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#Small Dog Insider January 16, 2017

 
 

Celebrate Diversity
By Emily Dolloff

Small Dog Electronics is celebrating the diversity of those around us and the diversity of the products that we sell. As a company we are not just about selling Apple computers, there’s a whole lot more to us! As many of you know we’ve been working hard to get the word out about home automation offerings, so these next two weeks we’ll be focusing on the diversity of the products we sell with a primary focus on the following products:

iPad
Apple TV
Lutron
Kevo BT locks
Home Kit
Incipio Command Kit
Elgato Eve weather stations
August Lock

These next two weeks or so we want to bring attention to the diversity of the products we sell and will be offering 10% off all consulting services with the purchase of any home automation products. We are not offering discounts on the products themselves. All retail stores should do their best to create a focused display in their stores featuring home automation products that they have available in their stores. On our website we have a homepage banner and landing page set up to feature the diversity campaign and the products we are highlighting.

This short campaign is running from Monday January 16th through Saturday January 28th.




Cool New Products Coming to Small Dog!
By Will Frascella

Below is a short recap of some of the products Don and I saw while at CES and are products we are looking to bring to Small Dog Electronics in the coming weeks. The big focus is bringing in home automation products that work specifically with HomeKit. We know there are all kinds of home automation products that work with several kinds of devices like Amazon Echo, Google Home, Apple Home Kit. We’ll be focusing on Apple HomeKit.

At CES Don and I spent a lot of time meeting with several home automation companies all of which had either just announced or already carried HomeKit enabled products. As you know with the construction of our first home automation center in South Burlington later this month, this is going to be a large focus for us in the coming year. Emily and I are working closely to come up with and work on some promotions as well, like the Diversity campaign that starts mid January. We see this as a huge opportunity to as we’re already Apple genius’s! It makes sense to carry and help customers install smart home and home automation products to work with the devices they already own and we sell.

Honeywell

The Lyric thermostat will be our go to HomeKit enabled thermostat for our customers. EcoBee has proven to be impossible to get through distribution (though we are still trying). Lyric has two modes at $149 and $199, cheaper than EcoBee and offers almost the same features. This helps to complete the whole HomeKit option for us. Things like remote access, scheduling, geofencing and scene creating are all possible with the Lyric.

Withings

We already carry a few of their products, blood pressure monitor and camera/air sensor. Their camera has been updated to HomeKit, it is also much smaller than we expected. I was very impressed it brings up a live feed in the HomeKit app on iOS, two way talk is available and air sensor as well. This will be demo’d in SB when available. They also have a new thermometer and scale to their lineup.

August Locks

August locks has a HomeKit enabled lock that installs over an already installed deadbolt. This makes it extremely DIY and easy for customers to install. This is a great choice for customer with second homes or everyday use. For second home owners they can send pass keys and for AirBNB users they can offer to send a lock when a renter comes to the property. Very slick so check it out. These are available through our distributors and we’re in the process of setting up authorization.

Kwickset

Another lock company you should be familiar with as we carry the Kevo now. They released a new HomeKit lock called Premis. Same idea as August Locks but is a whole new lock and is still considered DIY installation. With built in code you can issue to those whom you need to allow access into your home or office. Another bonus, you will get a notification that someone you granted access to the lock has entered the building. Electronic keys can be given directly to anyone you wish to be able to use it all the time while others can be given out for specific periods of time. These locks can also trigger a scene, unlock and turn lights on for example.

Elgato

The two new sensors will be in stores this week, an indoor and an outdoor sensor. These sensors are great to put around the home in addition to thermostats as they monitor much more than just temperature. Great for our customers as a weather station or just someone wanting to monitor air quality in the home. Also perfect for second home owners as you can remotely monitor the environment at home.

