President Barry Wosk says he had been talking about moving to a larger facility for a couple of years.
The company, comprising of five head office employees (Wosk included) and three outside contract sales reps, had seriously outgrown its old, 3,600-square-foot office space, and was lacking the ability to showcase and train dealers on products.
"I'll even admit that my ego was a factor," jokes Wosk
"We're very confident in our product mix and in our service.
We just needed a physical space to match."
Every piece of upholstered furniture in the building, including even seating found in Wosk's
own office, is living room-like pieces from the Front Row seating collection; a line in which Sound Developments
So began the process of planning the space, and sourcing a location.
The bottom line, according to Wosk
was that: "We wanted to tell the world that we're serious about custom and that it should be serious about us!
"The real vision, "he
adds, "came late last winter/early spring, but really picked up steam after we secured the premises.
That's when Wosk
began seriously working on creating his
vision evolved, he
decided that he
wanted an office that felt more like a home than a place of work, along with a showroom that was on par with any residential custom A/V dealer in Canada.
"I wanted not only a place where you could bring clients to demonstrate our products," he
explains, "but also a place with a residential feel so clients could actually envision using the technology in their homes."
The decision to invest heavily in a new facility seems daring, given that the economy has taken a beating for the last two years.
But that's precisely why Wosk
felt the timing was right.
hired a colour specialist to assist with a softer, residential palette, and installed lighting control from Juno Lighting (a division of Schneider Electric) throughout, giving the Sound Developments
team the ability to demonstrate different lighting scenes in four distinct spaces.
It's worth noting that every piece of upholstered furniture in the building, from the boardroom to upstairs in Wosk's
office, is living room-type pieces from the Front Row Seating collection of cinema seating.
The additional warehouse space, says Wosk
, will allow Sound Developments
to stock more inventory, and fulfill orders as quickly as next day.
"We've utilized virtually every in-wall keypad they make, and show how in-walls and handhelds easily coexist in a system," says Wosk
During the late afternoon intermission while attendees were checking into the hotel, I spoke in depth with Wosk
about the genesis of Sound Developments'
new headquarters, and his
vision for the future.
When asked what he
would have done differently with the benefit of hindsight, Wosk's
answer was immediate.
"I would have budgeted more time," he
"This whole adventure has given me a better understanding of what my dealers' clients go through.
By this, he
means delays, increased building costs, and a mind-boggling array of choices and decisions to be made along the way.
does accede that there wasn't too much in the way of hassles.
does mention that prior to construction, the upstairs was an unfinished mezzanine, "And there was a sprinkler pipe running right through the middle of my office," he
"And they told me that moving it would be an up-charge.
In the end however, Wosk
There are other benefits to the increased space.
open to the idea of dealers using the new office space for networking opportunities.
"If one of our dealers wants to do a meet and greet with architects and builders, we're amenable to that," he
Speaking of social events, the first day of the dealer summit was capped by a tremendous buffet dinner catered by Vancouver's Healthy Chef, and an open bar upstairs in the meeting area.
It was also a fantastic opportunity for dealers from across Western Canada to network.
Talking to dealers, it was clear they all felt that the new headquarters is well designed, and will help Sound Developments
serve the intended purpose of better catering to the dealers' needs.
In fact, several took the opportunity to toast Wosk and his team for their commitment to dealers.
And you can't put a price on that.
Barry Wosk, President of Sound Developments, says he wanted the new, 5,000-square-foot showroom to feel more like a home than an office; hence the softer, more residential-like colour scheme, and custom lighting control.