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Latest NSCA Research Evaluates Electronic Systems Crossover

Oct 15, 2010 12:00 PM

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NSCA Market Intelligence Briefing (MIB) report, Commercial-Residential Crossover in the Electronic Systems Industry

The latest Market Intelligence Briefing (MIB) report, Commercial-Residential Crossover in the Electronic Systems Industry, from the National Systems Contractors Association (NSCA) in partnership with the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), examines opportunities, challenges, patterns, and perspectives of each segment as well as any overlap.

While the incorporation, complexity, and specialization of systems and services differentiates commercial versus residential projects, these industry segments often intersect at the technological, design, and information technology levels. Slightly more than half of those surveyed are involved in both residential and commercial.

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The venue integrators focus on depends on the sector they represent. The top three revenue venues for commercial integrators are:

  • corporate facilities
  • restaurants, retail facilities, and shopping malls
  • K-12 schools.

However, restaurants, retail facilities, and shopping malls ranked lower in the Q3 2009 survey of just commercial integrators. The Q2 2010 report's higher ranking of retail venues is directly related to the crossover market; the technologies and services seem to be more directly correlated with integrators also working on residential projects.

There is still a significant difference between residential and commercial integrators in revenue-generating applications. Home theater, automation, and multiroom AV are the top applications for those surveyed who are involved with the residential segment. Conversely, commercial integrators rank audio (fixed installation and live sound), AV (display technology and interface control), video, and life safety as their top applications.

Both commercial and residential integrators recognized the economy's effect on their companies, identifying an improving economy as an opportunity to increase business. However, the economy has also hindered financing for new projects and increased competition for both commercial and residential contractors. A depressed housing market and lower market demand by commercial customers are also challenges for these sectors.

Despite the challenges during the past two years, 54 percent of integrators overall have a more optimistic view of 2010 than they did of 2009. Integrators involved in both the commercial and residential markets were slightly more optimistic, with 60 percent expecting a more positive 2010.

While there is a great deal of technology crossover, the applications and markets served are quite different with different opportunities. Many commercial and residential integrators are simply changing their business strategies to respond to opportunities versus targeting markets.

NSCA's quarterly MIBs provide NSCA members with current data on key industry issues complete with statistical results, interpretation, implications, market knowledge, and implementation goals. NSCA members can obtain a free copy of the report at

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