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Topic:
Would you become a C4 dealer today?
This thread has 44 replies. Displaying posts 1 through 15.
Post 1 made on Tuesday October 13, 2020 at 15:51
PSS
Senior Member
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December 2002
1,409
I'm in Los Angeles and contemplating C4 but a bit hesitant because C4 dealerships seem over saturated here. Seems they'd push referrals to larger dealers.
I come across the "do you sell C4" question a fair amount. I haven't even contacted them yet so who knows, maybe they will say they're not adding any more dealers right now.......
For you that are in large, competitive markets. Is it cut throat or is there some type of MAP?
How are they with meeting minimum purchases? Do they get on you or flexible? I've heard they will cut you off if they want to, giving you no more ability to program existing clients. Anyone experience this?
Just putting it out there, trying to get some feedback and information.
Post 2 made on Tuesday October 13, 2020 at 16:34
osiris
Long Time Member
Joined:
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391
There are too many dealers, but our local rep is pretty good about trying to get rid of the guys that are really bad. The guys that are going to discount it are well known, and I have no issues selling against them and rarely lose a job because of cheaper pricing. If we chased the McMansion and general contractor crowd it would probably be a bigger issue. There is MAP, but it's like everything, unless you can get a hard copy of a discounted bid and put it in front of the rep, nothing they can really do unless the discounting integrator is also fumbling the jobs bad enough that clients are going to C4 for solutions.

Year over year I'm starting to hear a lot more "Oh, you do Control4, I don't want that because I had it in my house/my neighbor had it and it wasn't reliable and it cost a ton to change", etc. I grew up at a Crestron shop in the mid-late 2000's, so I've been deflecting this for years, but it is an issue you just can't get past with certain prospects.

I'm sure they expect you to meet minimum purchases, but I don't know what that looks like...if you're doing good work and representing the brand well I would assume they aren't going to cut you off...but if a dealer's not selling it, what's the benefit to them to keeping that dealer on board? Far better to move the end user to an integrator that's going to present updates and keep the revenue moving.
Post 3 made on Tuesday October 13, 2020 at 17:15
Mr. Brad
Advanced Member
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April 2008
923
I think your choice is C4 or Crestron. Pick one, and get good at it. They all have their issues, but either one will be a solid choice going forward.
Post 4 made on Tuesday October 13, 2020 at 17:35
osiris
Long Time Member
Joined:
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November 2004
391
I think Savant is a legit player as well...every time I hear about it here it's always negative, but there are a number for really big, really successful companies using it as their primary control system platform, so there has to be some way to do it right.
Post 5 made on Tuesday October 13, 2020 at 18:32
internetraver
Active Member
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April 2003
712
I worked for a company years ago where we did c4 for about 2-3 years but decided to dump them because of continuous issues from their equipment.  Once we did we were no longer able to support the 50 or so C4 jobs we had.

FFW a few years later where I was a PM for a large company and C4 came a knocking.  In our initial meeting I point blank asked the rep "if we decide to no longer use your company, can we still support our clients that have your equipment?".  After attempting to beat around the bush I finally got a "no" out of him.

That's all the owner had to hear and C4 lost tens of millions (possibly in the hundred of millions) of dollars because of their decision to cut off dealers.  
Post 6 made on Tuesday October 13, 2020 at 18:49
Impaqt
RC Moderator
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October 2002
6,078
If you are picking up an automation line to get referrals, your doing something wrong.

If your getting shopped on systems, your also doing something wrong.

These are both my strong personal opinions.

I'm not a big company, but I did 15-20 Control4 jobs this year so far. not a single client shopped me.

I think Control4 desperately needs an independent programmer program so dealers can still have an avenue to support clients if they get cut off or drop the line.

But all in all, I've found Control4/Snap AV is a solid partner in this industry.
Post 7 made on Tuesday October 13, 2020 at 19:28
internetraver
Active Member
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April 2003
712
On October 13, 2020 at 18:49, Impaqt said...

But all in all, I've found Control4/Snap AV is a solid partner in this industry.

I've found the opposite from both of the companies listed.
Post 8 made on Tuesday October 13, 2020 at 19:40
Archibald "Harry" Tuttle
Advanced Member
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May 2009
892
No way.
I came into this game for the action, the excitement. Go anywhere, travel light, get in, get out, wherever there's AV trouble, a man alone.
Post 9 made on Tuesday October 13, 2020 at 20:07
buzz
Super Member
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May 2003
3,613
I looked at them a couple times, but it was clear that they cared only for #1 and I would be chattel. And it was too easy for them to give my customers to someone else.
Post 10 made on Tuesday October 13, 2020 at 21:56
Brad Humphrey
Select Member
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February 2004
2,098
If you were to ask any business consulting firm in the world, in any other industry, what they thought about a business model like this. One where a good portion of your business is based on a manufacture, that could take away your ability to do that portion of your business, and steal your customers away to a competitor by strong arming. And no recourse for your business but to start over with another manufacture.  They would tell you "You are f^n stupid".
It is a bad business decision! Whether you think so now or not.

