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September 23, 2020 - North Andover, Mass. - The Mobile Electronics Association is proud to present interviews and insights with leaders in the Mobile Electronics Industry. Chris Cook, MEA President, will be conducting an interviewed Alex Camara, CEO of AudioControl. He shared his insights and perspective as it relates AudioControl and the future of the mobile electronics industry.
 
If you missed it, no worries. you can watch or listen by clicking on the link below.
 

 

Biography: AudioControl CEO Alex Camara is focused with his team of obsessive audio experts on designing, engineering and manufacturing some of the most innovative high-performance audio solutions for automotive, residential and commerical markets. Alex also works closely with the company’s network of dealers, installers and sales reps, helping create the best experiences across a wide range of projects in over 24 countries worldwide. Alex is a native Londoner and Chelsea football fan who moved to New York and then Seattle over a decade ago. He has always been focused on releasing the potential of entrepreneurial, technology-based companies and is an avid tennis player, foodie, new long distance runner and amateur ‘soul-cyclist’! 

 
 
 
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Focus and Finish Strong
It’s time to make the most of the opportunity.
 
We are facing many challenges as an industry. We experienced a lapse in business, followed by a huge increase, and major product shortages. What could be next? No one really knows.
Here’s what we do know: You’ll be opening your doors with great expectations, focused on closing the sale and delivering the highest quality customer service, along with keeping your team motivated and happy. In the midst of your daily mission, it’s important to review your numbers and ensure being busy translates to growth and prosperity.
 
Track and review your business’s performance
The first two quarters of the year are behind us. The third quarter is in play. How we finish this one is essential when it comes to setting up your business for the final quarter of the year. Some of us view this with anticipation and others with trepidation. Regardless of your outlook, it’s imperative to focus on making the numbers at this all-important time for your business.
When measuring success, there are a couple benchmarks to review. One is year-over-year performance. The other is daily, weekly and month-to-month performance. How your business performed over the last year is a good indicator of gross revenue growth. First, review the current month as it relates to the same month last year. Then, review your year-to-date performance versus the same period to date for the previous year. This allows you to better understand your seasonal performance and your overall performance to date.
 
When reviewing daily, weekly and monthly performance, focus on daily revenue and whether it’s increasing, decreasing or staying relatively flat. Tracking daily, weekly and monthly gross revenue will help you see current trends, allowing you to adjust and focus to meet your goals. There are many other key performance indicators (KPI) to track as part of your daily dashboard. However, when business is good and your team is stretched thin, the above KPIs will at the least give you a heads-up on performance. There’s nothing worse than being busy only to discover you’re not doing as well as you thought. Make sure you keep up with performance so you don’t look back in disappointment.
 
Do we have that in stock?
Speaking of disappointment. Many of you have indicated that inventory shortages have been inhibiting your ability to deliver on customer requests. Many of you have been enjoying the benefits of “just-in-time” delivery. In an inventory shortage environment, this practice can severely inhibit your ability to take advantage of the increased customer interest in your business. It’s extremely easy to become accustomed to letting others carry inventory levels to fulfill your business needs. This is not one of those times.
 
During inventory shortages, review what you have available to sell. Do this every day. Make a list, and share it with your team. Then focus on what’s available to make the sale. Next, contact each of your suppliers and request an update. Make sure you know what’s in the pipeline so you can fulfill the needs of customers looking for specific brands and or products. Again, share this information with your team. Find a way to say yes to your customer regardless of your situation.
 
Make the most of every sale
Lastly, focus on producing the most in every sale. When it’s business as usual, it’s much easier to focus on maximizing each sale. When you’re remarkably busy, not so much. This is the time when having processes in place will help you gain higher profitability. If you don’t have anything in place, don’t worry—there’s still time to do something that will keep you from losing out. Here are a few easy-to-implement ideas.
Review anything you have which could become an add-on for a sale. It could be a performance guarantee (a warranty), cleaning and detailing, non-mobile electronics products such as sunglasses, specialty items or services. Once identified, make sure each of these are offered to every customer.
 
