or register for your Samsung Custom Integrator account
By Jim Mayo
Happy holidays! For those of you that may not know me, I am the Director of Custom Install/Specialty Channel Strategy for Samsung.
Did you know that 28 percent of the TVs sold by custom integrators are simply purchased at retail? This is beyond disappointing. Perhaps these integrators are indifferent to video screen performance or it’s an easy out when having to quote prices. Maybe these integrators are just happy to charge for the labor. The bottom line, however, is that it’s a shocking loss of profitability on a big-ticket item.
Samsung has done several things this year that should encourage these integrators to alter their mindset and begin realizing significant gross profit dollar increases in their project work.
Let me break it down by focusing on the four profit points we are encouraging integrators to adopt:
Moving from FHD to UHD | Focus on premium SKUs | Focus on Big Screen TVs | Samsung Frame
The first way to realize more profit is to shift your focus from entry-level Full HD products (FHD) to superior 4K UHD products. FHD products are found everywhere and you won’t stand out from Big Box by selling me-too products. Instead, focus your sales on Samsung’s QLED product assortment. It’s simply a matter of explaining why investing in the latest technology provides a better picture and more enjoyment. People get that!
And we are focusing on improving overall profit margin on our Unilateral Price Protected (UPP) product assortment. UPP assortment of UHD products has grown almost 50 percent in 2018 YTD. Our margins are anywhere from 15 to 25 points higher in the UPP UHD space than FHD. Dealers supporting Samsung UPP TV are realizing these improved profit dollars. Going deeper in the UPP assortment, let’s look at the top selling Q8, Q9, Frame and soon-to-be top selling Q900 8K series. The 75” Q8, non-OCB (One Connect Box) model sells unilaterally for $3,499, affording you roughly $1,000 in profit. Up selling to the 75Q9 generates approximately $1,500 in profit.
Now let’s talk about 75” and larger TV sales in the U.S. and the NPD Group’s ranking of share-by-major-brand. Samsung crossed a threshold rarely seen in the U.S. marketplace, surpassing 70 percent share in the 75” and larger space. Samsung’s strategy is to become the big screen of choice, so keep in mind what this means for you. Our most premium products have our highest margins, and within our most premium products, our largest screen sizes afford the highest margins and gross profit dollar potential. I recommend you take the time to review, and really consider the value to your business to stop buying at retail. Take the time and price out the product. I think you will be extremely satisfied when it comes to profitability and Samsung. And I can assure you, Samsung will be “doubling down” on both premium and big screen in 2019. We intend to continue to lead in the fastest growing space in the CI channel.
While I have your attention on profitability and what Samsung can mean to your available gross profit dollars, please don’t forget another key tool we put into your arsenal starting in 2017 and expanded in 2018. Frame TV. Frame TV is our secret weapon. Unique in the market, promoted minimally, affording max margin at all times. Frame is even more important when you think about expanding your installs to rooms where traditional TVs are resisted. Since a Frame is more like a piece of art, you can now demo to your clients how you can rotate art in the family room, the dining room, the bedroom; really any room in the house. Frame = More TVs sold, more opportunity to custom install in multiple rooms, and more gross profit for you the integrator.
Finally, a word on the world around us. In 2018, Samsung made a commitment to stabilize our product positioning by launching products at competitive price points and reducing our promotional calendar. The results have been very positive, providing a line of industry leading products that you can sell and spec with confidence. The goals with integrators is to simplify the purchase path for you by making the product available to you from any distribution path you choose, reduce our promotional cadence to broaden the window in which you can purchase at quote pricing, and provide improved product not found at every retailer. It is challenging, but we are moving in the right direction.
If you’re still purchasing TVs at retail, or not taking enough time to look at what Samsung is doing in the premium TV space with your clients, please take some time to look at the product and programs we’ve put together for the CI channel. Don’t leave money on the table. Samsung is doing everything to put those dollars in your pocket, so don’t miss out.
By The Editors
“Always plan ahead. After all, it wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.” - Richard Cushing
We know that many of you who specify equipment for future projects are concerned with new model introductions and emerging technologies. Features change, protocols are updated, prices fluctuate. So you do your best to look down the road and anticipate what the future might bring. You have to be part technologist, and part futurist!
