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From personal development training, to KnowledgeFest and beyond, SoundsGood Auto has increased its year-over-year revenue by making education a priority.  

Words by Rosa Sophia

After working for other car stereo shops over the years, Keith McCumber decided he wanted to open his own store. He’d noticed, he said, that every business he worked for eventually closed. “They were in the race to zero,” he said, “and they won!” McCumber’s first location made up 1,500 square feet, and was born with the intention of creating a better solution for clients.

“In my first year, I brought in $154,000. I found my customers, sold them products and services, picked up the products and installed them,” he said. “There were some long days, but I persevered.”

After a while, he started looking for his first employee. “I found Mike Maltais to help sell and install the aftermarket accessories with me. We found...Read the rest of the story HERE.


Music City Monarchs

Titan Motoring started in the back of a van, and has since become a thriving business that continues to grow year after year. Keys to its evolution include open communication, team-building, cross-training and shared goals that aid in cultivating positive store culture.

Words by Rosa Sophia

In Nashville, Tenn.—Music City—Titan Motoring continues to grow because of the combined talents of the shop’s team, according to business owner Philip Lindsley. “The installers we have, the talent under one roof, is amazing,” Lindsley said. “We’re not just audio, not just vinyl wrap. We do so many things here in one location, and we have so many talented individuals here. There’s no one [else] like that in our area.”

The shop came from humble beginnings in 2011, when Lindsley started doing mobile installations from a minivan. The focus at the time was car dealerships. After building the business, he... Read the rest of the story HERE.



As the only nationally recognized certification program for the mobile electronics industry, MECP intends to reenergize its efforts in the coming year and encourage more technicians to seek higher certification levels.


Words by Rosa Sophia


One of the goals for 2019 and beyond is to increase the number of certified technicians, and to re-energize the program as the only certification standard for the industry, according to Kris Bulla, a consultant for MECP. Currently, there are four different certifications available—Mobile Product Specialist, Basic Installation Technician, Advanced Installation Technician and Master Installation Technician. More than 2,700 individuals are presently certified, with most certifications in the Basic category, according to data from MECP and the Consumer Technology Association.

“The Basic Certification is someone who has little to no experience in the bay, someone who is looking to become employed in a job that requires certification, and wants to continue working in the bay and needs the education,” Bulla said. “Advanced or higher is the level where we want everyone to be.”

More is expected of each level, Bulla added. “Master Technicians could run or manage a shop if they don’t already, or they might have the opportunity to move into a manufacturer or a distributor position with this type of certification. The Basic and Advanced guys in a shop where a Master technician works will typically go and get help from them if they can’t figure something out.”

It’s important to continue moving up, Bulla said, and the goal for the coming year is... Read the rest of the story HERE.






JL Audio is known for its high-quality audio products manufactured entirely in the United States. At the huge Miramar, Fla. facility, the company utilizes state of the art tools and technology—including an on-site machine shop—to make everything in-house.

Words by Joey Knapp


Back in September I was in South Florida, and reached out to Stephen Turrisi (Director of Training and Technical Services for JL Audio) to see if I could go on a tour of their facility. Regular readers of Tech Today may remember that I had a chance to tour the Focal factory a few years ago, so I was eager to see what was happening at JL Audio.

I have known Steve for many years and it seems fitting for a man so obsessed with magnets to be working at one of the top audio manufacturers. I was thankful that he was... Read the rest of the story HERE.



The Support Team: Vision Quest

Establishing a name for itself with cameras for enthusiasts and security purposes, Waylens has its eye on enhancing drivers’ experiences while backing its growing dealer network.

Words by Jamie Sorcher

Born out of the highly respected MIT Media Lab and just a few years fresh from its Kickstarter campaign, Boston-based Waylens is well on its way to becoming a household name in the 12-volt world. Right now, the company has two automotive cameras in the market—Horizon and Secure360.

The company’s mission is to transform the way people enjoy their time behind the wheel. The first product, the Waylens Horizon, is perfect for the enthusiast. It lets drivers capture, edit and share interesting moments and automotive performance data from the road.