If you want to go a step further, look at the top five or ten vehicles that tend to be repeats at your store. Then, make a list of things to offer to each. Communicate this with your team, and make sure these are offered every single time. Do this without fail, and I can guarantee it will not only increase your revenue, but it will also add to your bottom line!
 
Taking a few minutes out of your day to add these simple processes should help you focus on the main goal: Make or exceed your numbers today.
 
Read the latest issue of Mobile Electronics magazine [Click Here]
 
 
 
KANSAS CITY, MO. (September 2, 2020) – CPS Distributors, Inc. will be showcasing a solid core mix of marine lighting products from Marine Sport® Lighting, an upcoming and popular brand amongst the marine industry over the last 3-4 years. CPS first partnered with Marine Sport® Lighting in 2019 and made their first debut with the brand at IBEX 2019 in Tampa Bay. Last years show produced several good prospects that helped CPS’s initial traction with the brand and let boat builders know they had a full spectrum lighting line up to service their projects, both big and small.
Marine Sport® Lighting is best known in the industry for their phenomenal line up of marine grade professional light bars used for high power vision on dark waterways. Their light bars are high quality with a line up of a variety of lengths, styles, and beam pattern options for spot or flood. Included in this popular family of products are some great docking and spreader lights on the auxiliary side.
 
Marine Sport® Lighting is making headway in the underwater category as well with their popular and fast growing HydroBLAST® family of lights. The HydroBLAST® family is a la carte and gives you an option between remote and smartphone controlled, with various colors and finishes in deck lighting, and an amazing array of high lumen underwater lights. For more information about this lighting system, please contact CPS or Marine Sport Lighting for more information.
Lastly, this company has many other great marine lighting solutions, led switches, voltage gauges and more. In 2021, be on the look out for a revolutionary new docking light designed by their engineers in conjunction with a yet to be named boat manufacturer in our industry. There is some other great new products on the horizon as well to look for at the IBEX Virtual Show.

About Marine Sport® Lighting.
Established in 2007, Race Sport Lighting is the parent company that founded and trademarked the Marine Sport® Lighting brand in 2015. Race Sport Lighting is a well-known leader in lighting technology to the Automotive and Mobile Electronics industries and has been aggressively growing their marine industry footprint. The company is well known for their diverse approach of being a one stop premier lighting supplier to multiple industries. Located in Ringwood, IL, their staff is extremely technical in lighting and electronics, and customer orientated in a way that has earned them multiple Vendor of the Year awards. https://www.racesportinc.com/marine-sport-lighting.html
About CPS Distributors, Inc.
 
Established in 1971, CPS Distributors, Inc. is the exclusive marine distributor of audio & equipment including JVC, Kicker®, Memphis, CPS brand, and lighting equipment from Marine Sport® Lighting. With a dedicated team of product specialists serving over 2,500 marinas, dealerships, and boat builders in the US and Canada, we specialize in assisting our customers with system design, technology and aftermarket products that enhance the enjoyment of the boating lifestyle. Located in Kansas City, Missouri, our staff of dedicated marine industry experts are here to help you add value to your business and customer experience. cpsdistributorsinc.com
 
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01 Sep

The Car Audio Shop in Real World Retail

Tuesday, 01 September 2020

Third Gear

While picking up speed and continuing to increase revenue, The Car Audio Shop and its team of installers prepares for transition in the coming months.

Words by Rosa Sophia

In St. Louis, Mo., The Car Audio Shop has been going strong since 2012, when Brandon Green opened the doors as a one-man business. Green said his main impetus for starting his own business was based on the fact that he’d observed other shops which he felt were lacking in quality customer service, and decided to step out on his own to focus on defining a higher standard.