Video is just one of those technologies that continues to evolve. And now that Samsung has introduced 8K technology to the marketplace, there’s no turning back! So let’s talk about the best way to communicate 8K technology to your customers today, and why it’s important to specify 8K for every project down the road – either new construction or re-models.
The best way to demonstrate the future of video imagery - especially those of you with showrooms or retail locations - is to show your customers something they’ve never seen before. Unbelievably smooth and ultra-crisp 8K resolution. An image that is truly immersive. And one that will draw your customers deeper into the picture than ever before.
After all, big screen TVs are what your customers are asking for. And 8K delivers the best images regardless of source material. But how do we explain to customers that they are not only investing in the future when they purchase 8K, but that they can also experience this totally immersive experience even with their current catalog of movies and streaming channels?
When you talk about 8K, especially for today’s installations, you must educate your customers and let them know that the new Samsung 8K series use revolutionary AI-powered upscaling. The 8K QLED TV automatically remasters your client’s favorite content into stunning, lifelike 8K detail. And by combining 8K detail with HDR technology, Samsung has enhanced both the brightest and darkest colors in the image, for a picture that is stunningly real.
Quantum Processor 8K. The cornerstone of our new 8K TV big screen products is our Quantum Processor 8K. This is our most powerful TV processor ever. Rest assured that whatever your clients watch, this processor will give them the best Samsung picture, sound and Smart TV experience available.
Elevate the 8K Experience. Finally, when you talk about Samsung and big screen TVs, don’t forget to explain how you can elevate your clients’ viewing experience – whether the TV is on or off. That’s because of our unique Ambient Mode™, which homeowners and interior designers are raving about.
With Ambient Mode, a QLED 8K TV can mimic the wall pattern behind it, so even an 85” screen can disappear into the home’s décor. It can also display family photos and useful information, like the day’s headlines and/or weather alerts. Ambient Mode is a huge selling feature when it comes to big screen TVs. Don’t forget to include that when you introduce your customers to the future. The future that begins today. Samsung 8K.
And please visit the new 8K section on the Samsung website for more information on how we’re promoting the technology and experience.
By The Editors
We recently sat down with Dennis Jaques of Maverick Integration in New Hampshire to talk about his businesses and his involvement with Samsung.
Samsung Connections: Dennis, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. First, can you tell us a bit about your business in Nashua, NH and the Greater Boston area?
Dennis Jaques: Yes, and thanks for rolling out the soap box for me! Maverick Integration is an award-winning residential and commercial technology integration firm working in the finest homes, offices and public buildings throughout the Northeast, all along the Eastern Seaboard, and in the Caribbean.
We regularly lead projects large and small, overseeing every detail, from planning through construction and completion. We consult with and work as part of design-build teams to make sure architects, developers and designers are considering the best in home technology for their clients.
SC: You also started your own technical school to identify and train the next generation of CI channel installers. Tell us a bit about the school.
DJ: Maverick Technical Institute offers classroom and hands-on career training for students who wish to pursue a certificate as a Low Voltage Technician (LVT). Trained LVTs will be able to work on systems including home theater, automation control, video, camera, computers, rack assembly, telecom, lighting and cable.
We specifically designed the curriculum for creative individuals looking to start a career path involving residential and commercial low-voltage technology.
SC: You also helped create a peer-to-peer group called The Guild. Tell us about that new enterprise.
DJ: It’s called The Guild Integrators Alliance. The Guild was formed to bring peace of mind to clients, trade partners, and industry peers whose lives and work regularly take them to new horizons. Each Guild member adheres to the highest standards in technology design and integration. So once a client or design-build professional has worked with one of our member firms, they can confidently engage any other, in a different location, and expect the same level of creativity, care and execution.
Better yet, because of our partnerships, our knowledge base and appetite for innovation is immeasurably maximized. So, those new horizons you’re navigating? We’ll meet you there and be ready to lead the way.
SC: Excellent. Let’s talk Samsung. Recently, you went to Korea to visit our facilities as part of our first ever Custom Integrator Summit, where you met with product designers. Can you give us a few takeaways from the trip?
DJ: The obvious first takeaway was just the fact that Samsung is even interested in talking to us – custom integrators! It is unusual for such a large corporation to give us time and listen to our concerns. I know that the group who preceded our visit included buyers from national retailers, so it tells me that our voices matter in the grand scheme of things. And that’s a powerful message as it relates to future products and future technology.