First Alert

You guessed it! This is the company that makes smoke and CO2 alarms. The great part besides HomeKit is they speak with each other. This means if one goes off it will tell you where the issue is, instead of them going all crazy and not knowing where the issue may be. It can also trigger scenes like if the alarm goes off in the kitchen, it can trigger your bedroom lights and stairway lights to turn on and then unlock your front door. Very Cool!

All of these great new products on top of our already great selection of home automation products like Lutron, Sonos, Incipio and Elgato we’ll be able to offer a complete solution for almost every home need!




IT Refresh
By Hadley Markoski

Howdy from your friendly IT department!

Since we have a lot of new staff and things change over time, I wanted to take this opportunity to reiterate some of our IT policies.

  • For security and PCI compliance reasons, you should NEVER EVER send social security numbers or credit card numbers through email. There are ZERO exceptions to this. If you find yourself wanting to, please speak to me immediately, because either you shouldn’t be doing it at all, or there is a better, secure way to accomplish what you are trying to accomplish.
  • No one but SDE staff are allowed in the back areas or near server/telecom/tech equipment. If someone is coming to do work (Paul Beard from alarmnet for example) I will have preauthorized this via email to the store manager. If there is someone you don’t know asking for access to equipment, you MUST confirm with a manager first. If the manager(s) haven’t received preauthorization from me, please call me immediately.
  • If you ever have to call the alarm company for assistance when arming/disarming the building, you MUST report this to me via email. I get alarm summaries every day and while it will be clear that you called, it’s not always clear why. I need people to report this to me with an explanation so I can resolve the issue.
  • When reporting issues, please make sure they’re being funneled to me through a single point of contact like a manager. It does not work to have several people all reporting the same issue to me. The point of contact doesn’t necessarily need to be a manager if one is unavailable, but it does need to be just one person.
  • The SDE Demo network is to be used for demo equipment on the floor only as well as Argos installations. The passwords for this network will be changing, and no longer given out. The Smalldog.com wifi will receive a higher bandwidth cap so that staff and customers can better use that.
  • You must always reach out in helpdesk or via 666 after hours if K9 freezes on you or you need to force quit. It takes me moments to resolve it, and helps prevent database corruption.

Some stuff that has been working well?

I really appreciate people using the 666 extension to reach IT assistance after hours. It works really well and makes supporting you a lot easier for me.

   

Earned Sick Time

Effective January 1, 2017 all staff of Small Dog Electronics are eligible for paid sick time. Previous to January 1, 2017 only full time employees earned paid time off in the form of CTO time. Full time staff will continue to earn CTO time, there are no changes to benefits for full time employees as CTO covers the new law changes.

Part time employees will now earn 1 hour of time for every 52 hours worked and can earn up to 24 hours in a year. You can view I complete policy and updates on our wiki under benefits of being a Small Dog Employee. Please remember that you do need to be on the Small Dog private network to view this wiki documentation.

Customer Returns

During the holidays we saw an increase in returns (this is normal) and as a result we also some more errors on customer returns. Please remember the following information when taking back a product return, these are our general rules. There are some exceptions and some products can not be returned. Below is a shortened version of our policy, a highlight reel of things to pay attention to.

Was the item purchased within 15 days?
Does it have all the accessories and packaging?
Is the item “defective”?
Have you identified the original invoice?
Did you note WHY the item is being returned?
If they want a refund does the product qualify?
Are you refunding in the original form of payment?

Common errors we have seen:

Refunds going back to a wrong credit card
No notes on invoice saying why it was returned
Verifying the original form of payment
Failing to turn off find my iPad

Computers and iPads that come back to us with a problem, we need to help the customer to work with the service department. These products need to be processed as a repair and once there is a diagnosis we’ll work to find the best resolution. 99% of the time these issues are handled by the service department via warranty repair service.

Please take a few minutes on every return, managers and sales staff alike, to double check the proper return policy procedures are followed. Our return policy can be seen online here.

New Product Information And Links

August Locks

Elgato Eve

Withings Thermostat

Kwikset, Premis

Honeywell, Lyric]