- It feels so weird to say. Even weirder to write (or type). While we’ve all probably made the mistake of writing 2019 a few times, the turn of the year and the decade is an exciting time. With winter (or trade show season) upon us, many of you may be busy setting up booths, panels, and more for clients. Others may be looking at the books and trying to plan for the year ahead, and others may be sitting down for much needed education.
No matter how you slice it, you know it’s busy, and if the growth in the economy continues, you can only expect it to get busier. However, you also need to know what’s going on in the industry.
What will your customers want? How can you compete for these customers? How can you compete for talent? It all comes down to a simple concept—how can you evolve your business?
The answer, of course, is never simple. The options to become competitive are as diverse as your service offerings. However, if Commercial Integrator is right, and they usually are, the following three trends should be on the radar for AV leaders. In their report, A Look Ahead at the Integration Business in 2020, CI provided a variety of insights into running a thriving business as we enter a new decade.
The phrase ‘convergence’ gets bandied around quite a bit in the AV space. Used to define an environment in which AV takes on so many of the roles traditionally held by IT that services are nearly indistinguishable, convergence is happening and it’s happening fast.
Today, according to CI, AV systems are overwhelmingly connected to the network – sometimes for monitoring, other times for control, and still other times the only way to use the equipment is through the network. Any way you look at it, AV providers need to consistently take on new roles while forging new partnerships.
With everything more connected more tightly than ever, 2020 should be the year you begin to learn more about the role that IT plays so you can not only sell more effectively, but help them out as well.
Managed Services Make Headway
Something we discussed in a recent blog, managed services is here to stay. Customers want the control and flexibility in the subscription model, but few in the AV space have embraced this. Too often, AV integrators are still stuck in a ‘break-fix’ mindset while their customers have embraced the as-a-service lifestyle.
Unfortunately, the antiquated way of doing business comes at a cost—the cost of long-term relationships. The only way—or, at the very least, the BEST way—of making that move is going from the tried-and-true, long-successful project-based philosophy to one centered on managed services. Not only does it help you make a deeper and wider connection with your clients, it can make you more money too.
Though it’s not easy to make the switch, it’s vital to long-term success. Not only are managed services more relationship-focused, they’re more profitable. If you’re not ready to jump all the way into the managed services pool, try one piece of it in 2020. It can be remote monitoring, it can be on-site staffing, it can be digital signage content creation or myriad other options.
Discover some of the reasons to consider a recurring revenue model for your AV and IT business and explore how the right technology from Cloud 9 ERP Solutions can help facilitate the transition: Why Recurring Revenue is Key to Success for AV and IT Operations.
The Fight for Talent Rages On
The right people with the right skills are hard to find. Add to this the right mindset and salary expectations, and you’re looking for a needle in a haystack. Did you know that more than 60% of the industry’s workforce is above the age of 50 and even more shockingly, less than 5% of professionals are in their 20s?
This problem, much like the aforementioned managed services one, is a tough challenge to overcome. Many AV companies have an old-school mindset. Not only does this cripple innovation and agility, it scares off the Millennial and Gen Z workers you need in your business.
Young professionals like millennials — especially Gen Z — grew up surrounded by technology and are quick to learn how new devices and systems function. As such, a company that is willing to take risks and explore new and innovative technologies would be attractive to the restless minds of younger generations.
Learn more in our article: Meeting the Needs of Potential New AV Hires With Technology and Innovation.
Solidifying Your Future in the AV Market With the Help of Cloud 9 ERP Solutions
Today’s company needs to be nimbler and more innovative than ever if they hope to grow, find talent, and evolve. How can you approach this? With the right technology from Cloud 9 ERP Solutions.
First, it pays to understand how you can innovate. Say you’re launching a managed services offering. Start small. Maybe add one thing your customers need. From here, add another.
Second, understand that to get where you want to (or need to) be, you need to have the people, processes, and technologies in place to get there. There are many ways to approach the coming year, but if you hope to grow and innovate, it may be best to start with a solution that can enable you to do so.
Cloud 9 ERP Solutions has worked with a few solutions (and a few more AV integrators) over the years, and have found that one product is perfect for your needs—Acumatica. Easy-to-use, flexible, and integrated, this solution features all the functionality you need to get the job done.
Cloud 9 ERP Solutions specializes in configuring and implementing this solution for AV/IT firms including M3 Technologies Group and more, and we would love to help you as well.
Learn how we helped this AV systems integration firm increase their sales revenue and improve operational efficiencies with Acumatica by reading the case study or watching the video below.