CE Pro of the Week: Ashley Morelli, System 7
As an architect she brings a high level of CAD sophistication to her company’s system designs.
Each week, we aim to provide an informative - yet colorful - profile of one of your fellow CE pros. Interested in being featured yourself? See below.
How would you use Twitter to describe what your company does (140 character limit)?
I would use the recent reference we got from a renowned architect we work with who called us the only integration company they have worked with who thinks like an architect.
After you complete a project, what do you think your typical client tells his friend about the experience?
Our customers often talk as much about what we told them not to do as they they talk about what we told them to do.
They speak about our professionalism when we design, install and, most importantly, support their technology needs over time. They respect that we are not arrogant or pushy techs, but that we are careful to listen to our customers and build them elegant systems that fit their lifestyle and personality and that are first and foremost aesthetically pleasing, simple to use and reliable.
That is the backbone of a strong referral based network.
- Employee: Ashley Morelli, designer/project manager
- Location: Winchester, Mass. (office and showroom)
- Web site: http://www.sevenhomes.com
- Years in Business: 8
- Number of employees: 7
- Residential/Commercial Split: 90%/10%
- Number of 2009 Installations: 23 (average: $35K+)
- Top 3 Brands: HomeLogic, Lutron and Savant
What can CE pros learn from your company to make them think differently and run their business better?
I am excited to be part of the team at System 7. Our company is focused on innovative thinking in approaches to system design and business.
Our founder is a start-up veteran who is committed to innovation and a fun start-up culture for our company. I am also excited that we embrace CAD as our design platform and that we work so closely with architects, mirroring our own project management processes with the established best practices of large, successful architecture firms.
What trade tip can you offer your fellow CE pros?
Never be “that guy.”
Never be that guy who told your customers to use a $5,000 audio server instead of iTunes as your music server.
Never be that guy who told your customers to buy the technology that makes you a ton of margin, but that won’t be around in a year.
Embrace new technologies along with the Internet and networking, but keep an eye on people’s lifestyles and keeping it simple. Home automation is supposed to make our customers lives easier, not harder.
What’s the wildest request you’ve ever had for an installation?
We are tying together the lighting/control/A/V system to automate plumbing hot water loops by floor. This was part of helping to meet an LEED requirement. We can turn on a hot water loop to various bathrooms with various scenarios, so that if it is after 7 p.m. and the front door is opened with the homeowners’ keyfob, we can turn on the hot water loop in his office suite.
Or if it is after 10 p.m. and the TV in the master bedroom sitting room is shut off, we can turn on the hot water loop in the master suite. Basically, this allows energy conservation by not having hot water supplied to bathrooms until it is most likely needed. We also have the loops activated on a schedule for the busy hours of each day.
What is your 3D strategy and do you think the technology will live up to the hype?
We believe that the technologies that become mainstream in the movie theater become mainstream in the home theater.
3D is a once-in-a-while technology in the movie theater and it will also be so in the home theater. It will be a must-have check box feature for that once-in-a-while event, but it is not the everyday, social, media enjoying experience that HD is.
What is your absolute favorite piece of audio demo material?
I think I heard this idea in reference to a successful piano salesman. When he first met a prospect he would quickly guess in what year they were 18 years old. Then he would play a clip from that era for them.
It is the time in their life when they always enjoy music and the music of that time will always be their favorite.
What is your absolute favorite piece of video demo material?
The film Chronos on Blu-ray is amazing. Originally shot in 70mm, it is visually stunning and draws in any audience with its imagery.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
I won second place in an industrial design competition called The 4th Bin. It was an international competition to design electronic waste recycling containers.
“Visually stunning,” Chronos on Blu-ray is a can’t-miss video demo, according to Morelli.
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Tom has been covering consumer electronics for six years. Before that, he wrote for the sports department of the Boston Herald. Migrating to magazines, he was a staff editor for a golf publication and an outdoor sports publication. Now, as senior writer/technology editor of CE Pro magazine since 2003, he dabbles in all departments and offers expertise in marketing. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org
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