home Technology Integrator+ certification would verify the ability of a professional to configure and maintain an electronic home system. Technicians with 18 to 24 months of home integration experience are encouraged to apply for this advanced certification. Says CEA TechHome executive director Kerry Moyer, “Together, CEA and COMPTIA will help prepare technicians for installing and maximizing the performance available from today’s sophisticated digital home systems, while ensuring

CEA, CEDIA and NSCA Unite to Form ESPA
November 13, 2006

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) and National Systems Contractors Assocation (NCSA) have joined forces to create a unified educational entity known as the Electronic Systems Professional Alliance (ESPA). The agency hopes to create a qualified workforce equal to the growing demand for electronic systems contractors in a way that lessens the confusion created by numerous industry associations across the country with varied certification programs. Chuck Wilson, chairman of ESPA and executive director of NSCA, explains, “By coming together and offering a single entry-level education and certification platform for any and all industry organizations, ESPA will

From Custom Retailer: K2 Mounts Anoints North American Sales Reps
November 2, 2006

K2 Mounts, which markets the X-arm robotic flat-panel mount as well as a full range of manual mounts, appointed 16 rep firms for sales and support its products in North America. “Having well-established, knowledgeable representation throughout the country and in Canada and Mexico is a key component to the successful launch of our robotic-based flat panel mounts in our intended market: the AV specialty channel,” said Tony Grasso, K2’s vice president of sales and marketing. “We have appointed a cadre of top-flight rep firms with a thorough understanding of the channel and of the virtually unique benefits our robotic mounts bring to AV specialists.”

The New World Order of OEM Integration
November 1, 2006

One of the best selling tools any specialty retailer can use to satisfy its customers is options. Just ten years ago, if a customer wanted to upgrade his or her audio system, you could a) present the case for upgrading the head unit, b) upgrade the speakers, c) upgrade the amplification, d) add a subwoofer, or e) pitch them on all of the above. It was also common practice among high-end dealers to retain the factory head unit and use a combo of choices b, c, and d. The dealer could easily plop in better speakers for the first wave of upgrades for those