Smarthome Direct Growth the Smart Way
As Smarthome's history suggests, Kapur and his team plan not just to keep an eye on their customers, but an ear on them as well. "You can get so wrapped up in your day-to-day work that you forget what you're doing," Kapur says. "We want to continue to listen to customer feedback and improve on that feedback."
SmartLabs Corporate Timeline
1992: SmartLabs is founded as Smarthome by Joe Dada, a formally trained engineer with an interest in home automation products. The company's mission is to provide customers with simple, convenient and inexpensive products to customize and automate the home.
1993: The first catalog mails. It's eight pages and features products based on the X-10 protocol, an automation industry standard that uses household electrical wiring to send digital data between electronic devices.
1995: Smarthome launches one of the first e-commerce sites on the Web, complete with shopping cart and internal site search capabilities.
1997: Smarthome starts developing and manufacturing products in house.
2004: Responding to customer feedback for more reliable home automation products, Smarthome introduces its own home automation and control protocol, which it dubs INSTEON. In December, the company ships its millionth product.
2005: In Q4, a new parent company, SmartLabs, is created. Under the SmartLabs name, there are three divisions: Smarthome Direct, the direct to consumer group which includes Smarthome.com; SmartLabs Design, creators of home automation and control products; and SmartLabs Technology, the architects of the INSTEON wireless home control technology.
Headquarters: Irvine, Calif.
Year founded: 1992
Merchandise: Home automation products, including lighting control, security/surveillance, and home theater products
Price point range: $10 to $4,000
Average order size: $150 to $200
Annual circulation: 4 to 6 million
Mailings per year: 12 to 16
# of SKUs: more than 7,000
# of employees: 100