There has been a strong shift to commercial projects, which has vastly evolved our customers' businesses. This change has allowed them the flexibility to balance their business and explore new technologies.
The Evolution of the AV Industry
Cynthia Menna | AVAD LLC
Tell us a little bit about AVAD and its offerings.
AVAD is an industry-leading provider of solutions to the residential and commercial custom installation markets. As a wholly owned subsidiary of Ingram Micro, AVAD provides integrators access to the industry’s top products and integrated solutions for video, audio, lighting control, content management, whole-home and business automation, as well as digital signage and design services. AVAD offers the broadest consumer electronics, home and business automation portfolio in North America. Further differentiating its services, AVAD invests in the business tools, technical support and services integrators need to grow their businesses, including the fully transactional AVAD Mobile smartphone application providing integrators on-the-go access to AVAD products and value-added tools. With 23 locations throughout North America, AVAD offers local, hands-on access to the latest products and trainings, as well as free support services including system design and technical support.
You work with a lot of integrators. How have their needs changed in the past few years?
Business is constantly evolving. The economic setback and recent resurgence has driven demand and focus over the last few years. More specifically, there has been a strong shift to commercial projects, which has vastly evolved our customers' businesses. This change has allowed our customers the flexibility to balance their business and explore new technologies. Taking their “custom” focused consumer electronics mantra and service into the commercial arena has been exciting to watch. In addition, we’ve seen a much greater dependency on the network. This has naturally increased demand for other solution segments like IP surveillance and managed services.
What can traditionally residential dealers do to pursue more commercial jobs?
Dealers should take advantage of the vast resources available from AVAD! From education to design, AVAD has a vast supply of services available that make sure our dealers don't have to face the learning curve alone. Our sales teams are eager to help with engagement as well as our vendor partners. As with any craft, development takes time. In lieu of tackling a stadium right out of the gate, start small and scale your experience as you learn. Mentor with peers by networking within the industry to understand best practices and develop your skill set. It’s especially important to understand the service element whether that means providing maintenance contracts or managing content for digital signage.
Are there resources AVAD offers that can save dealers time?
Yes, AVAD's award-winning design and technical support teams can provide real time assistance, aid in defining the scope of work, or provide bill of materials to complete CAD services. We can scale with your business by providing basic collaboration or even fully developed specifications. We also have a variety of services aimed at the digital signage segment that can provide hardware as well as content management and support services.
How can AVAD help dealers give feedback to manufacturers to discuss end users' needs?
AVAD is the conduit to the industry’s leading manufacturers. We work very closely with our vendors and they value our insight. Moreover, our vendor partners are extremely hands-on. Like us, they understand that we have two customers to satisfy: our dealers and ultimately their end users. We're all dedicated to timeliness of delivery and the performance of the solutions they purchase. End user feedback is paramount to our collective success, so we take their input very seriously.
In this increasingly mobile environment, what tools can you AVAD provide aside from a customer service line?
AVAD has launched three new digital tools that enable dealers to work directly from the job site or any mobile location. AVAD Quote Builder, available now at www.avad.com, is the industry's first-to-market customizable tool to generate proposals and estimates in real time and track customer invoices through the sales process. The highly popular AVAD Mobile—a fully transactional smartphone app offering U.S. dealers 24/7 access to order from AVAD's catalog of 90+ brands along with real-time news, promotions and training opportunities—is now available for free on both iOS and Android devices. AV Home Design (AV-HD) is another app that lets iPad users take the guess-work out of home theater design by creating a customized view of how their future system will look before installation. Simply take a picture of any wall, drag and drop a variety of video panels and audio components, and use the optional custom installation support from AVAD to turn the picture into a reality.
How do you see the relationship between a distributor like AVAD and it dealers evolving over the next 5 years as technology continues to move at a rapid pace.
As a distributor, we have several responsibilities to our customers. AVAD works to constantly stay on top of trends and forecast demand, but at the same time be aware of how we best translate trends and changes to our clients. Delivering best-in-class solutions is our job and providing our dealers tools to thrive in an evolving market is critical. We will continue to focus on those tools that allow our dealers to succeed, including education, design, services and other solutions.
About AVAD LLC
AVAD LLC, an Ingram Micro Company, is North America’s premier AV solutions provider - specializing in both residential and commercial integration. Led by a team of experienced professionals in the AV industry, we work closely with custom integrators and the industry’s top brands, to deliver cutting-edge integrated solutions for video, audio, lighting control, content management, networking, digital signage; plus whole-home and business automation.
With 23 locations throughout North America, a dedicated team of experts skilled in all things AV, and an unwavering commitment to our partners, AVAD revolutionizes the way that custom integrators compete and succeed in this ever-evolving industry. From our award-winning, complimentary system design to product sourcing & delivery, we facilitate it all and we’re successful at it because our solutions are concentrated around the needs of our customers.
AVAD continues to be the leader in delivering extraordinary AV solutions to residential and commercial integrators. We consider ourselves an ‘evolutionary’ company, as evidenced by our addition of value-added services, diverse product lines, premium incentives, and the emergence of our experience centers to meet the evolving needs of our customers.
AVAD represents the next level of AV integration… AVAD is Custom Install 2.0.
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