Operations Director at CEDIA Matt Nimmons, discusses the opportunities and challenges in the industry, and how CEDIA can help you over come and make the most of these experiences.

How does the retailer make the transition from TV/home cinema delivery and setup, to the more profitable activity of installing full-blown Home Automation systems? 

Retailers need to fully understand what the custom install industry is all about, before working out if the transition is viable for their business.  One of the first bits of reading that you should do, is CEDIA’s Fundamentals of Residential Electronic Systems book. It covers the broad scope of the industry and is recommended for anyone who is new to the industry or who would benefit from better understanding the industry.

As the association for this industry, we provide education pathways for businesses to transition from purely retail into the service-led companies, so a first step should be joining CEDIA.

Education is vital for anyone who is interested in moving into this industry, and particularly important for the staff who are on the shop floor, there to turn a sale of a TV into a full home automation sale and install.  Send all staff on CEDIA education courses, including the Introduction to Smart Home Technology and Introduction to Smart Home Wiring courses, for them to develop their skills in this arena.

What are the biggest challenges/most common mistakes retailers face or make when moving into custom install?

The challenge is that it is not an easy transition. It will take time for your customers to understand this new service that you are offering, and what benefit it provides them.  However, as long as your staff are able to explain the service correctly to customers and to get across why they should consider home automation systems, then you should start noticing an uptake in business.

Where are the biggest opportunities?

The connected home has become a reality for most people. It is no longer just for the rich and famous. Homeowners up and down the country are upscaling their properties to benefit from the latest smart home systems, and they need someone to install these for them. Savvy retailers could benefit from this groundswell of business by getting involved in the design and installation of such smart home systems. 

Today’s solutions are becoming ever more affordable and, with high speed broadband rolling out across the UK, HD, 3D and 4K technology building demand among consumers, there are significant opportunities to be taken.  Being able to offer design and installation services will build business for retailers, and customers will benefit from their local contact having a deeper understanding of the available options.

Another opportunity is being able to really engage with your client on a unique tailor made project, which most likely will guarantee them as a customer for life –building brand loyalty and future business. By being able to offer support and services to the installed facilities, it allows regular work and income from the original project installed.

For more information, please visit www.cedia.co.uk