TOP
STORIES
 1 of 5
24 High-Tech Halloween Costumes
Former NASA engineer creates creepy Halloween costumes with the simple use of smartphones and tablets.
 2 of 5
Digital Signage Gets Spooky at 14-Acre Sports Complex
ConnectedSign installs 60 HD displays, including 12 interactive digital signage kiosks and a video wall, throughout 14-acre sports facility.
 3 of 5
Inside Atlanta’s High-Profile Security Control Rooms
In conjunction with its hosting this year's recently completed ASIS annual Seminar and Exhibits, media members took a tour of security operations and command centers around Atlanta.
 4 of 5
7 Super-Scary Wiring Scenarios
CI is bringing back our Halloween-themed guide to feeling great about your company's wiring techniques. What's the worst wiring scenario you've encountered?
 5 of 5
ESPN Makes Digital Splash with Eye-Popping SportsCenter Upgrade
Mobile displays, video floor, social media wall among many highlights of the new SportsCenter digital studio DC-2.
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
Flashback Friday: 7 Spooky Technologies (Still?) Frightening CIs

For this week's edition of Flashback Friday, take a look at what technologies were giving installers and manufacturers the willies just one year ago. AVB, HDBaseT, 4K, wireless video ... are you any more comfortable with these technologies in 2014?

Western Digital Expands Purple Line of Surveillance Hard Drives
24 High-Tech Halloween Costumes
Audio-Technica Presents ‘How to Mic a Zombie’
10 Cable Commandments of the HDBaseT Installer
View more news
Flashback Friday: 7 Spooky Technologies (Still?) Frightening CIs

For this week's edition of Flashback Friday, take a look at what technologies were giving installers and manufacturers the willies just one year ago. AVB, HDBaseT, 4K, wireless video ... are you any more comfortable with these technologies in 2014?

24 High-Tech Halloween Costumes
Advanced Places Projection in Back, Control Up Front
Digital Signage Gets Spooky at 14-Acre Sports Complex
Inside Atlanta’s High-Profile Security Control Rooms
View more photo galleries
White Paper:
5 Ways to Profit While Saving Clients’ Money on Utilities

How integrators can leverage power management, lighting control, HVAC, uninterruptable power supplies and room management systems increase revenue while offering customers solid ROI.

White Paper: Campuses Banking on Emergency Notification, Upgrades
Webcast: Unscrambling Your AVB, HDBaseT Questions
White Paper: Technology Brief on Control Rooms
White Paper: The Voice: How to Design Emergency Communication Systems with Announcements
White Paper: Digital Signs of the Times
White Paper: A Snapshot of the Onsite Freelance & Contractor Workforce
Webcast: 7 Ways an Integrator Can Save Clients Money on Utility Costs
View more papers or webcasts



Recent comments

I am pretty sure that it wasn’t the amount of flat screens that the player’s had in thier locker…

Posted by JT on 2014 10 31 · commented on
'University of Oregon Builds Football Performance Center for Champions'.

All the words I have on this topic are already there for everyone to judge as they see fit.  The only…

Posted by David Danto on 2014 10 30 · commented on
'An IT Guy’s Guide to ‘Talking Legacy AV''.

I had actually pulled back a comment that I had sent to post yesterday, however in follow up to the last posted…

Posted by Corey Moss on 2014 10 30 · commented on
'An IT Guy’s Guide to ‘Talking Legacy AV''.

I agree with Mr. D’Angelo.  There was a message in here worth discussing seriously, as Mr. Danto…

Posted by Mark Coxon on 2014 10 30 · commented on
'An IT Guy’s Guide to ‘Talking Legacy AV''.