SCN: When did you and your partner establish PCM?
Daniel Abrams: PCM was in development for just over a year before our official public launch on July 5, 2022.
SCN: What is PCM and what services do you provide?
DA: PCM is a business group for service providers in the AV and low-voltage industries. Our collective of Crew Network Providers (CNPs) forms the PCM Network. The PCM Network enables the industry at large, including serving integrators and manufacturers, to expand their reach and grow their businesses.
PCM CNPs benefit from nationwide distribution and sales activities generating project opportunities, industry representation, and shared best practices and experiences. As PCM grows, we have plans to introduce additional programs and benefits to our CNPs.
[Executive Q&A: Blaze Audio Is On a Mission] (opens in new tab)
SCN: So, you’ve positioned PCM to be a Pro AV middleman?
DA: That's a fair statement, though PCM was built with a focus on the service providers business first. When talking about PCM, we typically refer to commonly known business models like Uber. Uber is a network of drivers and riders. It provides benefits to each while being the trusted partner in between. PCM is similar in that we serve both service providers and those consuming services as a trusted partner, creating connections and a responsible path to outsourced service delivery.
SCN: How has your background prepared you for your role?
DA: I've been fortunate to experience the AV industry from several perspectives over the last two-and-a-half decades. As an integrator and end user, I had a vast amount of direct experience working with and managing third-party providers. My partner and co-founder, CEO Chris Whitley, was the original founder of USAV (now known as EDGE), so his specific background in the development of a business group is also a tremendous benefit.
SCN: Does PCM connect integrators with individuals as well as organizations?
DA: No, but also yes. All of our CNPs that make up the PCM network are businesses. Some are quite small, while others are larger. Some of our CNPs provide individuals as outsourced resources, which creates a pathway to connect to an individual, but only through a business partner, not a direct connection to an individual.
[Executive Q&A: Quality Audio for All] (opens in new tab)
SCN: IS PCM also a buying group?
DA: PCM is developing a program for our CNPs to leverage group purchasing power for commodity products and items that are beneficial to their businesses. This would include things like cable and infrastructure products, physical installation tools and hardware, and business services including office equipment. PCM CNPs are not resellers of AV technology.
SCN: What details can you provide about your partnership with Exertis Almo?
DA: Our partnership with Exertis Almo (opens in new tab) is a fantastic way for integrators to easily access the PCM Network. They have a nationwide presence and provide our CNPs with opportunities at projects across the country. As organizations, PCM and Exertis Almo share many of the same core values. As individuals, both Chris and I have long-term relationships with many members of the Exertis Almo executive team, making the partnership a natural fit.
SCN: Why should systems contractors consider PCM for project labor?
DA: PCM is the first and only business focused on the development and support of third-party service providers. We recognize our role as a trusted partner of both sides of the outsourcing equation. Our industry experience and knowledge of the work our CNPs are delivering is second to none. Outsourced resources provide an excellent way for system contractors to expand their reach and grow their businesses without the need to take on considerable additional overhead. Outsourcing allows businesses to scale their workforce and their skill sets as needed. As an added benefit it is also a great way to have more predictable margin on your service sales.
[Beyond the Tech: Cutting Corner Concerns] (opens in new tab)
SCN: What are the short and long-term goals for your company?
DA: We're definitely still in growth mode, and our largest short-term goals include increasing the footprint and coverage of the PCM Network and continuing to promote the responsible utilization of the outsourcing in Pro AV. As we continue to grow, we look forward to bringing new and innovative programs to our CNPs and partners, as well as expanding to serve other market segments of the low-voltage industry.
SCN: Where do you see the Pro AV industry heading?
DA: That's a loaded question! My personal feeling is that we'll continue to see overall growth for the industry. Generally speaking, the demand for AV is getting bigger, not smaller. As end users acclimate to new ways to work, learn, and create, the role of the integrator will continue to change. Change is guaranteed. There will definitely be the continued development of more service-based offerings in every segment of the market. Any business that continues to operate based on "how we've always done it" won't be around to tell that story much longer. The future is bright, but it will require adaptation and the willingness to change.