ADI teams with CEDIA for ops training

Thursday, August 28, 2008

MELVILLE, N.Y.--In September, ADI will team with low-voltage industry group CEDIA to test a new business operations training program. The five full-day seminars will be led by Leslie Shiner, M.B.A., owner and principal of The ShinerGroup, and Sam Cavitt, founder and president of Media Environment Design (MED), focusing on "practical and established methods for business owners and managers including project, resource and financial management. Attendees will be given the tools to develop a clearly defined operations road map to successfully market their products and company."
This, said Michael Masten, ADI's national training manager, is part of a larger effort to be "very forward thinking ... to encourage dealers to get the business training they need."
"It's my opinion," he said, "that our dealers don't have enough ammunition. When times were good, they had a direct set of core competencies and jobs came along a little easier, especially on the residential side. Now they're scratching their heads: 'Where do I get new business?' Especially the more technical dealers who came from the installer side of the business."
Masten said CEDIA was a logical partner first because ADI already collaborates with them on certification classes, but also simply because as Masten was looking around for a good business-side curriculum, "they came to us and said, 'Would you be interested in doing a business class.'"
The seminars, which cost $395, cover how to create a process map for your company, measuring follow-through from sales to accounting, identifying company resources and capacity, internal communication, management techniques, measurement metrics and a number of applicable techniques and tools for growing your business.
"I think a lot of dealers are panicking right now," said Masten of why he feels this is the right time for such instruction. "Dealers aren't able to effectively measure the full cost of the jobs they bid ... To look at a piece of paper and to say that my equipment costs x, and I bid the job at x-plus, that's not always the answer. There's no consideration for labor, for how long the project will be ongoing, for who's going to take care of the project from beginning to end, how many meetings they'll need to be involved in. Something that looks like a windfall on paper is frequently a job that could lose you money."
The seminars will be held Sept. 9, in Toronto; Sept. 16, in Teterboro, N.J.; Sept. 18, in Burnaby, B.C.; Sept. 23, in Detroit; and Sept. 30, in Dallas.