May 14, 2009
| by Tom LeBlanc
After launching Hartford, Conn.-based Integrated Environments in 2003, Chad Tierney finally opened up a showroom this week. Then he promptly drove it out of Hartford.
It’s a showroom on wheels, a Gulf Stream motor home equipped with audio, video and control technology.
Instead of opening a brick-and-mortar showroom, the idea is for Integrated Environments to be able to drive to its prospective clients all over Connecticut — and New England and New York for that matter — rather than them having to come to them.
“We’re trying to think outside of the box and be creative,” Tierney says.
The company is also trying to save money for itself and for its clients, Tierney adds.
Even though the traveling showroom reflects a $250,000 investment, according to Tierney, it’s still cheaper than opening a traditional showroom over the long term. Less overhead costs help the company to run more efficiently and focus on providing value for its clients, he says.
Although motor homes can burn a lot of fuel, Tierney says his traveling showroom is actually greener than a traditional showroom. “It’s only burning energy when it’s on. Yes, it burns fuel, but compared to a showroom that needs to be manned and heated at least 40 hours per week, this requires a lot less energy.”
A big Elan dealer, Integrated Environments chose to install lots of Elan Group products in the motor home.
There are plenty of video screens, a living room environment, a wall of touchpanels, an automated kitchen area, an equipment rack and even a rear room that essentially serves as a home theater.
Tierney conducts the tours while holding his iPhone, demonstrating how its systems can be controlled and remote-monitored via the popular device.
The innovative traveling showroom really needs to be seen to be understood.