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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
The partner program “sealed the deal” for Electronic Dreams. “I’m all about the bottom line,” says Byars, rattling off the rebates and rewards available through the program.

Product Development and Support
Meanwhile, the low-tech nature of its product lines also enables lean-and-mean customer service (five people) and tech support departments (two people, but soon to be three).  But the company’s latest venture might change that.

SnapAV is set to roll out a line of analog surveillance equipment to the market in mid July. The development of the line is being overseen by G. Paul Hess, a transplant from Elan with years of engineering experience in the category. The line will consist of eight cameras (four domes and four bullet) and three DVRs.

Hess is one of six category managers at SnapAV; each one is responsible for product development within their respective categories: screens, racks, loudspeakers, cable, surveillance and mounts.  A new line of subwoofers will join the line card soon.

“It’s all about getting data from the dealers,” says Craig Craze, COO. “We are not an engineering-driven company. We are driven by dealer demand.”

Identity Crisis
For everything that has gone right, there have been a few hiccups. SnapAV has suffered a bit from an identity crisis among integrators who don’t know if the company is a distributor or a manufacturer or a dealer.

President Jay Faison created SnapAV alongside his integration company, Zobo, as an alternative to get more profit out of key product categories. The two companies have operated separately for the past four years and were legally separated 2.5 years ago. The installation company offered the added bonuses of being able to conduct R&D in the field on what products are needed and to test installation efficiency. Plus, it allowed them to gauge consumer reaction to pricing. Faison recently sold Zobo to Audio Advice, so SnapAV now uses a dealer development team for product vetting.

In addition to its own products, SnapAV sells products from two other companies: Arlington Industries (wall plates and other peripherals) and Stuart Tools (tools). Those products account for 5 percent of Snap’s sales revenues.

The identity crisis hasn’t seemed to hurt sales. As mentioned, the company has seen revenues of $16 million and $31 million the past two years in the midst of recession. It is tracking to do $50 million this year, according to Levy.

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  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 · Mount · Screens · Security · SnapAV · Wire and Cable · All Topics
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