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CE Pro 100: How the Top 3 Companies Remained the Same

Guardian Home Technologies, Modia and Audio Command Systems once again are the top three companies in the CE Pro 100.

CE Pro 100: How the Top 3 Companies Remained the Same
Jason Knott · May 5, 2009

There was no change in the top three companies on the 2009 CE Pro 100 from the 2008 list.

Pittsburgh area-based Guardian Home Technologies once again leads the way with $38 million in multi-subsystem home technology revenue out of 18 locations. The security giant actually has one fewer location than last year, but its revenues from this division increased by $1.6 million.

Guardian, profiled by CE Pro in the fall of 2008, is aggressively taking advantage of the economic slowdown to garner market share among builders, using security systems and basic structured wiring as the carrots on the end of the stick to get into projects.

It appears to be working. The company, which is a member of the GE Home Technologies Group, focuses on just a few brands and services, such as mounting flat-panel TVs and installing in-wall/in-ceiling speakers. The company has a goal of signing contracts with more than 600 homebuilders during the recession.

Guardian is a $127 million security company with roots in both residential and commercial alarm systems. Its pure security revenues are not tallied for the purposes of its CE Pro 100 ranking.

This year’s No. 2 company is Houston-based Modia (formerly Home Theater Store), a regional hybrid retailer with 10 stores. Similar to Guardian, Modia has one fewer location than last year. Both companies appear to have successfully contracted their expenses by shutting down a location while still maintaining strong revenues. Modia’s revenues are down $6.4 million compared to last year.

The No. 3 company is Audio Command Systems (ACS), a traditional high-end custom installation company with strong ties to the architectural community in the New York City area. ACS is a perfect example of how to withstand a recession. The company has 20 fewer employees than last year, but increased its revenues by $700,000. Its average revenue-per-employee is $242,747, which is a 21 percent increase from 2007.

Despite the poor economy, the No. 100 company on this year’s list — Structured Cable of Virginia in Richmond, Va. — has revenue almost identical to the No. 100 company from the 2007 list at $2.19 million.

There was a “casualty” among the CE Pro 100. Baumeister Electronics, the No. 41 company on the 2007 CE Pro 100, shut its doors in January. The company reported $6.1 million in revenue in 2007. Several members of the CE Pro 100 have shut down over the past five years. The lesson is that high revenues do not necessarily mean high profits.

  About the Author

Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990. He joined EH Publishing in 2000, and before that served as publisher and editor of Security Sales, a leading magazine for the security industry. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He is currently a member of the CEDIA Education Action Team for Electronic Systems Business. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at

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