CEDIA/Kohler Partnership Aims to Provide Opportunity for Integrators

Rachel Tindall | Jun 15, 2022

In February 2022, CEDIA formally announced a partnership with kitchen and bath product giant Kohler. Kohler is a global leader in the design and manufacture of these products. The partnership, part of CEDIA’s Propel Program, stands to take the industry on a new and exciting path. 

Because of Kohler’s primary focus on kitchen and bath, this first-of-its-kind partnership will take integration to an area of the home that often gets overlooked in favor of more glamorous projects like home theaters and sleek home entertainment systems.

In reality, many people have smart technology in rooms all over the house. Kohler, with its design-heavy focus, has been adding more technology to their products. New technology in more areas of the house means the need for knowledgeable integrators is on the rise. They're the perfect solution to making homes smart, effective, and beautifully designed throughout.

What's the Kohler/CEDIA Partnership All About?  

The short story? The CEDIA/Kohler Partnership aims to bring opportunity to integrators in the home technology industry.  

The longer, more interesting, story is how the partnership came to fruition. CEDIA Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships, Ian Bryant, had been having discussions with Kohler about “pain points” with products. One of the major challenges with smart technology is that manufacturers who build and sell the devices need professional support to integrate them effectively into the home or to ensure the home has the proper infrastructure to start with. 

The problem isn’t just in kitchens and bathrooms, either. It happens with smart appliances, electrical, HVAC, and all the subsystems in a home. Bryant explains, “Nearly all aspects of the home have connected devices but not everyone who sells and installs these devices has the knowledge, education, or training to properly configure and integrate them into the home.” Kohler shower

We’ve all seen the “smart” tag placed on anything and everything and technology for technology’s sake is a problem. Both Kohler and CEDIA are committed to changing that by creating technology products and advocating for the professional channel to integrate them to have impactful technology that builds a connected and living home. 

The home technology industry specializes in cutting edge tech and creating beautiful, functional, and livable residences. This means it is uniquely positioned to be able to integrate Kohler technology into homes. The collaboration will benefit the industry “at all levels from the tech pro to large integration firms.”  

For integrators, the partnership will mean getting their services in front of a new audience and new potential clients. It could also mean adding specialty skills to their list of capabilities and diversifying already impressive portfolios of completed projects.  

Bryant hopes it’s the beginning of a new set of integration connections, as well. “We hope more manufacturers will soon realize the integrator community and workforce are the missing piece to the puzzle to make their products not only integrate well into the home but provide meaningful and impactful changes for those living in that home,” he says.

Benefits for CEDIA Members & The Design Community.  

The CEDIA/Kohler collaboration is, of course, helpful for both businesses. It also provides a host of great opportunities for members of the design community.  

The partnership has two primary programs: Tier 1 & Tier 2.  

Tier 1 provides discounts on select Kohler products, a direct line to product experts and the inside sales department at Kohler, and free product training with the Kohler Smart Home team. Installers can collaborate virtually with a Kohler designer and receive expert guidance. All CEDIA members in the United States can participate in Tier 1.  

Kohler bathroom sink

Tier 2 is in a pilot phase in the Los Angeles, Miami, and San Francisco markets with plans to grow further across the US soon. Integrators in these areas can apply for the Kohler Authorized Service Representative (ASR) program. This means CEDIA members can get referrals for support, setup, and configuration of Kohler’s “smart” product line which requires integration into the home. Essentially, a direct connection to a new customer base.  

In addition, individuals accepted into the ASR program will participate in further training and be able to enter Kohler’s business portal.  

Whether you want to get involved in Tier 1, Tier 2, or both, the CEDIA/Kohler partnership will allow you to bring your experience with smart home technology to new customers – ones who need the expertise you bring to the table.

How to Get Involved

To access these benefits, CEDIA members can simply sign up through CEDIA’s Propel program, which provides special offer access to innovative tech in emerging markets.  

Visit cedia.net/propel, log into your account, and activate the offer.  

Want to apply for the ASR program in Tier 2? There’s an additional check box that will let Kohler know you’re interested.  

It’s as easy (and beneficial) as that!