The Waylens Secure360 gives owners peace of mind. Lots of folks have basic remote start or security for their cars, but this takes things a step further, according to product manager Aaron Thomas.

“It’s like a mobile-drone option so you can remote start your car when you’re flying back from SEMA and can get it going at the airport before you even get there,” he said. “The big difference is that with existing products, you can’t actually see your car. You can control it, you can start it, but you can’t actually see it. You wouldn’t be able to get the evidence you might need for an insurance claim if something happened. That’s where our camera, the Secure360, steps in and that’s where the 4G connection gives you visual confirmation of... Read the rest of the story HERE.









What’s Happening December 2018

With an increased media presence, a bigger exhibit hall and education sessions added in Spanish or with translators, the second year of KnowledgeFest Long Beach is projected to be even more successful—with the goal of making it an international event.

Words by Rosa Sophia


The first KnowledgeFest Long Beach took place in 2018, attracting over 1,100 attendees, and the second is scheduled for February 23 to 25, 2019. It is anticipated to have roughly the same amount of manufacturer trainings—60 hours—along with 30 to 40 hours of educational sessions.

Chris Cook, president of the Mobile Electronics Association, stated that he anticipates a significant growth in retailer attendance along with more interaction in education sessions. “Our first year was great, and our second year should be even better,” he said. Because more exhibitors are expected, the conference will be taking place in a much larger hall.

“We sold out the space last year,” Cook said, adding that it made sense to choose a larger hall in the Long Beach Convention Center for the 2019 event. “The hall we’re moving into is about 65 percent larger than the hall we used last year,” he noted.

With the completion of the first event came lessons learned, which will be applied to the second Long Beach conference. Also expected is an increased... Read the rest of the story HERE.








Retaining Identity Within the Brand

The team at Al & Ed’s Autosound in Ontario, Calif. sets themselves apart by connecting in unique ways with clients. The shop has increased their focus on driver safety and powersports, while owner Dallas Setyadi envisions a future in which marine audio plays a larger part in his business.

Words by Rosa Sophia

In the mid-nineties, Dallas Setyadi came to the United States from Indonesia and discovered his love for car audio in California. After attending Riverside Community College and earning a degree in business, Setyadi entered the mobile electronics industry.

“I was totally new to car audio and I taught myself how to do installations,” he said, adding that car audio magazines inspired him to take things to the next level. “I would go to competitions, look at their work, buy magazines, and I would learn from all the pictures. That’s when I started teaching myself, and I began doing installs in my garage.” After working independently for two years, he set his sights on Al & Ed’s Autosound.

He worked at five other locations, then arrived at the Ontario, Calif. location, which he eventually bought in 2016 and currently owns.

Setyadi’s shop does a lot of custom fabrication, as well as lights, bumpers, lift kits and vehicle security. As an Al & Ed’s franchise location, name recognition and brand, products and advertising are all part of what the store receives as a member of the franchise.

Switching From Commission to Hourly Improves Staff Morale

The staff consists of Darren Sprayberry, who is the service manager and has been voted both in the Top 12 and the Top 100 Installers in the past; Adrian Preston, technician; Ludwing Monterroso, product specialist; and Franklin Pineda, product specialist. Setyadi himself is both a salesman and an installer.

Recently, the staff went from being commission-based to hourly pay. “Employees wanted it that way,” Setyadi said. “Some of them have been with us a long time and they are getting a little older, so they may not be as fast. Commission is great because you get more money, but it’s high paced, rapid and tough. With hourly, they can take more time with working on the... Read the rest of the story HERE.







How can you get the most out of your TSS or point-of-sale program? Consider the many features you may not be utilizing and learn to apply them to maximize both efficiency and profits.

