SCN: How long have you been in this position?
Sam Taylor: Since we formed the division in 2009. I’ve been in the AV industry for 34 years.
SCN: How is Almo celebrating its 75th Anniversary this year?
ST: As a company, we decided the most productive and rewarding way to celebrate this incredible milestone is to give back – in 75 different ways. We’ve carefully selected 75 different organizations representing causes that are important to us, both professionally and personally. At InfoComm, we donated to AVIXA’s Michael Vergauwen Scholarship Foundation to support future AV professionals. Additionally, all the furniture in our booth (provided by our sister company Hanover) was donated to the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore after the show.
SCN: What are the short and long-term goals for Almo Professional A/V?
ST: Short-term, we continue to invest in our employees, our customers, and our vendor partners to deliver value-added distribution that is always industry leading. Relationships matter! Long-term, we are always looking for opportunities to expand our reach in markets such as IT and security, where we are expanding our market share.
SCN: What are some of Almo’s sustainable business practices?
ST: We are very focused on practices that reduce Almo’s overall carbon footprint and minimize impact on the environment. To date, three of our warehouse facilities use roof-mounted solar panels, with more to follow. By using sun-produced energy, we are able to drastically lower energy costs and send more than 65 percent of the solar electricity produced back into the grid.
At the same time, today all Almo warehouses use motion-sensing lighting to cut electricity use in half. The forklifts in the warehouses are also being converted from liquid propane engines to efficient, eco-friendly, battery-operated engines that reduce CO2 emissions by more than 80 percent.
SCN: Currently, what are some of the pro AV industry’s biggest challenges?
ST: Our industry challenges mirror many of the global challenges being experienced by other industries – supply chain, labor shortages, and restricted access to worksites. At Almo, we are doing our best to work through those challenges by offering a variety of different products including new technology, such as holographic telepresence. We are also contracting with well-vetted service partners and working on customized, creative applications with our integrators so they can continue to stay productive and profitable.
SCN: Where do you see the pro AV industry heading?
ST: The future has never been brighter for pro AV. There is a lot of pent-up demand. Companies both small and large are updating their facilities to make them hybrid-friendly, which means there will be major AV updates required for years to come. AV is here to stay, and we have a front-row opportunity to make it all happen.
SCN: How has Almo Pro A/V’s E4 Experience changed since the pandemic began?
ST: When the pandemic began, we were unable to travel and bring the E4 Experience educational and product showcase format to our partners in person, so we created the E4 Evolution, a virtual version, which has been wildly successful. Our first Hybrid E4 Experience in Dallas [scheduled for Nov. 30 at press time], combines the E4 regional/in-person and virtual platforms for the best of both worlds. AVIXA-credited sessions led by the industry’s top presenters will be available for live and virtual consumption. Many of our exhibiting manufacturers will be able to show new products that weren’t available at InfoComm. The hybrid model is ideal this year because it gives all our partners the ability to participate.
SCN: Are there new initiatives we are likely to see from your company?
ST: Always! We are getting ready to announce a major change in our services model, which will be welcomed and beneficial for our customers and labor partners. Stay tuned.