Top 5 K-12 Market Integrators of 2016
These innovative, market-leading firms offer advice on how to stay at the forefront of a nuanced but dynamic vertical.
What can your integration firm bring to the table for K-12 school customers?
When it comes to affording new technology and integration services, K-12 schools often work on a tight budget. Schools want the biggest bang for their buck, and these five K-12 integrators know the importance of providing valuable, reliable and continued service to their valued customers, helping them all make a name for themselves in the K-12 market.
Specifically targeting the performing arts spaces, Infinity Sound‘s methods for providing consistent, reliable service has helped the company grow, and stand out, in the K-12 sector. “We have always been a service-based integration firm,” says Max Curry.
“We intentionally executed an organic/controlled growth and are now poised to grow rapidly on the substantial foundation we have created. We have been meticulous in developing our procedures from ordering, to training the end user.”
In the past year, Sharp’s Audio Visual has concentrated on developing revenue from services. This focus on services not only improves’ clients experiences, but also creates a stronger relationship between Sharp’s and its clients.
“The more we can attach services to the customer the better the experience the customer has and the more sticky our relationship becomes. Service includes ad hoc callouts for service, design consulting, end-user training, after-sales service level agreements, onsite (embedded) white-glove personnel, monitoring and cloud-based digital signage offerings,” says Sharp’s Tim St. Louis.
Jessica Madsen, marketing coordinator for Tierney Brothers, says clients are in need of technical and instructional support and training once their systems are in place. Madsen says Tierney not only offers these services, but also installation, design, and IT services, with more becoming available soon.
In 2015, Lone Star Communications said they were challenged with finding people to provide the level of service that would meet customers’ expectations. Since then, the company has focused on training.
“We have addressed this by providing training from the day an employee starts and to continuously train,” notes Raymond Bailey.
Unified AV is also no stranger to overcoming challenges, as Barry Goldin, Mark Fennell, Tom Taylor, Scott Wood and Ken Colson discussed in CI’s profile of the company’s struggle in 2014 to find a way for its project managers to meet and fulfill demands. “It’s become a bit of an industry epidemic that technical people are promoted to project managers because it seems like a logical next step,” said Goldin.
“We decided to look at the lifecycle from cradle to grave and realized we had to do things a little differently. It became clear our project managers had a lot of things they needed to do, but they weren’t able to do all those things because they were out in the field on jobsites.”
This led Unified AV to open a search for non-AV people to fill its project management roles, enhancing them with the company’s technical support team. Today, about half of Unified AV’s project managers are from outside AV, including construction and other low-voltage trades. Goldin called the new approach “a dramatic new way for us to manage the process and provide information to our customers.”
Check out the complete report: Meet the 2016 CI Industry Leaders