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Gauging CEDIA

In September, CEDIA released its 2010 Benchmarking Survey. As you'd expect, residential business is off, but for the first time, researchers asked installers about commercial work.



It’s hard to argue that the market for residential systems has been roughed up by the Great Recession. But there are signs that the industry is adapting. The Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) recently came out with its latest 2010 Benchmarking Survey, based on how members evaluated their business performance in 2009. As you might expect, profit margins were downto 3.5 percent in 2009 from 6.5 percent in 2007. The average systems contractor in the survey had gross revenues of $1.1 million last year.

Also according to the study, the use of part-time employees and subcontractors is up, while staffing of field technicians is downby 24 percent. But here are some telling numbers:

Integrators are following the money and earning more outside residential. It’s unclear what types of jobs they’re working onbut conference rooms, sports bars, and digital signage come up frequently during interviews. Still, the jobs CEDIA installers are best at haven’t changed much, as the chart above attests. Home theaters and multiroom AV remain lucrative.

You can order a copy of the 2010 Benchmarking Survey at


The share of respondents who reported doing commercial installations in 2009.


The share of those 80 percent who said commercial work was less than one-tenth of their 2009 revenues.


The share of those who said commercial work was more than half their 2009 revenues.


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