Name: Mark Corbin
Company: Vanco International
SCN: What is your position, and what does it entail? What are your responsibilities?
Mark Corbin: As president of Vanco International, I am responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operation of Vanco’s staff and the company’s four brands: Vanco, Evolution, Pulse Audio, and Beale Street Audio. In my role, I work with and provide direction to the executive team to implement the company’s key strategies, such as growing the company’s business with its core brands, and seeking out and adding new product categories/markets to better serve our customers.
SCN: How long have you been at this position?
MC: I was promoted to president earlier this year. However, I have been with Vanco for over seven years, previously as vice president; prior to that, I was director of distribution markets.
SCN: How has your background prepared you for your role?
MC: In my previous roles at Vanco, I was heavily involved in all aspects of the company’s day-to-day and strategic operations. Since joining the company in 2011, the distribution markets division has seen consistent and consecutive sales growth year after year. In that time, we were able to acquire and launch two additional brands, along with multiple patented products that have directly impacted Vanco’s success, and solidified our position as an innovative company in the AV market.
My belief—and a culture I have worked hard to foster this across the entire company—is that we should always put the customer first. Without our customers, we would not exist, and it is our job to provide them with the tools they need to be successful. I believe in the quality of our products and our incredibly talented staff, and I am certain Vanco will continue to grow and succeed as a leading manufacturer in the AV industry and beyond.
SCN: What are your short-and long-term goals?
MC: To give you a peek behind the curtain, in the short term, I look forward to expanding our current Beale Street Audio line; we are also launching some exciting new HDMI-over-IP products under the Vanco and Evolution lines. We have a solid product roadmap for 2018 that I know our distributors and dealers will benefit from and be really excited about.
In the long run, my goal is to focus on the continuous development of unique and innovative products that cater to installers’ needs and help grow our current brands, while also seeking out new opportunities for growth and possibly adding additional brands—assuming they are a good fit—under the Vanco umbrella.
SCN: What is the greatest challenge that you face?
MC: As a hardware manufacturer in the ever-changing AV space, the biggest challenge is staying on top of the latest technologies, identifying the next big trends, and being a step ahead of the competition. We are also extremely devoted to addressing the compatibility of our products with other products in the market. Vanco makes it a priority to ensure our products work well in every single AV system our customers install. This is core to our values and our in-house technical support team goes to great lengths to conduct ongoing compatibility testing to avoid any issues for systems contractors in the field.
SCN: Where do you see the AV market heading?
MC: There are a number of trends and technological advancements that have caused a shift in the AV industry. We are seeing more crossover between the commercial, security, and residential markets. And, with the growing popularity of smart devices, I think the line between these markets will continue to blur and become more intertwined. No longer will systems contractors be specific to residential AV, commercial AV, or security; they will need to be a jack of all trades because there is an expectation that all of the technology in a commercial environment or residence will work together, and can be monitored and controlled from the palm of the customer’s hand.
Streaming services and the popularity of voice control is another category that continues to grow. As a manufacturer, it has never been more important to offer high-quality wireless speakers and AV systems that are easy to set up and control.
The addition of 4K with HDR has also been a game changer in the AV industry, and has created demand for increased bandwidth from extenders and cables. This advancement in technology led us to develop new solutions to meet these needs quickly in 2017. We have seen growth in fiber in the commercial AV space as well, but the most in-demand features are still bandwidth and distance. In 2018, it is essential to offer quality products with these two features at a competitive price.
SCN: Are there new initiatives we are likely to see from Vanco?
MC: Absolutely. There are always new initiatives in the works at Vanco. We are looking forward to a steady cadence of product introductions that directly answer to installer needs throughout 2018. Beyond that, I can’t say much more, but you’ll be seeing and hearing a lot from Vanco in the near future.
SCN: How can systems contractors better position themselves to profit from products and/or services you have to offer?
MC: The quality and reliability of Vanco’s products, combined with the aggressive pricing and superior customer support we offer, helps systems contractors better position themselves for success. Our one-stop-shop business model means that purchasing from a Vanco distributor allows integrators to save valuable time and money, which in turn increases their profits. We also offer industry-leading warranty terms, technical support, and trainings so our customers know they are taken care of from the start of a job to many years down the road.