The shop now has a staff of five, including Green. “Dan Castro was my first employee and I hired him five years ago,” he said, adding that Castro also handles inventory and ordering for the store. About two years ago, Green partnered with John Schumacher in the business. “John had another shop down in Kansas City,” Green said. “It wasn’t in a great area, and he felt the location wasn’t right for him. We both wanted to expand a bit, so we decided partnering up would be the best option.” Now, they co-own The Car Audio Shop.

The current facility has a separate wood shop and an upholstery area at one end of the building. At the other end is a three-car install bay, along with...Read the rest of the story HERE.

Winners from first phase of Industry Awards are semifinalists for top honors
 
NORTH ANDOVER, MASS., August 26, 2020 (MEDIAWIRE) — The Mobile Electronics Association (MEA) announced the winners from the first phase of the 2020 Mobile Electronics Industry Awards. The announcement comes after industry nominees submitted videos describing their business or professions. Judges appointed by the association reviewed the videos and selected the winners, comprising the Top 50 Installers, Top 50 Retailers and Top 20 Sales Professionals. The complete list of winners is posted at the official Industry Awards website, meindustryawards.com.

“I’d like to thank our judges for their diligence, objectivity and hard work during the first phase of our industry’s most important tradition,” said Solomon Daniels, program administrator. “In an industry where it seems everyone knows or knows of everyone else, it’s especially difficult to put all that aside and make judgements based on the merits of each submission.”

The judges for the first phase were Tim Baillie, current Installer of the Year; Richard Basler, director of membership at MEA; Chris Pate, owner of Mobile Toys Inc. in College Station, Texas and former Installer of the Year; Matt Schaeffer, former Installer of the Year and lead fabricator at Sound FX and Musaic in Lewes, Del.; and George Smith, owner of Mobileworks in Santa Maria, Calif.

Judges follow a score sheet that matches the requirements of the video, and mark scores based on completeness and depth of knowledge for each answer. They can also award additional points for exceptional insight, creativity, or uniqueness in a submission.

Winners at this stage also qualify as semi-finalists the top honors of Retailer of the Year, Installer of the Year and Sales Pro of the year. Top 50 Installers award recipients can also opt to run for 2020 Trusted Tech, an award given to professional installers who excel more from an electronics standpoint than a design standpoint.

The next phase of the competition features voting by industry professionals and consumers to narrow the semifinalists list down to finalists. These categories are joined by other categories of which industry professionals vote to select top suppliers, reps and rep firms, distributors, and expeditors, as well as retail locations that excel in specific business practices. Voting will begin Thursday, August 27 and run for three weeks.

“Even though the ultimate competition is ongoing, we want to take this opportunity to congratulate our Top 50 and Top 20 winners,” said Chris Cook, president of MEA. “These are major accomplishments in themselves and represent the hard work and growth of stores and individuals over the past year. It’s great to see that, despite the unprecedented events of the past few months, our industry members continue to strive to be the best and set examples for their peers.”
Voting will take place at meindustryawards.com. Visit the website for additional information on the Mobile Electronics Industry Awards.

About the Mobile Electronics Association
Mobile Electronics Association (MEA) is a trade association comprised of installing dealers and product vendors dedicated to serving the needs of the mobile electronics specialist industry. MEA owns and produces KnowledgeFest™, regional trade-only industry events that combine educational programming and vendor training with a trade show floor. MEA owns and publishes the monthly Mobile Electronics® magazine, which is the industry’s #1 resource, as well as other digital media, including websites and the industry’s e-newsletter Hotwire. MEA provides software and data-driven services to vendors and retailers. Learn more at mobile-electronics.com.
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August 24, 2020 - North Andover, Mass. - The Mobile Electronics Association is proud to present interviews and insights with leaders in the Mobile Electronics Industry. Chris Cook, MEA President, conducted an interview with Mike Anderson, Vice President and GM of Apline Electronics of America. He shared his insights and perspective as it relates Alpine and the future of the mobile electronics industry.
 