Words by Richard Basler

When I was asked if I would be willing to write an article about the top 10 things you may not know about TSS, I said yes to the opportunity pretty quickly. I was excited about the chance to write an article for Mobile Electronics magazine, but nervous as well, since I had never written an article before. After a couple of days I began to think about what readers might have to say about a TSS article, such as, “Oh, great, another story about TSS.” But when I gave it some further thought, I realized I could write the article about TSS—and incorporate my thoughts and opinions based on 22 years of retail experience, which included using TSS at a 12-volt retail store, and other point-of-sale programs I worked with during that time.

It still surprises me when I speak with retailers and hear how little they are actually using of their TSS or point-of-sale program. These programs are designed to help us, but they are often underutilized. In this article, my goal is to provide TSS users with new information, so they can take full advantage of the program’s capabilities. I also want to provide some general information to encourage retailers to use TSS, or any other point-of-sale programs, in order to better manage and track their businesses.

Google Calendar Sync with TSS Scheduler

In TSS you can link each bay on the schedule screen to a Google Calendar you create within an existing Google Account. When you create a Google Account, a calendar is one of the features of that account. You have the ability to create additional calendars and name them whatever you choose. Each calendar you create is provided its own unique calendar ID.

To create the link between a bay on the schedule screen in TSS with a Google Calendar, begin by highlighting and copying the calendar ID of the first calendar and then close all browsers on the computer. Now go into the employee record for bay 1 of TSS, click the edit tab, then click the link tab, paste the ID into the calendar ID field of the window that opens and click the OK tab. Make sure there are... [Click Here] to read the rest of the feature.



Loud and Proud

With a strong SPL heritage, brick-and-mortar business model, unwavering respect for its dealers and solid Midwest values, DD Audio delivers not just the goods, but its good nature to all.

Words by Jamie Sorcher

Deep in the heart of America, based in Oklahoma City—a place nicknamed the Big Friendly—is where DD Audio has made its home. The company’s products, including marine, mobile, home, professional and industrial markets, as well as OEM, are American-designed and manufactured.

“We are very well known for our big subwoofers,” said sales and service manager Kevin Doyle, who has been with the company for nine years and is one of its 35 employees. “Our heritage is competition.”

Always Available to Assist Dealers, Above and Beyond today, DD Audio not only continues to carry that torch, but also maintains the incredibly strong rapport it has built with its dealer base. Part of that foundation comes from DD Audio’s sales team that is... Read the rest of the story HERE.







Community Focused

While Car-Tunes Inc. continues an ongoing remodel and prepares for a January anniversary marking 35 years in business, owner Kimberly Trainer makes innovation and strategy a part of her daily routine with the goal of giving clients exactly what they are looking for.

Words by Rosa Sophia

Car-Tunes Inc. in Greenville, Miss. endeavors to give the people what they want. When a nearby music store closed down several years ago, locals came into Car-Tunes and asked if they sold guitar strings, said owner Kimberly Trainer. “It just fits in so well with what we do.” She added that the business now sells musical instruments and related equipment to churches, schools, hobbyists and more.

Space for these items was factored into the recent remodel, which is still ongoing. “Eighteen years ago, we were a car stereo shop,” Trainer said, “but now we also have equal amounts of marine equipment, motorcycle equipment and safety items. We also sell guitars, keyboards and drums. Everything we do has to do with music.” Even Trainer’s youngest daughter is a musician and first learned to play the piano using a keyboard in the store.

Thanks to the remodel, everything is very interactive, she added. Customers can plug their phones into the units on the soundboard and listen to their own music to experience available products. Relatively new to home theater, the shop also offers an area for sampling theater-grade surround sound, Trainer said, along with popcorn for the ultimate experience.

Car-Tunes has been open since 1984, and Trainer has owned the business since 2001. In January of 2019, the shop will have been open for 35 years. According to Trainer, it began as an investment and became a passion.

From Banking and Finance to Business Ownership

Eighteen years ago, Trainer was looking for an investment. She went into Car-Tunes one day and asked the owner whether he’d be interested in selling. “He said no. He had started the business,” Trainer said. “But he thought about it, and a few weeks later he called me back and... Read the rest of the story HERE.






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