It was as if they were reading my mind on the June CE Pro VIP Peer-to-Peer networking group Zoom call. I had asked the handful of elite integrators on the call what they’d like to see CE Pro do better, since I’m now soliciting insider feedback from our readers as CE Pro‘s new editor-in-chief so I can learn how we can benefit them and the industry more.
“We want to see more of this — what we’re talking about right here,” said one veteran integrator. “Things that we’re able to talk about between ourselves.”
Indeed, the monthly VIP Peer-to-Peer calls spun out of our annual CE Summit, which is part of the Total Tech Summit (TTS) that takes place typically in November at various destinations. The CE Summit itself emanated from our annual CE Pro 100 coverage in May, in which leading dealers fill out our forms including revenue data that establishes the cutoff point for the program.
This year, the No. 100 integrator took in nearly $3M ($2.95 million) from almost 200 residential (88) and commercial (110) installs in 2022. So we are talking about the cream of the crop when it comes to operating an integration business. Except that dealers can always use more business advice, education and savvy.
That’s why the CE Pro 100 dealers get invited to be hosted, at no cost to them, at the CE Summit, which this year takes place at the MGM Resort in Las Vegas, November 13-15. Over the years, that has expanded to companies outside of the CE Pro 100, so be sure to check out totaltechsummit.com to find out how you can attend.
The VIP Peer-to-Peer calls were another way to keep the great roundtable and networking types of conversations that are the gems of Total Tech Summit going throughout the year. I’d like to tap into the vast resources of knowledge and experience that our readership — the tiny fraction of the industry that has earned placement among the CE Pro 100 as well as the thousands of other seasoned and fresh faces — to help spread these high-level insights and business operations brainstorming tips so more integrators can benefit even if they don’t attend TTS.
So here was my initial thought that I put forth to the group of VIPs on the June call — I’d like to add a monthly column from the voice of the integrator.
Now that I’m in charge of CE Pro’s editorial content, this is an idea I’ve had for a while that unfortunately is easier said than done. People get busy with work and life and can’t pull together topics of discussion or the amount of words or hit the deadline for publication, it’s just something I’ve seen over and over working for myriad publications. The volunteer commitment is there, but often the real-world time commitment is underestimated.
What I’d like to do is work with six integrators who truly want to provide thought leadership, opinions, guidance, success stories and more to a monthly “Integrator Insider” column in CE Pro. Unlike the CE Pro 100, I am not even looking for the highest-revenue integrators, I’m looking for dealers who think differently, proactively, progressively and fearlessly.
I chose six because I am hoping that two assignments of about 650-700 words apiece, spaced six months apart, is not too big of a commitment considering that you would likely be writing from yours and your company’s experiences as the lens through which to provide industry commentary.
Another reason is that geography impacts integrators a ton, whether it’s labor rates, employee wages and benefits, gas money for going to and from jobs, etc. My plan is to have the six dealers represent major areas of the U.S. — Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Northwest and Southwest — plus Canada, offering observations and opinions that can be seen on local, regional and/or national levels.
If you’re interested, contact me. Who’s in?
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