If you missed this one, you can now listen via podcast on SoundClould or Apple Podcasts. You can also watch the full presentation on-demand.
 
To listen or watch go to: http://mobile-electronics.com/podcast
 
 
 
As revenue increases in many shops and facilities, manufacturers respond to meet demands. Here’s how some companies continue to face the pandemic and its impact on mobile electronics retailers.
 
Words by Rosa Sophia
 
In the June issue of Mobile Electronics magazine, retailers shared their experiences during the pandemic and discussed skyrocketing sales. To help minimize the spread of the virus, Alpine Electronics of America instituted a mandatory work from home policy, according to Mike Anderson, the company’s vice president and GM. Alpine wanted to ensure the health and safety of their team members. “This was a huge adjustment for our employees, most of whom had never worked from home,” he said, “but they quickly learned new ways of communication and task management.” Anderson said Alpine faced the same questions as retailers: “Were we an essential business? Were we able to remain open? We closed our warehouse for two days while attorneys gathered enough information to make us.... Read the rest of the story HERE.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
August 17, 2020 - North Andover, Mass. - The Mobile Electronics Association is proud to present interviews and insights with leaders in the Mobile Electronics Industry. Chris Cook, MEA President, will be conducting an interview  with Mike Anderson, Vice President and GM of Apline Electronics of America. He will share his insights and perspective as it relates Alpine and the future of the mobile electronics industry.
 
You don't want to miss this one!
 
Details: Friday, August 21 at 12:00 PM Eastern
 
 
 
 
Read the on the digital platform for Mobile Electronics magazine [Click Here]
 
 
Need Some Facetime?
Nothing can replace face-to-face networking with others in our industry.
 
From the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, we’ve had to give up many things for the sake of our health and the health of others—all with consequences. We have sacrificed much, and hopefully, this will save many lives and eradicate the virus in the end, allowing society to resume normal life. Until then, we must learn to adapt and create our new normal. We have adopted practices based on a bit of science, politics and hopefully some good old common sense.
With that, we should all look forward to resuming life aware of the current pandemic. As I look forward to the future of face-to-face events, I am hopeful that those of us who provide them will create innovative ways to enjoy networking, education and the recognition we have come to cherish at the Mobile Electronics Industry Awards.
 
Is there a replacement for face-to-face events?
Let us explore some possibilities. When the pandemic started, we at MEA, as well as many manufacturers in our industry, launched webinars. These webinars help keep you connected to your suppliers and provide education and training that may have otherwise been accomplished during a local sales rep visit, distributor show, or regional and national industry events. Let me share from my own experience as a presenter and participant.
As a presenter, it’s extremely hard to gauge the audience. Without seeing expressions and body language, it is difficult to know if those listening or watching are attentive and engaged in the presentation. It’s the equivalent of doing a practice presentation in the mirror. Feedback in the form of questions and comments are helpful, but do not replace those in a face-to-face environment.
 
As a participant, my experience can be varied. At times, I am fully engaged with the presentation and sometimes I get distracted or lose focus. I can imagine that those of you at a shop have distractions, as well, in the form of customers. At the start of the pandemic when many shops were either closed or had significantly reduced business, there was plenty of time for webinars and the attendance numbers showed the same. As things opened back up, attendance was reduced along with the number of manufacturers providing webinars. This brings up a question in my mind: How can we return to the valuable facetime we enjoy while mitigating the health risk?
 
Good Information Helps Make Sound Decisions
As citizens of this great nation, the information we’ve received has varied in accuracy. We can all debate about who’s right or wrong, and what is the best source for information. Just open any social media app, and everything runs wild. As for me, I look for good data sources and try to understand how best to protect myself and others. As it relates to retail stores reopening, many of you have figured out a process for which you feel comfortable. Bottom line: It’s your business, and you need to do what you feel is best for you, your team and your customers. Your suppliers have done the same. You may be experiencing less in-person visits from reps and suppliers.
I believe many of you would say that those relationships benefit from seeing them in your store—much like you when it comes to seeing your customers in your store. There is no substitute for selling and servicing in-person. So, until we can do this safely, we will all suffer the consequences of separation. Unless we find a way to replace this, we must look to innovative ways to regain this important socialization.
 
