If you’re heading into 2016 expecting no problems at all, you haven’t been paying close enough attention to your business, the economy and the world around you.
Of course, you know better than that. No matter how successful your company was in 2015, there’s always room for improvement, and in the ever-changing world of technology, there will be something that happens you won’t expect over the next 12 months.
Even if you do prepare yourself and your business for every eventuality, that doesn’t mean 2016 will be easy.
We asked our 2015 Industry Leaders to share what they expect to be their biggest challenges and what’s most interesting is there doesn’t seem to be one single area where everyone is focusing their concern.
Then again, that probably speaks to the variety of types of businesses in this industry and certain associated areas that hit particularly close to home.
Bill McIntosh, president and CEO, Synergy Media Group:
Challenge: Hiring qualified employees. Resolution: Hire good, motivated people from outside the industry. There are tons of people out there with a proven track record. Find them.
Destiny Heimbecker, marketing communications coordinator, Vistacom:
One challenge we continue to face is the constant changes in methods of procuring AV systems. We continue to look at new technologies that could provide better solutions to clients. These solutions often require a higher level of expertise and allow us to maintain profit margins instead of being dragged into a low price commodity solution.
Scott Birdsall, CEO, CompView:
Some of the key drivers of our business in 2016 are the expansion of our enterprise sales on a national basis and the growth of the size of educational institution/corporate headquarters projects. These major opportunities are pushing us to develop additional capabilities in professional project management.
We have recently developed a new position in our company, the PMO (Project Management Office). This position is tasked with building our personnel and system capabilities to deliver a higher quality project management experience.
I feel our industry will be experiencing the same trends that general contractors, electrical contractors and IT firms have struggled in addressing. Companies will need to improve their delivery processes to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction, while ensuring a profitable, growing business.
Timothy Czyzak, president, iVideo Technologies:
Maintaining and surpassing our recent growth rates will be a challenge in 2016. In addition, meeting clients’ more advanced demands for wireless technologies will be a challenge as they want more than what our industry can currently provide.
Brian Edwards, president, Edwards Technologies:
One area we see challenges is in equipment firmware. As we head toward the Internet of AV, we see no organized and logical effort on the manufacturers’ side to understand the integrators’ needs for a consistent and logical firmware road map. This whole issue will impact the ease with which we all move toward a more networked and software-based methodology. This is coming on us at speeds faster than most integrators realize.
Another issue is digital audio and the very slow adaption of Dante while CobraNet is being abandoned. Last issue is the realization that most dedicated boxes are going to be a thing of the past. Almost all equipment is being replaced with software — a scary thought if you are a manufacturer.
Ron Prier, owner, RPAV:
This is a challenging time in our industry. While I’m a positive person generally, small business is under attack. The challenge of competing over the Internet, often with our own channel partners, the burden of never-ending taxation, the state of political affairs, and lack of leadership by our elected representatives are all challenges we are faced with. I’m constantly looking at new verticals and some that are quite different than I have considered in the past. Business is more difficult than I have ever seen.
Mike Boettcher, president, Advanced AV:
Toughest challenge right now is technical resources and subcontractor management . A mentorship program and management training are two places that we hope to concentrate on next year.