Achieving Operational Excellence

CEDIA EXPO Keynote and other news from CEDIA for October 9/28/2011 7:26 AM Eastern

Achieving Operational Excellence

Sep 28, 2011 11:26 AM

Companies today are looking for ways to increase their bottom line, decrease operating expenses, and run leaner – the economy almost requires it. This was the message of CEDIA EXPO keynote speaker, Tim Costello, Chairman and CEO of Builder Homesite and New Home Technologies, whose presentation focused on helping attendees learn how to cope with the new normal economy.

Costello presented some tips designed to help electronic systems contractors grow their businesses during difficult times. One of these tips was focusing on operational excellence.

What exactly does operational excellence mean? According to Costello it means having a disciplined program of waste elimination. There are numerous ways to eliminate waste, from reducing unnecessary overhead to standardizing your processes. CEDIA has several tools available to members to help them keep their companies operating at peak performance.

Inbound Marketing White Paper

The Inbound Marketing White Paper was developed to give CEDIA member companies and industry professionals a framework for understanding the concept of inbound marketing as well as the basic structure of an inbound marketing campaign.

This white paper outlines the key elements involved in inbound marketing, complete with tips for execution. The white paper also includes CEDIA member testimonials designed to help determine whether inbound marketing is appropriate for your company. The Inbound Marketing White Paper is targeted toward companies with no experience in inbound marketing as well as those with limited to moderate experience who are looking to build on their knowledge of the concept. The Inbound Marketing White Paper is available free for CEDIA members and can be purchased by non-members for $25 in the CEDIA Marketplace at

2011 Benchmarking Survey Report

With the challenges all businesses face in today’s market, utilization of industry research and data will help company owners make better decisions and plan for the future. The CEDIA Benchmarking Survey report provides detailed benchmarks, best practices, and trend analysis based on data collected from CEDIA member electronic systems contractor (ESC) companies. The data represents company information in such categories as strategic and business planning, financial performance and management, operations, and staffing and compensation.

The CEDIA Benchmarking Survey is designed to provide external references and best practices that will help ESCs evaluate and improve their business operations. The full Benchmarking Survey report, conducted by independent research firm Brand Ubiquity, will be made available free of charge to the CEDIA members who participated in the survey. The survey is available for purchase through the CEDIA Marketplace at

Achieving Operational Excellence

Sep 28, 2011 11:26 AM

The Sales Assessment Tool

Richard James & Partners have created a Sales Assessment Tool customized for CEDIA members. The Sales Assessment Tool assists companies in determining whether a potential employee will perform well in their sales environment. This tool was created based on sales research from the largest sales database in the world.

The Sales Assessment Tool may also be used to establish a fair set of standards for sales staff. This tool normally costs companies $300, but the CEDIA member version is available for $99. Contact Meredith Cummings (at with questions about the Sales Assessment Tool.

Chart of Accounts

Is your company not making money – or not making enough money – and you don’t know why? This is a common question among many ESCs. The answer may be hiding in your financial statements and corresponding chart of accounts, but you may not be able to find the solutions you need if your financial statements and accounts are not organized in a meaningful way.

Business knowledge is crucial to manage a successful and profitable company. CEDIA has developed a Recommended Chart of Accounts for members to use. CEDIA’s fundamental goal is to provide ESCs with the help they need to set up an accounting system that supports profitability. This is a great tool for new companies looking to get started on the right path, companies changing their accounting system, or more established companies looking for recommended modifications.

CEDIA members can log in to the forum on CEDIA Crosspoint at, where they can download the Recommended Chart of Accounts and corresponding White Paper, make comments, ask questions, and share information with peers. If you have questions about the Recommended Chart of Accounts; contact Erica Shonkwiler at

Visit the CEDIA YouTube channel at to view the Annual CEDIA EXPO Keynote in its entirety and check out Costello’s other tips to thrive in a down economy.

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