Spotlight on InfoComm


Solutions360 Increases Visibility at AVI Systems

AVI Systems started 43 years ago as a small supply company in North Dakota, and has grown into a global provider of audio visual solutions with 15 offices in the U.S.

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Solutions360 Increases Visibility at AVI Systems

AVI Systems is unique in the AV industry, in that it is 100 percent employee owned, which contributes to a distinctive culture. As owners, the employees have a different mindset, and there is a strong team environment. “With the ESOP, we are an open book business, and making data readily available to our people is a top priority,” says Kendra Lettau, Process Management Architect at AVI Systems.

Revenue $185M (2015); $202M (2016); $218.5M (projected 2017)

The Challenge – AVI Systems went live with the Q360 platform in September, 2015. “At the time, we were focused on enterprise scalability,” Lettau reports, “We had been growing very rapidly and we needed a new platform to continue to grow and do it in a stable way.”  So, AVI decided to slow down, and prepare to become a bigger company.

As one of the largest systems integrators in the AV industry, AVI had solid processes in place, but the departments and software platforms were all operating in silos.

managed services provider“Accounting was the driving force of the old ERP, and it wasn’t ideal to have an accounting system driving our behavior,” says Lettau. “We were trying to make our old ERP fit our business instead of the other way around. We did a lot of Excel spreadsheets that were on individual computers, and the spreadsheets were specific to a single department, so trying to analyze data was a big challenge.”

AVI has a strong focus on the user experience and providing ongoing customer support. The beauty of this business model is the customer doesn’t go away at the end of the project.

Rather, it marks the beginning of a long-term relationship that delivers ongoing streams of revenue. The project is merely a determinate period of time necessary to achieve the end result, but once you have the system in place, the project is no longer relevant.

What is important is how do you service the customer, and how does the service department know what is in that room? This is the information the service department needs.

Prior to Q360, AVI was using six software platforms and was looking to add a seventh. “The turning point for us was we were about to deploy another silo and it seemed like we were just putting a band aid on a bigger situation.”

“We were trying to build this system for the service department from scratch using a new software platform, but Q360 already has this functionality built in. This was the main point of interest that started our conversations with Solutions360.”

AVI started talking internally that maybe they should take a look at a better overall solution. “We aren’t trying to be unique in any fashion,” says Lettau, “We are just trying to run a solid business on a single platform and wanted to know what we could do out of the box.”

The Solution – “Q360 takes quoting, ordering, resource management, time keeping and all the different aspects of an integration business into consideration,” says Lettau, “It’s designed with our business in mind, so it’s a much better fit.”

Having an end-to-end software package is desirable. Now AVI doesn’t have to add on a different software package for every single function of the business.

“It was desirable to work with a vendor that could understand us quickly. We interviewed other vendors that knew a lot about their software, but not how to apply it to our industry or our business. Solutions360 already understood what we needed.”

To read more of the article, please go to www.solutions360.com/solutions360-increases-visibility-avi-systems.

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