DSP – Integration, or something more?

For the last year or so, I’ve been giving a class on selling DSP and making it a business. As I’ve traveled the country, I’ve noticed that many people characterize the DSP category as “using the OEM head unit”. 

Now, “using the OEM head unit” has been a key part of Educar Training’s content since day one. That’s the point of the Three Questions process. This sort of thing is my bag, baby. That said, OEM integration is maybe half of what most digital sound processors do – and properly interfacing a DSP to an OEM head unit is maybe half of the setup process for those digital sound processors. 

Unfortunately, some dealers have attended DSP trainings and been disappointed that the training wasn’t completely an “integration training”. I think some of them want the old Directed slide show, with vehicle after vehicle and fix after fix listed (even though a year later – when you finally see one of those cars – you have to look it up on Directechs anyway). 

That’s not going to save us. I know we all want a Directechs-style database for OEM integration. Tough – we aren’t going to get it. We’re going to have to test the wires, and we’re going to have to interpret the results. That’s not good news or bad news, it’s just the news. 

Here is the process that I’ve taught for years:

  • Test the wires
  • Analyze the system
  • Confirm a plan

That’s still what we need to do. I recognize that this is calling on some installers to change into technicians. We’re not just bolting the dish to the side of the house – we’re also going to have to figure some stuff out. I’ve been providing a framework and a process and a checklist for figuring this stuff out for the better part of a decade now. If you’re waiting for it to get easier, you should prepare for disappointment.

I have two kids, and I’ve taught both of them that their superpower is ‘changing their mind’. It’s true for adults, too. If we want to be successful in OEM integration, we’re going to have to change our minds about what our job is. Technicians are going to have to test the factory system and analyze what the factory system is doing. That’s true regardless of how we feel about it. The question is, are you going to change your mind? Are you going to embrace the future, or avoid it?