Name: Dennis Hickey
Company: Sansi North America
SCN: What is your position, and what does it entail? What are your responsibilities?
DENNIS HICKEY: As president of Sansi North America, I direct the company’s market strategy, its product evolution, and our overall company culture. Essentially, I oversee a company that has managed, fabricated, and implemented some of the U.S.’s most prominent and spectacular LED displays while offering our clients a single source for both indoor and outdoor products.
SCN: How long have you been at this position?
DH: Sansi was established in 1993, so the company is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. However, we officially established the business in North America in 2009, and I’ve been leading our team ever since.
SCN: How has your background prepared you for your role?
DH: I came from the sign industry, and was involved in some big digital signage projects as well as large static signage in New York City—those experiences really prepared me to be able to take Sansi to the next level. And I couldn’t be happier with the way our team has responded to market growth and challenges. We have really been able to take advantage of a booming market and outperform competitors with a straightforward, ethical approach.
SCN: What are your short- and long-term goals?
DH: Many LED companies started in the rental and staging market, then moved to installed AV. Although we have some presence in those areas, we got our start in fixed installations, and today we are known as a manufacturer who can get any custom, mega-spectacular job done on time and with transparency and integrity. This expertise has served us well even with integrator partnerships, as we can offer so much more than just shipping them LED hardware. Because we started in installed AV as opposed to jumping on the LED bandwagon late, our general goal has essentially stayed the same: take the LED products that we manufacture ourselves and educate the market about our expertise and quality.
Long-term, my goal is to continue cultivating a positive, incentive-based culture within our company. In my view, generating growth and success from the inside out is the most sustaining and rewarding kind of accomplishment.
SCN: What is the greatest challenge that you face?
DH: Our greatest challenge is showing potential clients that we are not just another we-can-do-that-too LED supplier. Slowly but surely, we’re successfully communicating to new customers that we have that engineering DNA and a proven track record working with best-in-breed integrators.
SCN: Where do you see the AV market heading?
DH: With more and more LEDs saturating the display market, I think there will continue to be greater scrutiny on manufacturers to weed out the pretenders. And there will be more focus on the finer details of these projects—take mounting for example. The quality of a mounting job can make or break an LED installation, and some struggle to deliver high-end mounting services cost effectively. But getting this right is key in a mutually successful manufacturer/integrator relationship. In the coming year, it will become more evident that quality LED products from reputable LED manufacturers provide the best chance at successfully and economically mounting in the field, not some cobbled-together job with problematic seams between panels, accessibility issues, or other common problems.
SCN: Are there new initiatives we are likely to see from Sansi North America?
DH: Other than re-doubling down on our company culture, there are a lot of changes we’ve seen to keep up with our growth. We just moved our headquarters in Times Square to a larger space with a state-of-the-art demo wall where we can really let clients see and touch many of our product offerings. Also, we are opening new offices in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. On the product side, we have a 0.9mm pixel pitch product market ready today, and we are looking forward to a 0.6mm pitch release coming soon. And those, of course, are in addition to our industry-leading interior pitch product offerings.
SCN: How can systems contractors better position themselves to profit from products and/or services you have to offer?
DH: Establishing great partnerships is the way to attack the booming LED market and take advantage of all of this growth. We’re looking for partners with a proven track record that we can depend on, but who could also lean on our expertise and knowhow.