Lee Distad

Lee Distad

Lee Distad is a rAVe columnist and freelance writer covering topics from CE to global business and finance in both print and online. Reach him at lee@ravepubs.com

Holdbacks

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It’s not a particularly glamorous topic to write about, let alone read, but anyone whose work falls within the bounds of the construction industry needs to have a grasp of liens and holdbacks, since they affect all parties, including suppliers, subcontractors, general contractors and owners. The definition of a holdback is related to its context, […]

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Filtering Out Bad Clients

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Previously, I’d gone into depth about the basics of managing your relationships with your clients which, when you drill down, is about how you manage your communication with them. Early on, while talking about initial interviews and needs assessment, I’d alluded to the using the initial needs assessment as a filter, not just to identify […]

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Going to Get Myself Connected

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It doesn’t feel like that long ago that network connectivity in AV hardware was an idea more noted in the breach than in the observance. But times have changed. What started with lighting control and other automation hardware eventually migrated into mainstream AV products. Honestly, once you’ve got those features, there’s no going back. Luxuries […]

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Partnering With A Buying Group

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Owners, general managers and inventory managers of AV companies routinely need to consider the pros and cons of buying products either from the manufacturer or a distributor. In addition to those options, there are also buying groups: an organizing of dealers who negotiate terms with their suppliers collectively. The primary rationale for buying groups is […]

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Subcontracting, Part 2

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Previously, I began an exploration of the relationship between AV pros and subcontractors, and examined ways in which the relationship can work. Now it’s time to consider the converse: when it doesn’t. We all know that not everything pans out. Silicon Valley old-timer James Altucher famously said, “90 percent of everything doesn’t work out.” One […]

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Random Encounters

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When you deal with the public you get to meet all kinds of people, for better or for worse. Most people you deal with are average, and as a result not necessarily memorable. Others are more memorable, and not always in a good way. I had a new client who wanted a retrofit project: a […]

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Should You Service What You Didn’t Sell?

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There’s an advertising catchphrase that’s probably dates back to the dawn of advertising: “We service what we sell!” You’ll see it appended as a tagline everywhere from car dealerships to general merchandise retailers. Last week my kitchen fridge died. It was only seven years old. I say “kitchen fridge” to differentiate it from the downstairs […]

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The Joys Of Troubleshooting

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Everyone who knows me knows that I have an aphorism for every occasion. (I have sports metaphors too, but that’s not the topic at hand today.) One of my favorite aphorisms (although really, I have so many, it’s hard to choose a favorite) is that “Professionalism isn’t about not having problems: Everyone has problems. Professionalism […]

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Adapt or Perish

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Everything changes and the pace of that change can be dizzying. Change for its own sake, however, isn’t always advisable. It needs to be carefully considered. A recurring trend in my discussions with consumer electronics dealers is their efforts in exploring avenues by which they can both differentiate themselves and seek new margin-building categories. Over […]

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Should You Pay Co-op Dollars for Placement?

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This can be a sensitive subject to both suppliers and resellers, so I will endeavor to tread lightly. In CE retail, co-op promotional costs are largely the norm. That’s where the supplier supports their dealers’ sales efforts with measures that can range from subsidizing advertising costs, to sell-through credits, to paying for product placement in-store. […]

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