We talked with the engineers who were receptive to our ideas. We were shown new 8K TVs and other products that are coming out early next year. They solicited our input and feedback on what will help grow the CI channel – for Samsung as well as the integrator.
SC: As Samsung works to build products and solutions for the CI channel, where do you see the technology going and how can this help the integrator grow their business?
DJ: MicroLED (The Wall) is an exciting technology, making it a scalable solution for residential and commercial installations. We will be able to take that technology – direct view LED – and put that into large spec homes, allowing us to create scalable video presentations.
I personally think that 3rd party automation is in its sunset years. Having each device in the home – from lights to TVs, communicate with each other on an open protocol is the future. And Samsung is already designing and thinking about this concept in their product mix, across different verticals. My Samsung phone knows the washing machine cleaning load is done and now the laundry needs to go into the dryer – I get a friendly reminder on my phone. Samsung products are ubiquitous in homes and cars, and they communicate with one another. I think that’s the future.
We’re seeing a lot of consolidation in the industry, with large firms like Legrand acquiring a broad array of companies. Their goal will be to ensure that the various products and technologies talk with one another, and that presents comprehensive solutions that work for today’s home integration firms.
SC: We understand Samsung is considering bringing you back in the Spring to do a deeper dive in getting your input on future products that are catered to the CI channel. Are you planning to go? And if so, what are your expectations?
DJ: Yes, I’m planning on attending. What I’d like to see is real product designs in the early stages of development. Even if those products never see the light of day, I’d like to be in those planning meetings to add my voice and experience. It’s not a good use of my time to just show me what’s shipping next month or what you already have going into pre-production, so I hope I get the opportunity to really give some input on future product development based on my own real-world expertise.
SC: Any advice for your fellow integrators around the country as it pertains to video and where to focus their energies?
DJ: Sell performance, not features. Stop selling cheap stuff. As far as Samsung products, concentrate on the QLED Q8 and Q9 series.
SC: Where will we find Dennis Jaques when he isn’t working?
DJ: With five kids, there is always a sporting event on my schedule!
Corporate HQ & Showroom
589 West Hollis Street
Nashua, NH 03062
By The Editors
The 2018 holiday season is underway and gaming sales are projected to go through the roof. In addition to highly anticipated titles and services that make it better than ever before to be a gamer, hardware continues to be hot. Microsoft’s Xbox One X, the world’s most powerful console, is the only one capable of running games - like projected top-seller Red Dead Redemption 2 - at native 4K resolution. Paired with the Samsung QLED TV series, the perfect TV for displaying 4K images, gameplay comes through in spectacular colors and deep blacks, and with AMDFree Sync, there’s virtually no gaming lag. Playing games on an Xbox One X connected to a Samsung QLED TV is a stunning experience that can’t really be replicated by any other game or console available right now.
Xbox and Samsung engineers worked together to ensure that the Xbox One X and QLED products are not only compatible, but designed to complement each other and provide the best performance of any console/monitor gaming system. While visuals are important, understanding lag – and how to eliminate it – can make the difference between a good gaming experience and a great one. Screen tearing and stuttering diminish a gamer’s playing experience. And always keep in mind, gamers are incredibly competitive. Online gaming is huge and any competitive edge a player can gain is enormous. Knowing how to sell solutions that address this can help make you the go-to dealer for gamers in your market.
There are three areas of lag you need to know about, and know how to solve for when it comes to gaming hardware and broadband support. Whether it’s a gaming system for a kid’s room or a dedicated gaming theater, here’s what customers need to know:
Console Performance. There are a variety of factors that can create image tears and stuttering, including communication issues between a console’s processor, and the TV itself. The Xbox One X’s AMD Radeon™ processor uses FreeSync technology that resolves these issues, dramatically reducing choppy gameplay and broken frames for a more fluid performance. In addition to supporting FreeSync technology for a quality experience, Samsung QLED televisions provide native 4K resolution for the very best color and black level rendition available in a console.
TV Performance. For gamers, the Samsung QLED TV Series provides a dramatic 4K HDR gaming experience. It leverages quantum dot technology to bring even the smallest graphical details to life. And with 3-step image processing, the QLED TV features an exceptionally low input lag of less than 20 milliseconds to provide a seamless experience on even the most demanding multiplayer games. Meanwhile, a lifetime guarantee against burn-in means that gamers will never have to worry about potential display damage that could distract them from their next mission.
