TOP
STORIES
 1 of 5
17-Foot Projection Screen at Heart of Company's Collaboration Strategy
Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. embraces collaboration in ambitious technology renovation of a historic Boston building.
 2 of 5
Inside the Installation: 'BioWall' is Outdoor HD Masterpiece
United Therapeutics’ BioWall is a 16' by 9' state of the art HD video wall designed to relax, educate, and inspire passersby 24 hours a day.
 3 of 5
University of Oregon Builds Football Performance Center for Champions
With stunning AV systems installed by CompView Audio Visual, this school's new athletic center is unlike any other.
 4 of 5
Video Gallery: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Soaks the Industry
In the last couple weeks, the AV industry has stepped up to participate in the fight against ALS -- and dump freezing cold water on the heads of their bosses and colleagues. Here's CI's roundup of Ice Bucket Challenge videos, the AV edition.
 5 of 5
Red Thread: Furniture Company or Change Agent?
Born out of an office furniture manufacturer, Red Thread is having different audio-video conversations than any other integrator — and clients like what it’s saying.
Integrators Share Fiscal Cliff Fears
Integration firm business suffers as clients are stuck in a "state of 'I don't know.'"

Article


"[A]s long as Washington continues to be divided across party lines that does not benefit ... my business, which is a small business, or our industry,” says Tom Berry, Jr. of Verrex.
December 06, 2012 | by Aaron Stern

It’s that time when businesses budget for the coming year. This year that task is more challenging than ever.

That’s because no 2013 financial strategy is complete without a contingency plan for the looming fiscal cliff - the $600 billion package of tax hikes and government spending cuts that will kick in on Jan. 1 if Democrats and Republicans in Congress are unable to strike a deal to avoid it.

Integrators could be hit hard if their clients are forced to delay or abandon previously planned projects. Cathy Mrosko, director of government affairs and industry outreach for the National Systems Contractors Association says that integrators and clients alike are taking a “wait and see” approach.

“Everybody is in a state of ‘I don’t know what to do,’” she says.

“It’s definitely having an impact,” says Bill Craig, VP of business development for Logic Integration in Lone Tree, Colo. “For clients that are considering starting projects, everything is on hold until the first of the year.”

While the implications of the fiscal cliff would likely extend to all market sectors, integrators who work with the government or whose clients rely on government funding could feel the heat first, but few will be spared if tax hikes force other industries to pull back.

Related: 5 Business Lessons from the Fiscal Cliff by Daniel Newman

“The cliff has to do more than anything with government spending; [but it also] has everybody even in non-government industries just staring,” says Bruce Kaufmann, CEO of Human Circuit in Gaithersburg, Md.

As always, sustained drops in business will require integrators to cut their own costs.

“[U]ltimately, your biggest expense is payroll,” says Tom Berry, Jr. of Moutainside, N.J..-based Verrex. “You’ve got to look at payroll, and also where you pursue that business. If the U.S. develops a position where it’s tough to do business, then it drives business owners outside the United States.”

But cutting costs won’t just be about staffing. NSCA executive director Chuck Wilson says integrators are already looking at what the potential changes to the tax code could mean from an ownership standpoint and how they can minimize their tax burdens for next year.

“‘[Do] I write off a lot of inventory like I usually do?,’” he asks. “‘Do I do that in 2012 or do I carry forward that higher amount of excess inventory this year so I can harvest those losses next year? But then again the Republicans are looking to close up those types of loopholes. The real estate that I [theoretically] own, do I get rid of it this year because they’re closing up loopholes?’ So it’s kind of cool that our members are thinking so strategically about the ownership of the companies.”

Some integrators interviewed for this story said they aren’t overly worried about the fiscal cliff and that they assume a compromise will be reached to avert it. But many aren’t so sure, and the implications of a potential political failure shouldn’t be underestimated, says Berry.

“I think ultimately our hands, our fates are with the politicians,” he says. “And as long as Washington continues to be divided across party lines that does not benefit in any way shape or form my business, which is a small business, or our industry.”

About the author

Aaron Stern - Managing Editor
Prior to becoming the managing editor of CI, Aaron was a content editor for TechDecisions. As a reporter he has covered local, national and international news. Follow him on Twitter: @aarondstern.
View all posts by Aaron Stern
Social Bookmark or Share This
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Google Bookmarks
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Windows Live
  • LinkedIn
  • Evernote
  • E-mail


  • Latest
  • Blogs
  • Photos
  • Resources
Sennheiser Adds Dante Integration to Digital 9000 Microphone System

Dante is one of the fastest growing technology platforms in the commercial A/V industry, and with the introduction of its new Dante card, Sennheiser is providing dealers with the ability to integrate the company's 9000 systems into Dante networks.

Matrox C-Series Cards Deliver High Performance
NSCA Courts Tech Students at Integration Business Survival Conference
17-Foot Projection Screen at Heart of Company's Collaboration Strategy
Almo Signs Deal with N. Glantz and Son
View more news
Camera Drone Integration to Take Off in 2015

In the coming year, as legislation is enacted and products simplified, expect companies across many verticals to utilize camera drones in security and surveillance applications.

Understanding & Tackling Top 5 Cloud Security Concerns
Keep It Cool: 3 Rack Ventilation Methods
What Are You Thinking… Not Managing Your Customers’ Experiences?
6 Tips for Trimming Financial Fat
View more blog posts



Recent comments

Thanks for your comment, Derek! While this article was just a brief background about Audinate and Dante, we…

Posted by Chelsea Cafiero on 2014 08 08 · commented on
'What is Dante and Why is it So Popular?'.

Nice Overview Jason!

Integrators should be taking note of these changes and positioning themselves…

Posted by Mark Coxon on 2014 08 04 · commented on
'Stricter California Lighting Standards Take Effect'.

Robert,

It is curious that you just threw in the sentence “Audinate is a member of the AVnu Alliance,…

Posted by Derek R. Flickiinger on 2014 07 29 · commented on
'What is Dante and Why is it So Popular?'.

Casey - another great project! 


Your design and implementation came out a amazing!

Posted by Chanan Averbuch on 2014 07 10 · commented on
'Getting 'Serious' About Boa Lounge Upgrade'.