Now with House-Brand Cameras, Could WAVE Electronics Be Next SnapAV?
Chasing SnapAV, distributor WAVE Electronics launches Lux cameras, nabs Honeywell security, prints logos on Amazon Echo, packages DIY products for security pros.
WAVE Electronics is beginning to look a lot like SnapAV, the popular distributor of house-branded audio, video, networking, surveillance and other home-technology products. For its part, WAVE just launched its ninth category of house-branded products, the LUX line of security cameras and video recorders.
WAVE’s Ainslie Fukuda, VP purchasing and merchandising, doesn’t shy away from comparisons to SnapAV, calling WAVE the “closest thing to SnapAV, but we have 11 locations and the best brands in the industry.”
SnapAV has no branch locations; WAVE will open its eleventh in Anaheim, Calif., this summer.
SnapAV also carries few products outside of its own house brands – house brands that routinely land among the top three brands specified by CE Pro 100 dealers.
WAVE, on the other hand, distributes industry-leading brands in networking (Luxul, Ubiquiti), audio (NuVo, Polk, Proficient, Sonos, Sunfire), home automation (Lutron, RTI, Savant, Z-Wave, Ring, Skybell, HAI), video (Sony, Samsung, JVC) and much more.
WAVE Security & Surveillance
And then there’s security. WAVE sells lots of it, ever since the distributor picked up 2Gig alarm systems in 2012. Most recently, WAVE began carrying Honeywell security systems – according to Fukuda, the first distributor to offer the brand outside of ADI, which Honeywell owns.
WAVE is doubling down on security, launching a house brand of surveillance systems called LUX.
The product line comes from Point Security, an alarm dealer based in Austin, Texas.
Point Security developed the camera line about four years ago to boost margins on its security sales. Designing the products in-house and sourcing them from Asia, Point Security was able to provide “95 percent of the performance and analytics of similar cameras that are twice the price,” says Todd Fitch, principal of both Point Security and Lux Technologies.
Soon, LUX was selling the cameras to other security dealers and finally inked a deal with WAVE last year.
LUX Technologies from WAVE Electronics
WAVE is now the exclusive distributor of the LUX line, which includes indoor/outdoor cameras and video recorders – both analog and digital.
WAVE isn’t new to the OEM business. The company started building its own products under the MSTR umbrella in 2013 with a line of mounts (BRKT), HDMI cables (CABL) and speaker/data/coax wire (WIRE). Today, the distributor also offers its own A/V distribution (LINK), power management (POWR), video projection screens (SCRN), equipment racks (RACK), speakers (Elura by Sonance) and now cameras (LUX).
While WAVE already is successful with popular surveillance products from IC Realtime, Fukuda says a house brand was a “necessity,” especially given SnapAV’s value-priced Wirepath line. IC Realtime and Wirepath are the two top brands among CE Pro 100 integrators, with 51 percent and 48 percent of top dealers specifying the brands, respectively.
WAVE turned to LUX for help on the camera line because Point Security was already selling 200 surveillance systems per month.
“They went through the learning curve” to develop successful products at competitive price points, Fukuda says.
Today, the LUX video recorders integrate with Control4 and RTI, with Elan drivers coming soon. Fukuda says the products wholesale for thirty- to fifty-percent less than SnapAV’s Wirepath. As with Wirepath, the LUX brand is protected, only available via WAVE through authorized dealers.
WAVE’s Other Value Added Services
WAVE’s growing line of OEM products reflects the distributor’s philosophy of being a one-stop shop.
The company has an active tech-support group that can absorb the burden often placed on manufacturers.
“We field calls from 8,000 dealers,” says Fukuda. “We want to be the front line of defense. We don’t want dealers to call the manufacturer, because we have all the products in the chain. So [for example], Onkyo isn’t blaming Atlona for HDMI issues.”
Plenty of distributors offer tech support for the “all the products in the chain,” but WAVE supports dealers in other unique ways.
For example, they have an in-house silk-screening operation to print logos on Amazon Echos (better than stickers, Joe Whitaker), thermostats, security panels, t-shirts, “pretty much anything” the dealer desires, according to Fukuda.
WAVE also has a programming staff that preconfigures 2Gig security/automation systems for dealers, whether those dealers install the systems themselves or offer for self-installation.
In the case of professional installation, WAVE ships the products in bulk to dealers, packaged in generic boxes for easy delivery. Fukuda says dealers can “knock out” two or three more jobs per day than they would otherwise.
For dealers that bundle systems for DIY installs, WAVE will preconfigure the systems, package them in boxes with the dealer’s own branding, customize the instructions if requested, and ship directly to the end user.
Devices are already paired with the 2Gig panel and uploaded to Alarm.com for interactive services.
The customer “just sticks on the contacts, powers the panel and logs into Alarm.com,” Fukuda says. “Everything is ready to go.”
If security dealers don’t already have a portal for customers to order self-installed systems, WAVE has programmers for that too.
At the end of the day, WAVE wants to bring as many products and services in-house as possible, says Fukuda: “There’s only one neck to choke.”
Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Email Julie at email@example.com
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