Herman Integration Services on Going Private, Field Nation Partnership

Published: May 20, 2024
Chris Bianchet (L) and Mynul Khan (R) look forward to the growing partnership.

In the AV industry, Herman Integration Services has long been known for supporting systems integrators with a variety of technical as well as AV labor services, including engineering, programming, CAD drawings and AV installations. About a month ago, the company announced that it has returned to its roots as a private company. Alongside this, the Tampa, Fla.-based firm entered into a relationship with Field Nation. The latter specializes in connecting companies and technical resources to complete work onsite.

In an exclusive interview with Commercial Integrator, leaders from the two companies speak on how the new partnership will address labor support and complex installations across the breadth of the industry. Chris Bianchet, general manager and VP at Herman Integration Services, and Mynul Khan, founder and CEO of Field Nation, also dive into how the partnership can bring about a transformation in the AV contracting landscape.

An Eventful Transition for Herman Integration Services

According to Bianchet, the mission for Herman Integration Services has always been to meet needs in the mid- to higher-level market for AV subcontracting. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic came and went, the business environment began shifting again at a rapid pace. “The need for talent has grown, now more than ever,” Bianchet says. “[This] led to bigger questions of how we were going to attract and train the future of the AV industry.” With this in mind, he notes, the company decided to continue its story as a private company once again.

As Bianchet describes it, the company sought to further build upon its roots through its newfound partnership with Field Nation. “We wanted to be nimbler — build partnerships with organizations so that we could drive [talent forward],” he explains. And since Herman Integration Services had been loyal customers of Field Nation for six years, the partnership just felt extremely natural. “We do a tremendous amount of business with the platform, and we felt a synergy where we could help each other elevate the expertise in AV,” Bianchet emphasizes. “This partnership has really allowed us to reimagine the work we’re doing in the subcontracting field.”

Working With Field Nation

As Khan describes the company, Field Nation is the largest field services marketplace that connects businesses requiring field service workers with independent technicians across North America. “We have a platform that connects around 1,000 businesses with about 100,000 independent technicians and small-service organizations located all over U.S. and Canada,” he adds. The idea that underpins the firm is to aid other businesses in scaling profitability by providing a variety of vital services.

From Khan’s perspective, there is huge friction in the market right now centered on getting the right technician,
at the right place, at the right time. And that is where Field Nation steps in. He remarks, “Through the technology platform, we have thus enabled service companies [to have] direct access to this technicians network and get the job done.” Although the firm began in the telecom space, it has seen tremendous growth in the AV sector in recent years. “Our market research shows that there is a growing need for qualified AV technicians in the field,” Khan underscores. “While we hadn’t deliberately focused on the AV space, we became big due to the organic nature of growth of AV itself.”

Ultimately, the goals of Field Nation align with Herman Integration Services’ longstanding mission. That helps explicate the partnership cemented between the organizations — a partnership that will bring immense value to AV industry stakeholders.

Emphasis on Value Proposition

Turning to the value proposition that the blossoming partnership between Herman Integration Services and Field Nation presents, Khan states that the focus is to capitalize on the oft-discussed labor shortage and rising technician labor rates, which have resulted in a fragmentation in the AV space. “We essentially want to be the one that brings it all together on our platform,” Khan says. Continuing, Bianchet remarks, “While we’re still offering our usual services of helping with large-scale projects, we are changing up what we’re doing.” This, he continues, entails working with Field Nation to expand the breadth of Herman Integration Services by tenfold. “Previously, we never had 1,000 qualified individuals to offer as part of the services,” Bianchet says. “Now, there is a different magnitude of what we can offer to customers, especially for the big players in the AV industry.” No wonder this relationship is attracting so much industry attention!

Herman Integration Services and Field Nation Ensure Quality Services

For integrators, the potential is clear for a major cost-savings benefit. Working with Field Nation allows them to tap into resources and technicians through the platform, minimizing stress and unnecessary effort expenditure. What’s more, AV companies also can be reassured that they are receiving quality services from fully vetted technicians and subcontractors. As Khan explains, the power of the platform lies in its ability to capture every transaction and work order in the system, ensuring proper connections take place. “We capture all basic information, such as the type of work, the licenses and certifications required, as well as the tools and experience of the technician involved in the project,” he reveals. “This gives immense confidence to our customers, as they [have visibility into] the work technicians have accomplished.”

Bianchet adds that, through Herman Integration Services’ partnership with Field Nation, they’re looking to create a certification program so that technicians can move to higher-level work if they have the proper skill set.

Final Thoughts

In summation, the two organizations hope to help satiate the appetite for labor while also easing management for AV companies by leveraging a centralized platform. As Khan explains, “We make the engagement process, the completion process — everything — super simple to ensure a project’s success.” Bianchet adds, “We want customers to know that, through Herman, we’ve also got the Herman legacy way. So, we can take care of all their needs from all aspects.”

Both Herman Integration Services and Field Nation will be present at InfoComm in Las Vegas, and they will spotlight this growing venture in the AV space to attendees. “We’re super excited to be there, and we are ready to be talking to everybody!” Bianchet enthuses.

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