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ProAV integration has changed in recent years.
A big change in the industry is the convergence of AV and IT, creating the need for integrators to adjust to consumer demand for much simpler technology. ProAV procurement has also changed. The new AV technology buyer, often the organization’s chief information officer (CIO) and their AV/IT teams, is a different kind of buyer; they’re seeking spaces with less complex technology but in much higher volumes — whether for commercial buildings, meeting rooms, classrooms, entertainment, transportation or retail environments.
To understand ProAV integration in 2021 means understanding that today’s projects often involve low-complexity, high-volume deployments: a reality that’s different from what audiovisual systems integration was predicated upon. Of course, high-complexity technology projects still exist. But they’re much less common.
To compete for these low-complexity, high-volume projects, regardless of how expansive your geographic area is — whether you do deployments around your state, around the country or around the world — you need a partner with global capabilities. In that sense, “global” applies to more ProAV integrators than ever.
The new reality of ProAV integration is one that stresses integrators’ working capital like never before. How can integrators scale and deploy low-complexity projects in higher volumes, on both a local and national level, while remaining profitable and competitive? In addition to finding a partner who was built for this infrastructure, here are some key points that will lead to success.
3 Strategies for Integrators to Scale and Deploy Successfully
1. Adapt to the “modern mindset.” ProAV integration has changed significantly in the past few years — so what must integrators do to keep up?
When Anixter pivoted its business over a decade ago, moving from analog to IP, it positioned itself well in the industry, poised to handle the convergence beyond just AV to technologies underpinned by the network — like unified communications and collaboration (UCC), security and cabling infrastructure. There’s a similar pivot in the way ProAV is being procured, and integrators have had to expand their technology offerings and capabilities. As decision-making shifts from facilities and real estate to IT and the office of the CIO, the ProAV industry needs to understand that IT wants solutions that are uniform, plug and play, and easily replicated across large geographic areas. Adapting to this modern mindset is step one in learning how to scale and deploy successfully.
2. Develop the ability to speak multiple languages, figuratively and literally. Integrators working to secure both local and national projects should understand the different ways of working in every unique region they touch. For example, perhaps you are a global company but most of your work takes place in the U.S.; if you’ve been hired for a project in the APAC (Asia-Pacific) region, have you done the hard work of understanding the local standards, processes and market needs? Can you operate in the local language, time zone and currency? This shift is leading to a higher volume of projects across large geographic areas within every environment and sector, and driving the need for scalability.
Anixter has invested in the geographies it has supported since the 1970s, providing a value-add that’s essential to the channel. Some integrators aren’t aware that the types of granular services (like those outlined in the story linked just above) are available to them.
3. Offer resiliency, even in a global supply chain. To manage realities like product stock, warehousing, credit terms, product education, technical support, labor optimization and more, integrators should build a global supply chain. However, managing a supply chain can take time away from managing your business. For support, integrators can outsource some of these tasks. To streamline supply chain management, consider equipping your business with full-time partners who can handle the fine intricacies of global projects.
With WESCO and Anixter, we meet you where you are as the professional audiovisual industry evolves. We build on the hard work that integrators are already doing to meet demand — with important processes like advisory and financial services, supply chain programs, project deployment services and installation enhancement. WESCO and Anixter offer ProAV integrators the flexibility to help carry out the project on their terms, shortening the cash-to-cash cycle. By reducing supply chain stressors, we empower you to take on larger, more profitable projects.
Next Steps for AV Integrators
As integrators adapt to a changing industry, partner relationships will be key. In a global AV supply chain, there is no substitute for local presence and expertise. The three strategies noted above have helped our ProAV customers experience tremendous growth — setting them up for success locally and nationally.
We understand the unique challenges that integrators and contractors face. As a combined company, WESCO and Anixter specialize in high-volume, low-complexity projects with a global reach including locations in over 50 countries and more than 300 cities. As a leading ProAV solutions provider, WESCO and Anixter are set up and ready to help ProAV underpin its growth.