TDA Named to CE Pro 100

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While basketball has its own various Dream Teams, so does the custom electronics industry. The 2020 CE Pro 100 list itself might be considered a Dream Team, reflecting the leading custom installation companies in the United States.  Within each CE Pro 100 company itself exists its own Dream Team of talent, from owners to operations, sales, installation and service.  Our team!  The Technology Design Associates team!

Being named to the CE Pro 100 is a HUGE honor and achievement for Technology Design Associates! It speaks to the level of commitment needed by our team to get the design right, get the install right and nail the follow up! I'm tremendously proud of our team!
~ Ron Wanless, Founder|CEO Technology Design Associates

Overall, the CE Pro 100 is quite an economic force in the industry. Combined, the group earned $2.5 billion in 2019, installed 421,438 residential systems, and employed 15,370 individuals. Thee group’s median revenues in 2019 were $5,751,379, up 8.6% from the previous year.

Many other key business metrics among members of the list are also robust, including a predicted 8.4% growth predicted for 2020. However, those growth predictions were made prior to the full impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Surely, the economic shutdown caused by the virus will rachet that growth rate down — though the pandemic has also generated opportunities such as home networking, video conferencing, human-centric lighting and more.

Having said that, the custom electronics industry tends to be an optimistic bunch overall. Even in the years of the Great Recession when new housing production dropped dramatically, custom integrators expected solid growth rates for their businesses, and the CE Pro 100 is no different.

CE Pro 100 List Qualifications Evolve

The CE Pro 100 list itself, which began in 1999, is unique and constantly evolving. This year’s version of the top custom installation companies in the United States is as diverse as ever. 

The list includes high-volume mass-market players, security companies, retailers with installation divisions and commercial integration companies that dove headlong into the residential market. The list also includes several national rollup players, as noted, whose own Dream Teams are taking high-end custom installation coast to coast.

The revenues that make up the CE Pro 100 list have changed over the years. For many years, the qualifying revenues were solely based on income derived during the installation process of various subsystems. (See sidebar for complete list of subsystems.) But with the inception of subsidized alarm-based smart home offerings, and the growing trend for traditional custom integrators to offer service agreements, the basis for the CE Pro 100 list shifted to include RMR (recurring monthly revenue) as an income source.

This year, the list also includes revenues from commercial installations being done by custom integrators, as the percentage of income from corporate offices, bars and restaurants grows. Also, the list includes revenues from over-the-counter retail sales of equipment that is installed, along with revenues from online sales of equipment that is installed.

The growing number of commercial installations being done by custom integrators has significantly boosted revenues for many firms as they look to balance their portfolios. When the Great Recession hit a decade ago, many integration companies migrated to add commercial work as the housing market sagged. In many cases, even as the residential market boomed once again for the past 10 years, integrators maintained their commercial divisions.