When Will We All Be Together Again?
KnowledgeFest Long Beach was a success this past February. Later this year, we should all look forward to seeing one another at an incredibly special event for our industry—KnowledgeFest Dallas. The move to later in the year was strategic. We felt the best chance to hold an event that we all could enjoy. Yes, I hear the news and review the numbers. Here’s what I can tell you: There are brilliant people creating new ways to allow us to come together at an event, in person, without great risk to our health. You will see these practices in action at KnowledgeFest Dallas.
 
Industry trade events are important because they provide needed education, networking and facetime with others including your suppliers. These events represent the best our industry has to offer, and just like reopening your store, they will have processes in place to allow all of us to enjoy connecting with each other in a way that can only be accomplished face-to-face. I hope to see you all very soon to celebrate our successes!

 

Read the latest issue of Mobile Electronics magazine [Click Here]
 
 
August 11, 2020 - North Andover, Mass. - The Mobile Electronics Association is proud to present interviews and insights with leaders in the Mobile Electronics Industry. Listen to the recent show with Chris Cook, MEA President, conducting interview an interview is with Mike Roberts of Kenwood. Listen as Mike shares his insights and perspective as it relates Kenwood and the future of the mobile electronics industry.
You don't want to miss this one!
 
 
 
 
Focused Marketing Solutions, Inc – Outside Sales Representative, Mid-Atlantic States
 
Job Summary:
Outside sales management of designated Focused Marketing Solution’s retail and ecommerce partners within the Mid-Atlantic States. Qualified candidates must be self-motivated, live within the Mid-Atlantic market and possess a strong technical understanding and knowledge of the remote start and security category.
 
How to Apply:
Please send resumes to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.." style="color: #000000;">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
The position offers competitive salaries with a great work environment.
About the company
Focused Marketing Solutions, Inc, is a Mid-Atlantic/Metro NY Rep Firm and Distribution Company, currently representing Alpine Electronics, Voxx Electronics and Metra Electronics within the Mid-Atlantic States and Alpine Electronics, Metra Electronics, Elettromedia and Epsilon within the Metro NY Market.
August 5, 2020 - North Andover, Mass. - The Mobile Electronics Association is proud to present interviews and insights with leaders in the Mobile Electronics Industry. Chris Cook, MEA President, will be conducting regular interviews with Mobile Electronics Industry leaders. Our next interview is with Mike Roberts of Kenwood. He will share his insights and perspective as it relates Kenwood and the future of the mobile electronics industry.
You don't want to miss this one!
 
Details: Friday, August 7 at 12:00 PM Eastern
 
 
 
 
North Andover, MA – August 3, 2020 – The Mobile Electronics Association (MEA) announced today the launch of KnowledgeFest Live. This in-person and digital event is designed to welcome back the mobile electronics industry in preparation for commerce in a post-pandemic era.
KnowledgeFest Live will be held in Dallas on December 4-6 and will include exhibitors and attendees from all previously scheduled KnowledgeFest events earlier in the year.
 
Although KnowledgeFest Live is more than four months away, appropriate actions have been taken to ensure a safe environment for attendees throughout all KnowledgeFest venues including the exhibit floor, education sessions and the host hotel (more timely information will be made available at
 
KnowledgeFest registered attendees include owners, managers, salespersons, and installers of specialty retailers (70% of attendees come from within a 300-mile radius). New this year, buyers from big-box retailers that usually attend larger trade shows will be in attendance through special invitation.
For retailers not able to attend the event in person, they will still be able to register for KnowledgeFest Live through a digital platform for education workshops, manufacture trainings, and can take a virtual tour of the exhibit floor. KnowledgeFest Live will be recognizing the Mobile Electronics Industry Award winners in a special in-person and on-line celebration event.  
 