So why is it? Why? Do we have so many people, that are catering to these SOBs! These type companies 'absolutely' do NOT want dealers. They see us as a middleman that is in the way of them and their customers. They wouldn't give a crap if we fell off the face of the Earth - and in fact would much prefer that happen to all of us, if they could only get their crap products to be more DIY friendly.
And still dealers are lining up to bend over for them.

I do understand these 'aggressive' dealers that do good numbers and are not worried about getting cut from low sales. And like taking over clients from other dealers that have been screwed. But surely they have GOT to realize they are in bed with the devil. Eventually when you serve no more purpose for them, they are going to burn you - and most likely laugh about it. Because they are EVIL SCUM! All of these manufacture that pull this crap are.
If they weren't, they would care about quality and not the quantity. And understand the value a good dealer brings to their brand. But they don't because they don't care. Not about you or not even really the customer, as long as they can find a way to keep getting money from them - by any means necessary.
It's dirty money!
Post 11 made on Tuesday October 13, 2020 at 22:59
Malcolm013
Long Time Member
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November 2004
446
I'm sorta in the same boat. I worked for other companies in the past that were C4 dealers and completed all the trainings but they still don't won't sell to me now that I'm established(6 years now). I'm forced to purchase product through other local dealers here in LA as a alot my clientele ask for C4 by name. I'm not looking to get more work as a C4 dealer but just want to provide my clients with what they want. In fact, just closed on a 50K C4 job but my local dealer will get the kick backs from it because they don't want to sell direct to me...
"Was it for this my life I sought? Maybe so, Maybe not...
Post 12 made on Wednesday October 14, 2020 at 00:58
dunnersfella
Regular Member
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October 2016
282
On October 13, 2020 at 21:56, Brad Humphrey said...
If you were to ask any business consulting firm in the world, in any other industry, what they thought about a business model like this. One where a good portion of your business is based on a manufacture, that could take away your ability to do that portion of your business, and steal your customers away to a competitor by strong arming. And no recourse for your business but to start over with another manufacture.† They would tell you "You are f^n stupid".
It is a bad business decision! Whether you think so now or not.

I genuinely agree.
As an outright business decision, it makes little sense... until you see their rebate scheme and up-front margin (you're dealing directly with the manufacturer).
Sure there's loads of drivers - but you aren't getting to tweak what is made for you, it 'is what it is'.
There are so many options and ultimately it's rarely down to what one is better than the others, it's what one is better for your business (and by association, your customers).

Remember, every integrator would have pulled out 'insert brand here' in the past. Typically the reason for this has nothing to do with the hardware, but everything to do with the installer...
This industry is not getting cheaper and cheaper, we're simply convincing ourselves that we have to push the cheapest option to customers.
#makesonosgreatagain
Post 13 made on Wednesday October 14, 2020 at 04:12
Nick-ISI
Long Time Member
Joined:
Posts:
September 2004
480
On October 13, 2020 at 21:56, Brad Humphrey said...
If you were to ask any business consulting firm in the world, in any other industry, what they thought about a business model like this. One where a good portion of your business is based on a manufacture, that could take away your ability to do that portion of your business, and steal your customers away to a competitor by strong arming. And no recourse for your business but to start over with another manufacture.  They would tell you "You are f^n stupid".
It is a bad business decision! Whether you think so now or not.

So why is it? Why? Do we have so many people, that are catering to these SOBs! These type companies 'absolutely' do NOT want dealers. They see us as a middleman that is in the way of them and their customers. They wouldn't give a crap if we fell off the face of the Earth - and in fact would much prefer that happen to all of us, if they could only get their crap products to be more DIY friendly.
And still dealers are lining up to bend over for them.

I do understand these 'aggressive' dealers that do good numbers and are not worried about getting cut from low sales. And like taking over clients from other dealers that have been screwed. But surely they have GOT to realize they are in bed with the devil. Eventually when you serve no more purpose for them, they are going to burn you - and most likely laugh about it. Because they are EVIL SCUM! All of these manufacture that pull this crap are.
If they weren't, they would care about quality and not the quantity. And understand the value a good dealer brings to their brand. But they don't because they don't care. Not about you or not even really the customer, as long as they can find a way to keep getting money from them - by any means necessary.
It's dirty money!
What do you mean you wanted it on the other wall - couldn't you have mentioned this when we prewired?
Post 14 made on Wednesday October 14, 2020 at 10:59
ichbinbose
Select Member
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Posts:
August 2011
1,784
On October 13, 2020 at 18:32, internetraver said...
I worked for a company years ago where we did c4 for about 2-3 years but decided to dump them because of continuous issues from their equipment.† Once we did we were no longer able to support the 50 or so C4 jobs we had.

FFW a few years later where I was a PM for a large company and C4 came a knocking.† In our initial meeting I point blank asked the rep "if we decide to no longer use your company, can we still support our clients that have your equipment?".† After attempting to beat around the bush I finally got a "no" out of him.

This is exactly why i will never go back to them. They do not care about you.
Iíve seen this happen to several former dealers and personally find it insane.
Before i picked up Elan I had that same conversation and was informed that they donít do this.
Post 15 made on Wednesday October 14, 2020 at 12:00
osiris
Long Time Member
Joined:
Posts:
November 2004
391
What control system manufacturers will provide you with current software for their systems if you're not a dealer?

Which ones don't expect you to actually sell their product to keep the line?
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