It’s a no-brainer that remote monitoring provides integration firms with an enhanced ability to service their customers’ systems and, in many ways, makes it easier to support service contracts.
However, remote monitoring only moves the ball so far. If an integration firm remotely detects a system issue that can’t be fixed remotely with a customer that is in another geographic area, it still requires an onsite technician. That’s where it becomes difficult for integration firms with relatively small geographic footprints.
Herman Integration Services, the arm of distributor Herman that provides labor solutions to integration firms across the U.S., says it can now offer companies a more complete service contract solution.
“We’ll be your service department. And based on my experience, I know they can make very healthy margins based on what we’re charging,” says Herman’s Chris Bianchet.
Herman has partnered with AVNOC, makers of AV monitoring solutions, which allows it to offer remote monitoring combined with access to a network of technicians to address issues on site if needed.
So Herman has launched a three-tiered service contract program for its dealers to offer their customers—warranty, priority service and Herman Prime service. Herman Prime will include AVNOC remote monitoring for a complete end-to-end solution for enhanced audiovisual support services, writes Herman in a press release, adding that commercial integrators will now have a way to monitor and address their customers’ pain points using a single-source service provider.
The launch of annual service agreements that include AV monitoring is its most significant announcement since Herman Integration Systems was launched out of Herman, says Chris Bianchet, president of Herman Integration Services.
“The beauty is that it goes beyond monitoring. We have the ability to deploy and fix something all the way across the country. We’ve been testing the AVNOC software. The challenge for integrators is that [many] don’t have the nationwide force to be able to package the service end of it. What’s good about knowing if something is wrong across the country if you can’t fix it?”
Herman’s two-pronged remote monitoring and nationwide service approach solves that challenge for integration firms that work with a local geographic area but service national accounts, Bianchet adds. “We’ll be your service department. And based on my experience, I know they can make very healthy margins based on what we’re charging.”
The three levels of agreements, which are explained here, break down as:
Warranty – This is basic extended warranty service for break-fix maintenance.
Priority – This next-level service provides on-site labor within 48 hours.
Herman Prime – This level enlists the partnership with AVNOC’s AV monitoring service software for remotely managing AV rooms for product failures and sending out alerts related to solutions tied to the network. Bianchet calls it a preventive maintenance, monitoring and break-fix white-glove service. AVNOC’s solution is scalable and monitors Crestron, AMX, Extron and more.
Supporting integration firms’ quest for more service- and recurring-revenue was part of the motivation for launching Herman’s service agreement program, Bianchet says. “There are some dealers that are ignoring it. They can’t support it so they don’t offer it. Some sell it on a national basis but then deal with 10, 15 smaller contractors and hope they go out there in a reasonable amount of time.”
He adds that Herman’s solution provides a more comprehensive and reliable approach that he hopes will translate to more integration firms earning more revenue through service.
Herman will discuss its new service contract program with InfoComm 2016 attendees.