Make Your Mark, Part 2

Ed Wenck | May 08, 2019

In early 2019, CEDIA launched the Member of Excellence Program. Since its inception, two firms, ConnectedWorks and Homeplay, have already earned the Member of Excellence designation and many more are on the path to gaining the Member of Excellence or Advanced Member status. Here's more on the subject from some of those members.

Talk us through the importance of differentiating yourself from other companies and how this program helps you achieve this?

Owen Maddock, ConnectedWorks: Trades such as electricians or gas fitters are safety-critical — you have to possess the certifications and maintain them, or you’re not legally allowed to trade. You can set up as a smart home company tomorrow, and you don’t actually have to do any training at all, although the results might be questionable. We are highly trained, qualified, design-led specialists, and we wanted to show that off. We also wanted to show that we’re a bit premium, focusing on performance-driven, high-quality solutions for our clients.

James Radcliffe, Homeplay: During the period of time that homeowners (and to a lesser extent, architects and designers) are gathering proposals and interviewing integrators, they’re often unaware of the “behind the scenes” complexity of the systems that we design and install. Because of this, the temptation to go with the lowest bidder can be strong. We do our best to educate clients as to what makes for a good installation (proper design, planning, execution, aftercare, etc.) and being a Member of Excellence company will be another thing that helps demonstrate that we care about doing things properly.

Albert Mizrahi, SmartLab: With the help of CEDIA, our company is highlighted as a reputable company, and that can be the difference for a client when deciding between two home automation companies.

Jan Martens, Woelf: CEDIA helps companies learn the basic skills, to share their knowledge and work together as an industry. From here, it is each company’s responsibility to then learn their own style and path to success. A good analogy is to compare ourselves to restaurants — everyone serves food, but the way in which they do so is very different. This is the same in our industry. We have all developed our own personality and approach. At Woelf, we all love our job and see that what we do is more than just installing a system or making it work — it’s about providing our customers with the best experience in their home. 

Mark N. Lynch, Quality Sound & Video: In this era, where many are entirely focused on price differentiation, we believe that end-user satisfaction starts with a good design/plan. This must be followed by competent installation with trained integrators. After this, follow-up customer service is key in getting reports of complete customer satisfaction. To this end, we believe in the importance of differentiating ourselves from non-certified entities to achieve this goal.

Do you see this as a motivational tool internally for your employees and if so, how?

Radcliffe:  Absolutely. Our staff are super proud that they are working for a CEDIA Member of Excellence company. It’s also increased their awareness of continuing education units (CEU) and has motivated them to keep their training logs up to date.

Mizrahi: Of course. The team are motivated — they want to belong to a qualified and outstanding company that has succeeded due to their hard work.

Martens: Yes, of course. Since becoming a CEDIA member, I have encouraged staff to get involved and develop their technical and personal skills through CEDIA training and resources. I will urge my team to be proud of being a Member of Excellence and look to continue offering them CEDIA training and certification.

Nick Caripis, BNC Technology:
 I believe that it’s great to be a part of something bigger than just you — it’s something that is also prestigious, as this creates pride, loyalty, and a sense of belonging. 

Lynch: Pride is an important part of the equation. Employees must have pride in the work that they do and the satisfaction that our clients derive from their work. By being the only company in our area that generates professionally prepared design documents, installation documents, and after-completion project documentation, our employees know that we are committed to doing the job right. They are motivated by this and take pride in our company.