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Top Integrators 2019: Business Challenges

SCN Top 50 2019
(Image credit: Bri Hermanson)

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 2019, and how have you overcome it?

Jeff Davis, Avidex

Jeff Davis

Jeff Davis, CEO, Avidex

As we continue to experience significant growth in our business, one of our greatest challenges is finding qualified talent to expand our workforce. To address this, we have developed relationships with many of the schools near our major branch operations, developing relationships with their placement offices. This has given us access to a new pool of talented individuals who might not otherwise consider our industry. Additionally, we have enhanced our overall compensation packages to ensure that we are competitive not only in wages but in the other components as well, including 401(k), healthcare, paid volunteer time off, and PTO.

Rhonda Wingate, Carousel Industries

Rhonda Wingate

Rhonda Wingate, Vice President of Visual Collaboration Sales, Carousel Industries

The biggest challenges in 2019 were in keeping up with the pace and growth of the business. With a focus on enhancing customer experience, Carousel invested strategically, redesigning processes to anticipate the demand for faster turnaround times for quotes. Additionally, customers expect shorter lead time on project implementations, which may put a strain on internal resources.

Robby Turner, Data Projections

Robby Turner

Robby Turner, CTS, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing, Data Projections

Finding experienced and qualified technical personnel to keep up with our growing needs continues to be a challenge. We recruit for the right attitude above all else; the rest we can teach as we continually update the training tracks offered to our staff and take advantage of manufacturers’ training opportunities. We’re in the process of updating our internship program to help in the development of talent and the future leaders of our industry. Both AVIXA and NSCA are doing a great job evangelizing our industry, but we like to take it a step further and be personally involved with developing the talent pool.

Bill Chamberlin, Verrex

Bill Chamberlin

Bill Chamberlin, Vice President of Global Sales, Verrex

The 2019 political unrest in Hong Kong was an unforeseen challenge. Prolonged uncertainty over the political climate has impacted overall business within the APAC region. Concerns of investment resulted in delays and/or cancellations of planned Hong Kong audiovisual projects. As a global integrator, Verrex has worked with clients to adjust project priorities to other locations, including Singapore and Tokyo, for their audiovisual investments.

Ken Scaturro, Yorktel

Ken Scaturro

Ken Scaturro, President and COO, Yorktel

Our largest challenge for 2019 was the continued evolution of our existing workforce to match the technologies of tomorrow. We continue to meet this challenge by investing heavily in virtual and on-site staff training and making these skill sets a requirement for the team.

Dana Barron, HB Communications

Dana Barron

Dana Barron, CEO, HB Communications

Our largest business challenge in 2019 has carried over from previous years, and that is evolving our company from a technology integration partner to a business outcome and customer success partner. This philosophy impacts every part of our organization, and the evolution takes time. The client conversation around collaboration has moved away from a codec and infrastructure discussion to more of a platform and consumption model engagement.

John Goodbout, CCS Presentation Systems

John Goodbout

John Godbout, Founder and CEO, CCS Presentation Systems

A definite challenge this year was recruiting and training skilled AV techs and engineers. The strength of the U.S. economy and resulting low unemployment rate made it difficult to find good people.

Jeff Irvin, Spinitar

Jeff Irvin

Jeff Irvin, Principal, Spinitar

We needed to staff up this year—and I mean really staff up. We had an individual who played the role of full-time recruiter to help us fill the holes.