NAME: Tracy Knapp
TITLE: Director of Sales
COMPANY: Arlington Industries
OVERTIME: Prior to joining Arlington, Knapp was director of sales at Omnimount Systems for seven years.
SCN: What is your position, and what does it entail? What are your responsibilities?
Tracy Knapp: I am the director of sales for Arlington Industries, managing the low-voltage channel. Arlington is a manufacturer of traditional and unique metallic and non-metallic electrical fittings. My position was created to concentrate on the low-voltage products that Arlington has been introducing over the last few years. The electrical and low-voltage (CE) channels are very different and how you market to these companies determines your success. My key role was to create a new sales channel that puts more focus on the low-voltage products. Creating a new rep force was the first step and making sure that our products are available to the installers was critical.SCN: How long have you been at this position?TK: I started with Arlington in August of 2012 and was introduced to the channel at the CEDIA EXPO 2012.SCN: How has your background prepared you for your new role?TK: I was a director of sales at Omnimount Systems for seven years. In this role I managed the pro division, which was the CE channel, and all the related markets (commercial, education, audio, and hospitality). Omnimount is a true leader in mounting technology, and marketing products into this channel is where I learned the basics of the industry: Solutions are the best way to sell a product, installation time equals profitability to the project, knowledge and quality makes the customers continue to use your product.SCN: What are your short- and long-term goals?TK: The short-term goals were to set up the rep sales force and make sure they are the best in the industry. This was completed at the end of 2012 and is running strong. The other short-term goal was to make sure we had all our products in distribution so they are readily available.The long-term goals are to get more installers standardizing on Arlington products. We also want to make sure that we are educating the channel on what we offer and how it helps their business. New product introductions that make an installation faster and better looking is always in the plan.SCN: What is the greatest challenge that you face?TK: There are a lot of companies in the low-voltage space, and pricing is always a challenge. Making sure that installers understand that our products are faster to install, work every time, and look better than the competitors is a priority.SCN: Where do you see your market heading?TK: We are the foundations for all installations. As the home industry recovers I see more growth for Arlington. We are branching out into more segments in the CE space and that will also increase our market share.SCN: Are there new initiatives we are likely to see from Arlington?TK: New and innovative products. We are always looking at how to make installations faster and easier. Making sure that everything is in the box so the installation is done on time and correctly.SCN: How can systems contractors better position themselves to profit from products and services Arlington has to offer?TK: By using only Arlington products of course! The best thing would be to make sure that they know what we have to offer and when new products are introduced. Many contractors don’t realize all the solutions we offer to the problems they face. You wouldn’t believe how many times at a show I hear “I could have used that item on my last job, I wasting hours looking for something and ended up making something on my own.”Chuck Ansbacher is the managing editor of SCN.