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Control & Automation

How SnapAV Keeps Prices So Low

Extreme number-crunching puts SnapAV on target to sell $50M of A/V peripherals in just five years. Surveillance cameras coming soon to the SnapAV line card.


SnapAV has three warehouses that all operate in a "Just-In-Time" fashion. SnapAV is moving in July to a larger 125,000-square-foot headquarters location in Charlotte.
Jason Knott · June 13, 2011
Meanwhile, you won’t find any donuts or coffee at the company’s will-call area. In Charlotte, Levy says about 60 percent of the orders are pickups by integrators with a 2-minute wait time for call-ahead orders. The will-call area is a single set of shelves at the front of the loading dock. Nothing fancy for sure. “If those integrators planned just one day in advance, they wouldn’t need to drive here to pick up product and they would be more efficient,” he adds.

“If we weren’t this efficient, we would not able to provide products at such a low cost,” says Levy, adding that each department in the company is incentivized by efficiency metrics.

70% of Transactions Online
But the efficiency doesn’t end there. Over 70 percent of the dealer transactions with the company are made online and 65 percent are credit card deals, meaning collections is over 98 percent, so cash flow is not an issue at all. Dealers log on to SnapAV’s newly redesigned Web site to place orders All orders made before 5 p.m. are shipped that day.

An efficient Web site is no small feat. Dealers recently voted SnapAV the distributor with the best site in CE Pro’s Quest for Quality awards.

“You get all the information with just one touch,” says Rick Byars of Houston-based Electronic Dreams. “It tells you if the product is in stock, if not then the date it will ship, tracking numbers, etc. I don’t have to have it in inventory.”

He adds, “If it says three days, it is there in three days. I know I can plan my jobs around it.”

With all the devotion to technology, there is one department in the company that requires more staff: IT. There are three programmers on staff to handle e-commerce, the website and the warehouse and ordering management systems.  The company’s software costs are well into seven figures.

What it invests in IT, Snap saves in selling expenses, devoting a big chunk of that budget to dealer incentives. The company has just five inside sales reps whose priority is to pore over the purchasing data and contact integrators. In many cases, the sales team is encouraging dealers who are close to achieving certain thresholds to become part of the SnapAV Partner Program, which offers a tier of benefits including cash rebates and free shipping.

“If we had to have a massive salesforce, we wouldn’t be able to have the pricing we have,” says Levy.


  About the Author

Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald Expositions Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. 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 has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at jason.knott@emeraldexpo.com

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  Article Topics


Home Theater · Displays · Projectors & Screens · Speakers · Security · News · Media · Slideshow · Distributor · Mount · Screens · Security · SnapAV · Wire and Cable · All Topics
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