For more information and to register for KnowledgeFest, visit KnowledgeFest.org
 
About the Mobile Electronics Association
Mobile Electronics Association (MEA) is a trade association comprised of installing dealers and product vendors dedicated to serving the needs of the mobile electronics specialist industry. MEA owns and produces KnowledgeFest™, regional trade-only industry events that combine educational programming and vendor training with a trade show floor. MEA owns and publishes the monthly Mobile Electronics® magazine, which is the industry’s #1 resource, as well as other digital media, including websites and the industry’s e-newsletter Hotwire. MEA provides software and data-driven services to vendors and retailers. Learn more at mobile-electronics.com.
 
Media Contact:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
978-645-6434
 
27 Jul

Magazine Feature - Sonic Sound

Monday, 27 July 2020
Risk and Reward
 
After evolving from a one-man business into a full-fledged 12-volt team, Sonic Sound continues to work toward expansion while taking calculated risks to increase revenue.
 
Words by Rosa Sophia
 
In the spring of 2000, Kevin Juarez opened a one-man business in Arlington, Va. At first, he said, Sonic Sound had no bays and installation took place outside the store. He also did some mobile work for local dealerships. After a year, the shop moved to another location with a single bay, and Juarez hired staff—a window tinter as well as a full-time employee who worked in both sales and installs. Then, in 2008, Sonic Sound finally found its current location, which has a two-bay garage that can fit four vehicles, and about 4,000 square feet of space. The location is on a main road with plenty of drive-by and foot traffic. “That’s where I am now,” Juarez said. “It hasn’t been easy, but now I can see the fruit of all the hard work.”
 
Currently, like many other shops, business is booming. Projects consist mainly of window tint and car audio. “We are booked about three weeks out,” he added, noting that the shop is still growing and adding categories and services. For the most part, though, the team doesn’t handle much custom work. Juarez said he prefers jobs that can be completed in one day. “The most custom we do might be speaker plates,” he explained. “For example, a Jeep might come in for four speakers, an amplifier, a head unit and a backup camera. We get the Jeep in the morning and...Read the rest of the story HERE.
North Andover, MA – July 21, 2020 – KnowledgeFest™ Dallas, produced by the Mobile Electronics Association (MEA), will be held this Fall, September 25-27, 2020. The event will cover over 100,000 sq. ft. of exhibits, include more than 50 exhibitors representing more than 70 brands, and more than 100 hours of dealer education workshops and vendor sponsored training. Advance registration is open for the event and for the host hotel, Omni Dallas. The Dallas 2019 event had more than 2,000 in attendance. For 2020, MEA is anticipating strong participation albeit not record setting. The Dallas event will add a live element making a must attend either in person or online for education and training. For official information on the event please go to http://www.knowledgefest.org/.
 
“KnowledgeFest Dallas is our flagship event” said Chris Cook, President of MEA.“Those attending this year’s event should know that we put their health and safety at the top of our list. We have collected information regarding the best-known processes and procedures designed to provide attendees with a safe and successful education, training, and trade show experience. We look forward to providing all participants an event that allows them to come together and learn from one another.
 
In addition to the KnowledgeFest event, the highly anticipated Mobile Electronics® Industry Awards will be held Sunday evening September 27th to honor the best of the best for our Industry. The Awards recognize those in the Mobile Electronics industry that exemplify the highest standards of professionalism, business ethics, service, and expertise. More information about the Awards can be found at: https://meindustryawards.com/.
 
This year MEA was to launch a highly anticipated new event in Orlando. That event is now set to launch in the Summer of 2021. Next year, KnowledgeFest will be coast-to-coast with our new event in Orlando joining our other regional events in Long Beach, Indianapolis and Dallas.” KnowledgeFest is the only industry event devoted exclusively to the mobile specialist, the installing dealer.
 
