Mobile Electronics Magazine

10-18-2017, Mobile Electronics -- By now everyone has heard about the winners for the Mobile Electronics Magazine Industry Awards. If you haven’t by chance, they are in this edition! This year’s candidates were all great and all well deserving. I was excited to hear that Chris Pate had won the Installer of the Year award. I recently wrote about my trip to France last summer and the tour of the Focal factory. On that trip were many other dealers. One that I had the pleasure of spending time with was Chris Pate. Since I was 14 I have had a strong love for car audio. Through the years that passion has remained and grown. There are times in my life when I cross paths with others that share that same passion, and meeting Chris was one of them. I enjoyed spending time with Chris and learning more about his facility and the advanced tools he used. I personally wear many hats, but the one I probably most enjoy is that of fabricator. Over the period of a few days I learned from Chris how my life would not be complete without a laser cutter and sheet-sized CNC. Chris shared with…
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10-11-2017, Mobile Electronics -- Think back to what the car buying experience was like two decades ago. Whether a consumer bought used or new, purchasing an aftermarket car stereo was no big hassle. Today the landscape has completely changed with aftermarket companies forced to keep pace with all of the advanced technologies automakers are packing into their vehicles. But that is how Montreal, Canada -based Automotive Data Solutions, Inc. (ADS) helps its technology partners keep doing business as usual. ADS specializes in the development and marketing of remote start and audio integration solutions destined for the aftermarket. Its list of technology partners, which reads like a who’s who of the 12-volt world, includes: Alpine, Arc Audio, AudioControl, Audison, Autopage, Belron (Canada), Compustar, Firstech, K40 Electronics, Kenwood, Omega, Pioneer, Rockford Fosgate, and Voxx. Marketed under the iDatalink, iDatalink Maestro, and iDataStart brands, ADS products are sold and installed through a network of authorized dealers across North America, South America, Europe, and Russia. ADS also develops several private label solutions for various strategic partners and markets those worldwide. “Right now the biggest challenge is that it’s a very vehicle specific game,” said ADS marketing director Dan Facciolo. “Go back 15 years ago…
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10-3-2017, Mobile Electronics -- Among the biggest truisms of human beings is their tendency to let history repeat itself. While some things—like war and genocide—are best left in the past, others might be worth repeating. In 2010, Matt Schaeffer had hit a professional wall. Eager for a change, he set out on a path of improvement. Six years later, he was Installer of the Year. It turns out, in 2017, history would repeat itself again. Six years ago, Chris Pate was in a similar situation. After what would seem like a lifetime full of achievement that included fronting a touring band, 36 car audio championships and buying/creating a two-store retail chain, Pate hit his own wall, finding himself stagnant as an installer. To solve the problem would take a combination of long hours, family approval and industry support, not to mention an openness to new ideas. The Early Days Growing up in Houston, Texas, Pate began his life as a builder. "I built everything," he proclaimed. His parents bought him every building toy they could, including Erector sets and Legos, to satisfy his creative urges. As he grew older, he started building half-pipes. Then, at age 13, he built his…
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9-28-2017, Mobile Electronics -- In the last segment on this topic, I suggested a process to be used in the installation bay for tuning cars that’s effective and efficient. For some readers, this process may differ greatly from what you’ve been told by numerous enthusiasts, sound quality judges and other accomplished tuners. So, before we get started here, I’d like to explain why. There’s a big difference between tuning cars as a profession and tuning cars as a hobby. For the hobbyist, the tuning is often the end rather than the means. The tuner likes to spend hours experimenting, listening and retuning. For the professional, these extra hours spent on listening and retuning eat into our profits and our ability to move on to the next car. Finding Balance First, my objective in all of the tech tips I write—whether those tips are on the Audiofrog web forum, on Facebook or in articles like this one—is to provide an appropriate balance between speed, predictability and performance. In the interest of speed and predictability, I favor objective processes that don’t require us to use our ears and make a thousand subjective analyses and an endless series of adjustments. There’s a place…
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9-18-2017, Mobile Electronics -- With millions of other websites and online pages competing for attention, the best that a business can do is think of a search engine as a partner. Rather than trying to conquer the search engine so the website appears on the first page of the listings, consider how best to attract attention and draw in viewers. This is done through search engine optimization, or SEO. For those who are unfamiliar with search engine optimization, the term is simplified by comparing SEO to billboard advertising, according to Michael Irving, co-founder of Intech Together, an IT support and web development company. “It’s your digital billboard, but not just that, it’s the stuff around the billboard,” Irving said. “Imagine you’re deciding to get a billboard. You’re not going to get one that’s 300 miles away; you’ll get one closer. If your clientele are people who do cars, they modify high-end vehicles, the best place is right next to the high-end dealership. Find and see what is available, what side of the street [is best].” Irving added that SEO is comprised of the details surrounding “the billboard” itself; for example, placement, keywords and key phrases. What are the right words…
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Editor's Note: This month we kick off a new series called The Support Team to take a closer look at how manufacturers are handling support functions across the board whether it’s customer support, tech support, rep support—it all needs to come together to keep wheels turning. Read on for our first installment featuring AAMP. 9-13-2017, Mobile Electronics -- Taking care of folks, whether it’s dealers or consumers, requires some hand holding, a touch of tough love, and a sense of humor. Just take a look at AAMP’s support page on their website which reads: “WE'RE HERE FOR YOU. Drop us a line, give us a call, or send your carrier pigeon if that's how you roll.” AAMP has taken an aggressive but innovative approach to support with its Team Phantom initiative. In the middle of its two-year rollout, the program sets a new standard in retail support in the 12-volt industry. The core of Team Phantom revolves around in-field experts who provide solution consultations and leading edge customer service, sales support, and product training for AAMP’s network of retail partners. “We are the first line of defense for AAMP to the dealer and we’re also the marketing voice at consumer-based…
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