Samsung QLED TVs takes quantum dot technology to the next level with advancements in light efficiency, stability and a wider color spectrum. The QLED TV can express accurate color and achieve 100 percent color volume, providing a realistic gaming experience just as the game developers intended. In addition, QLED TVs 4K HDR Elite features rich, deep black levels and bold contrast that displays hidden detail, with no loss or distortion of color regardless of the room’s lighting conditions.
And because Xbox and Samsung engineers partnered in product development, Samsung QLED TVs feature Auto Game Mode that supports the Xbox One X. The console automatically optimizes TV settings for an enhanced gaming experience with minimal input lag and ultra-fast refresh rates.
Broadband Performance. Here is where you can really demonstrate your expertise and differentiate yourself in the marketplace. If your client wants to experience the new Samsung QLED TVs combined with the Xbox One X, make sure you ask them about their internet hardware. Will they be hard-wired or running wireless? Will they need to make any upgrades to their service or hardware?
Broadband lag is critical to the gaming experience as console, and since we’re talking native 4K, you really need to provide a total solution for your customers this holiday season. Don’t forget to ask about your customer’s current network set-up and explain why broadband delivery is critical when putting together the ultimate gaming experience.
And don’t forget the audio! Make sure to let your customers know that the new Samsung soundbars we developed in partnership with Harman International support Dolby Atmos™. And so does the Xbox One X!
When you put it all together, make sure your customers know that constant screen tearing and stuttering are things of the past. Show them the most epic gaming experience featuring Samsung QLED TVs and soundbars, and the Microsoft Xbox One X, the only console with 4K native resolution. Have a successful and prosperous holiday selling season.
By The Service Team
Did you know that you could save time and money, get paid for service calls you currently aren’t being compensated for, and provide your customers with unparalleled service for the Samsung products you sell? Well you can! It’s simply a matter of becoming a Samsung 5-Star Service Center. Let us show you just how easy it is and how you’ll benefit and profit from this exciting program.
First things first. It takes only 10 minutes to get started. That’s right. Your up front cost is zero, zip, nada, bubkus. It is just a matter of enrolling in the program and providing some company background information. Go here to enroll.
Let’s talk about pain points. Currently, in the rare instance that a Samsung product requires service, you currently may rely on 3rd party technicians. While your customer anxiously waits to find out how you are going to resolve a warranty issue, you are dependent on the response time of that 3rd party technician. In other words, you’re not in complete control. And that’s a pain point.
But when you become a Samsung 5-Star Service Center, you’re in complete control.
Dedicated Hotline. First of all, your experience as an authorized service center starts with having direct access to our internal service department. In other words, you will not be routed to a Call Center – you will go directly to the service department. Your technician will be talking to the guys who can walk them through each step to verify what is actually going on with the product. This is a huge time-saver. And time is money!
Advanced Technical Training. Your technicians will have access to training materials that include short videos covering the range of Samsung products. Our products are modular in nature and easily repaired. Once you are an authorized service center, your technician becomes educated on how to handle Samsung products and they gain access to our library of how-to service manuals – they even learn about hidden service manuals embedded in our TVs and other back-door options that help facilitate service issues.
Easy Parts Ordering. As a service center, you gain access to our parts distribution inventory and ordering system. A huge benefit is that you will also gain access to our inventory of out-of-warranty parts. This means you’ll enjoy a discount on these parts versus shopping online with parts distributors. It also means you can support your clients from installation to end of product life, offering best-in-class service.
Labor Compensation. Best of all, CI integration firms who become authorized 5-Star Service Centers bill Samsung for labor costs. Most clients expect free service calls during warranty periods, so you’re currently having to eat those labor costs. But by becoming a Samsung service center, you can recoup labor costs based on our current labor compensation rates.
Bottom line. Becoming a Samsung 5-Star Service Center is a no cost – no loss opportunity. If you never have to service a Samsung product, you’re not out any money because there is no up-front cost or investment required on your part.
But in those rare instances when a Samsung product does need servicing, you can provide fast, efficient service and resolve technical issues for your clients and impress them with your best-in-class service chops. So register today.
And that’s our Tip of the Month.
Did someone forward this email to you? Sign up to get future issues of Samsung Connections, plus access to our custom integration resource center.
Did someone forward this email to you? Sign up to get future issues of Samsung Connections, plus access to our custom integration resource center.