For more information and to register for KnowledgeFest, visit KnowledgeFest.org
Upcoming KnowledgeFest events:
  • September 25-27, 2020 - Dallas, TX
  • February 12-14, 2021 - Long Beach, CA
  • April 9-11, 2021 - Indianapolis, IN
  • June 25-27, 2021 - Orlando, FL
 
About the Mobile Electronics Association
Mobile Electronics Association (MEA) is a trade association comprised of installing dealers and product vendors dedicated to serving the needs of the mobile electronics specialist industry. MEA owns and produces KnowledgeFest, regional trade-only industry events that combine educational programming and vendor training with a trade show floor. MEA owns and publishes the monthly Mobile Electronics® magazine, which is the industry’s #1 resource, as well as other digital media, including websites and the industry’s e-newsletter Hotwire. MEA provides software and data-driven services to vendors and retailers. Learn more at mobile-electronics.com.
 
Media Contact:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
978-645-6434
Read the on the digital platform for Mobile Electronics magazine [Click Here]
 
 
Knowledge of your inventory can make or break your business.
 
This is one of the most feared questions when making the sale: “Do we have that in stock?” As retailers, I am reasonably sure you have had to walk or reschedule a much-needed sale at one time or another because we thought we had something only to find out it wasn’t there when we needed it most. Hopefully, you’ve found a system to mitigate this issue. If you’re still working through it, allow me to offer some ideas that might get you on your way to a healthy understanding of your inventory.
What’s in the barn?
 
Knowing what you have available to sell is paramount. Your customer expectation for product availability was made when you sold products and services. To find out post-sale that your product isn’t actually available leaves you in a compromised position. Now you must come up with a reasonable explanation. This situation happens all too frequently and, for the most part, it can be completely avoided.
 
Count it, then count it again
Counting your inventory is the first step to knowing what you have in stock. If you haven’t done so, now is the time to physically count your stock. Make sure you have a way to audit the results—especially for smaller items like kits, harnesses or adaptors.
 
How long will your stock last?
To calculate how long your stock will last, you must know your rate of sale for each item. There are a few ways to accomplish this task. The first is look at the past year of sales for each item and divide it by 52 weeks. This method is simple, but won’t account for seasonality. Should you desire to get a bit more accurate, do the same by quarter or by month. If you are using a point-of-sale software that tracks what you sell, this task should be fairly simple. Regardless of your method, once completed you will have a calculated rate of sale that can be used for deciding how much of each product you keep in the barn. Next, let’s review ways to set proper inventory levels to keep important stock on the shelf.
 
Setting levels
Knowing how many weeks of inventory to keep on hand can be a challenge. Knowing your rate of sale is an important step. You also need to have a good understanding of your supply-chain. You will have to account for lead-time, order quantity discounts as well as freight-cost reductions usually acquired from larger orders. Another important factor is availability. You should account for temporary product shortages. To deal with product shortage, you should assign an alternate product that could temporarily replace one that may be out of stock. This will help you manage your inventory levels going forward and put you in a better position to have what your customer needs when they need it. The number of weeks on hand is a calculation you will need to determine based on your business needs. Your purchasing power should also be considered.
 
Creating and managing your open to buy
The open to buy is a number set by you based on your ability to purchase inventory over a defined period. You can calculate it within your comfort zone by reviewing the rate of sales over a period and determining a dollar value of inventory required to achieve it. This doesn’t account for fluctuations and growth, but it provides an initial guideline. Next you should review your available cash and credit line to make sure you can afford to place the orders. Remember, just because you have favorable terms doesn’t mean you should order more. Each month a bill will be due and you need to ensure you have the revenue to pay it. You should also look at seasonality to account for higher and lower sales months, to keep you from having too much or little. Another consideration is separating it by category. Once the total is identified, you should review each category and set a number for each. Once completed, manage your inventory. Do regular counts. These are sometimes referred to as cycle counts. Assign someone to spot check troublesome categories to make sure you’re staying on top of your numbers.
 
