There’s something to be said for being in the right place at the right time but it is what you do with that situation that makes all the difference. In the case of Premier Mounts, it was recognizing the opportunity and then delivering a problem-solving solution that made the customer want to offer a worldwide opportunity based on that performance and value.
After a successful project wrap-up for American Eagle Outfitters featuring custom built video walls that face inside the store and pivot backwards like barn doors, Premier Director of Solution Sales Shaun O’Brien was in a wrap-up meeting with their integrator partner ProMotion, and asked a simple question: “Is there anything else we can do for you?”
That seemingly innocuous but often overlooked question, gave Premier the lead on a project at hundreds of Target stores through its Solutions Group, a new division that came about when Premier split the company into product and service models to better meet the challenges of today’s market.
In the solutions business segment, Premier staffers “put a lot of our engineering capabilities up front in the sales cycle to support the customer,” says co-CEO Rich Pierro. “Target had already deployed about 30 mock-up stores for a pilot program with 4×2 video walls but weren’t pleased with the early results because of the display alignment issues and the installation itself”.
After assessing the project and the challenges and problems that existed, O’Brien proposed a design approach that could fit it into Target’s budget, timeline, and requirement for a serviceable result.
Pierro explained, that “part of our solutions business on a project like that is that we’ll just knock out a prototype design. We will simply let the product speak for itself and have the customer tell us if they like it. We spend time in prototype design from a problem-solving perspective and most often we’ll get the job. In the case of Target, we did just that and we flew the prototype up to their headquarters in Minneapolis.”
Pierro further commented that, “Shaun followed it up there, as we often do on projects of this magnitude. Shaun did the preliminary installation with them and took notes. They liked what they saw, but as is often the case, they wanted to tweak a few things that might not be evident by simply looking at a drawing or photo of a mount and display combination. Being in the environment reveals a lot. They decided that they wanted to add some cosmetic covers because you could see through the sides into the back, where you could see the wires and the mounts. We explained that we could custom create those covers for them and paint them the branded color, Target red.”
“We flew home with new instructions to make a few tweaks and create the side covers. Then, we created another prototype. Upon completion, Shaun flew up there and did another test installation. They liked it and we got the blessing from them. They gave us the green light, and ProMotion gave us the order. That’s how you make the most of an opportunity and best serve the customer.” says Pierro.
Custom Creation but Mass Deployment
Target later split up the job, sending the other half of the work to Tierney Brothers, an integration firm, which like Target, is in Minnesota.
“This project illustrates that if we can get in front of the customer, our win ratio is really high because we’re not just selling stock products, we are selling value and satisfaction.” says Pierro. “It often goes far beyond bent metal in a box. We actually get to use our engineering services, our custom design and manufacturing capabilities. We focus on the challenges and the result, and stock products weren’t able to fill the bill. We had to tweak it a bit to properly fit the application.”
Premier Mounts prides itself on being able to create custom solutions for any project. That helps them land some unique and interesting projects and makes integrators appreciate them.
“We add the most value by tweaking these products so they install faster,” says Pierro. “If we can take an integrator off the site faster, their bottom line is better or they can pass those savings off to their customers. That was the other piece of this product that was really good. It installed much faster.”
Target has video walls in all of its top-grossing locations, but is likely to continue adding them in more locations, says O’Brien, who expects Premier Mounts to be part of any future phases. The most recent order was for about 40 stores.
“We coordinate so that the POs are placed right about the same time, so we can fabricate at the same time,” says O’Brien. “Then, we schedule shipments to fit their need. Depending on how they want them shipped, sometimes it’s in rollout. Sometimes it’s in a full shipment to their specific location.
“In terms of logistics, they consolidate one store on one or two pallets. They’ll take our mounting solution, the displays, the computers, the hardware, the software and everything that’s needed for one store, consolidate it to a pallet it and ship that out from their location to the different locations across the country. Their integrators have install teams across the country that they’ve contracted with, that go out and do the actual installation,” he says.
Another key part of this story was “the relationship we built with Target,” says Pierro. “Our aim is not to go around any of the integrators, but we complement them as an extension of them. Getting this trust and a relationship with them, it was natural for them to give us their next project, which was sold through one of the integrators as well.”