2018 Top Integrators: Challenges for 2018

Along with our annual Top 50 Systems Integrators feature, we polled a selection of leading firms on industry topics.

SCN: What was the biggest business challenge of 2018, and how have you overcome it?

Jeff Irvin, Principal, Spinitar

Ready access to qualified AV talent continues to challenge us and our ability to grow, but during this past year we brought on a new EVP of corporate development who has been focused on building a portal to a talent pool. Fortunately, we are now seeing a boost in available install tech candidates, but still remain challenged in finding qualified AV design, programming, and project management talent. 

Robby Turner, CTS, EVP Sales and Marketing, Data Projections

Our largest challenges continue to revolve around people—managing labor resources, finding experienced/qualified/dependable talent (both full time and temporary labor), continuing to leverage multiple partnerships, and kissing a lot of frogs. 

John Godbout, Founder and CEO, CCS Presentation Systems

Workload is our biggest concern. We’ve employed automation to help alleviate some of the issues that add “work hours”. Our operations staff also feels the stress that is created by having millions of dollars of backlog. Better processes and procedures once again help relieve some of this stress.

Michael Fornander, CEO, Neurilink

With success often comes the need to grow resources. Our industry is still not attracting individuals as well as more traditional occupations and industry sectors. Being a very proud local employer, we have had to look outside our market over the past year to find the skill sets and experience we need with regards to installation technicians, commissioners, service engineers, and programmers.

We hope to become more involved in programs like NSCA’s Ignite or similar educational offerings within our local universities, colleges, and high schools.  We believe this industry is a bit of a hidden gem, and it is time to share that with likeminded students and career seekers!

Michael V. DiBella, Vice President of Marketing, IVCi

The biggest challenge has been to maintain aggressive revenue targets while the general technology costs decrease on hardware and software. Based on this and the general market need, we have put in place the industry’s most advanced managed service offering.  Our offering is as diverse as it is robust and by diversifying our revenue goals to include aggressive managed services targets, we expanded our market and uncovered new areas for revenue generation that supplements the decreasing costs associated with hardware without cannibalizing our core offering.

Philip Giffard, President, Integration Division, Solotech

Our biggest challenge is finding qualified human resources—Solotech is growing fast. To overcome this challenge, we hire people all around the world, we develop our internal employees, and extend our recruitment to find experts that are not from the AV industry.

Jim Scalise, CTS, General Manager, Avidex

2018 was a very busy year in our industry with lots of work for all the integrators. A challenge we had—that I know many of our competitors had as well—was finding talented people to get the work done. There isn’t a simple solution or a magic spell, it’s hard work. We have found that a multi-pronged approach achieved the best results for us. Recruiting is everyone’s job. That’s a very important step. Not only is our HR department recruiting, but each and every employee is, too. Everyone is reaching out to their own network to find new additions to add to our team. We are also committed to telling the Avidex story and sharing our company culture with the outside world better and in more ways.

Click here to see the SCN Top 50 2018.

Read more on the SCN Top 50:

2018 Top 50: AV Excellence

2018 Top Integrators: Market Forecast

2018 Top Integrators: Experience Design

Megan A. Dutta

Megan A. Dutta is a pro AV industry journalist, and the former content director for Systems Contractor News (SCN) and Digital Signage Magazine, both Future U.S. publications. Dutta previously served as the marketing communications manager at Peerless-AV, where she led the company’s marketing and communications department. Dutta is the recipient of AVIXA's 2017 Young AV Professional Award and Women in Consumer Technology's 2018 Woman to Watch Award. Dutta is co-founder of Women of Digital Signage, an organization designed to provide a pathway to promote networking, mentoring, and personal growth.