Aging inventory
Looking for an easy way to increase your open to buy? Review your aging inventory. If it’s collecting dust, it’s probably costing you money. Have a sale, move it to eBay (brand permitting), or write it off. This will provide more spendable cash to support your inventory goals. And it cleans up the stockroom, as well.
 
Smooth sailing ahead
Regardless of how you complete the task, knowing your inventory and managing it better will lead to an improved experience for you, your business and your customer.

 

 
 
Read the latest issue of Mobile Electronics magazine [Click Here]
 
 
Davis Distribution is “all systems go” for car audio’s new normal, offering webinars, a YouTube show and an updated studio to keep dealers motivated and educated.
 
Words by Jamie Sorcher
 
There’s probably no better way to get into the car audio business than to be born into it. For Nate Taliani, vice president of sales and marketing for Davis Distribution Systems, that’s exactly what happened.
“My father has been in this industry since before I was born. I grew up around it,” Taliani said. “When I was 20 years old, we opened up the company and I’ve been here since day one. This is all I’ve ever done for the past 22 years, so I have seen quite a bit. We were here for the start of satellite radio, when neon lighting was going through the roof, the Fast and Furious scene, NOPI Nationals and all that stuff.”
 
In business since 1998, Davis is headquartered in Newell, West Va., and includes Taliani, his father, two brothers and a sister.
“We don’t have an official mission statement, but our reputation combined with our word is our number one brand,” Taliani said. “That means more to us than any brand we deal with. As we all know, brands come and go, vendors come and go, but your reputation and your word are what lasts—and that’s the most important thing you can provide to your customers.” This has proven especially meaningful during the entire pandemic, and particularly now as...Read the rest of the story HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 14, 2020 - North Andover, Mass. - The Mobile Electronics Association is proud to present industry interviews and insights. Chris Cook, MEA President, conducted an interview with Aron Demers from VOXX Electronics where we discussed the recent acquisition of Directed. Aron also shared his insights on the company’s motivation and future plans as a result of the acquisition. Aron provided his perspective as it relates to the future of the mobile electronics industry including the retailer and expeditor channels. [Click to Listen] to the interview conducted on Friday, July 10.
 
 
 
While businesses have struggled throughout the pandemic, many are now thriving as some areas begin to reopen. Retailers discuss this boom in sales, and how long it might continue.
 
Words by Rosa Sophia
 
During the spread of Coronavirus, businesses continue taking precautions to protect staff and clients. Local response varies across the nation. Out of 75 retailers surveyed recently by Mobile Electronics magazine, 53 percent (40 businesses) have said they remained open despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Twenty percent closed but recently reopened, while a small percentage of businesses—about 15 percent—remain closed as of this writing.
 
Mitch Schaffer of Mobile Edge in Lehighton, Pa. said his business was shut down for a little over two months because Pennsylvania closed all non-essential businesses. “We may have been able to justify staying open because we did Intoxalock installations, but it made more sense to shut down just for the safety of our employees,” Schaffer said, adding that acquiring financial funding through small business programs was a bit of a challenge. “For those of us who had to shut down, that money was a real lifeline.” During the second round of funding, Schaffer said Mobile Edge received financial help to alleviate the burden. The store reopened on May 22.
During the shutdown, Schaffer said.... Read the rest of the story HERE.
 
July 9, 2020 - North Andover, Mass. - The Mobile Electronics Association is proud to present industry interviews and insights. Chris Cook, MEA President, will conduct regular interviews with Mobile Electronics Industry leaders. Our first interview is with Aron Demers from VOXX Electronics where we will discuss the recent acquisition of Directed. Aron will share his insights on the company’s motivation and future plans as a result of the acquisition. Aron will also give his perspective as it relates to the future of the mobile electronics industry including the retailer and expeditor channels
 
Details: Friday, July 10 at 12:00 PM Eastern
 
 
 
 

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