Commercial Integrator + Security Sales Jan/Feb 2024 - 16

CI
STATE OF THE INDUSTRY
pivoting to the challenge he does hear
integrators lamenting. " I think the concerns
are more about making sure those
projects are executed profitably. "
Empowering Financial Leadership
For years, NSCA has driven the message
that integration business owners must empower
their financial leadership to ensure
every project has a strong profitability
posture. This is a passion for Wilson, who
speaks eloquently on the issue. " The key is
to go into a project where your anticipated
gross margin is managed to where your
actual gross margin is the same number
or better, " he explains. That's easier said
than done, especially amid so many sources
of margin erosion (e.g., surcharges,
inflation, schedule changes).
Wilson emphasizes that integrators
mustn't ever confuse being busy with being
successful. " There's a huge difference
between activity and positive, successful
results on projects, " he warns. Wilson
urges constant vigilance against margin
erosion and encourages proactive measures
(e.g., change orders) to combat it.
One way that integrators can potentially
realize greater profitability on projects
is to enmesh themselves in more aspects
of a client's physical environment. LeBlanc
touts the idea of becoming a " master
systems integrator. " As he explains,
" There are a lot of opportunities for com4
to 10
2%
1 to 3
5%
11 or more
2%
Residential
projects
completed in the
last 12 months
who espouse resimercial as an ascendant
opportunity. Our survey respondents, for
their part, do not register much interest
at all in residential work. Indeed, 91%
of survey takers say that they didn't
complete a single residential project in
the past 12 months. Another 5% say they
completed between one and three residential
jobs. " Perhaps the high ceiling for
integrators is not to expand to other customer
groups, " LeBlanc avers. Instead, he
urges integrators " ...to look more at what
they can do to provide greater and wider
solutions for their existing customers. "
None
91%
mercial integration companies to expand
what they do with their existing customers. "
Traditional AV integrators might
limit their project purview to UC&C,
for example. By contrast, LeBlanc says,
master systems integrators " ...get more
involved in the overall building solution. "
That might involve HVAC monitoring,
taking ownership of the building's healthy
systems, etc. Ultimately, it's about being
a one-stop solution that provides all the
systems that make people feel comfortable
in the building.
The master systems integrator approach
serves as a counterpoint for those
Security Might Be Another Story
Going deeper and wider with commercial
clients could well mean dipping a toe
in the physical and electronic security
world. " We're seeing a huge integration
opportunity between AV, digital signage
and security now, " Wilson observes, " because
the systems are all interoperable
and working together. " Thus, especially
at a time when active-shooter situations
are tragically frequent, it's only natural
to pair discussions about campus signage
and mass notification, for example, with
conversations about video surveillance,
access control, intrusion detection and
other security measures. And with commercial
clients increasingly recognizing
that AV is likewise mission critical, they're
primed to assign high value to what AV
integrators have to offer.
Already, we see 18% of survey respondents
reporting that they have physical
security projects in their backlog for 2024.
This just reinforces Wilson's perspective.
" Our sweet spot isn't [in residential], " he
declares. " It's in industrial manufacturing,
education, healthcare, government
- that's where we belong. "
One thing that AV integrators perhaps
A huge integration opportunity exists between AV, digital signage and security now.
Increasingly, the systems are all interoperable and capable of working together.
16 Commercial Integrator+Security Sales & Integration | Jan/Feb 2024
could learn from physical and electronic
security specialists is the importance
of selling services and earning RMR. At
present, our research study shows relative
stagnancy in terms of integrators shifting
to a services-driven business model.
Some 47% of respondents say that service
contracts made up less than 5% of their
revenue last year. Another 28% peg the
number at 5% to 10% of 2023 revenue.
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Commercial Integrator + Security Sales Jan/Feb 2024

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Commercial Integrator + Security Sales Jan/Feb 2024 - Bellyband1
Commercial Integrator + Security Sales Jan/Feb 2024 - Bellyband2
Commercial Integrator + Security Sales Jan/Feb 2024 - Cover1
Commercial Integrator + Security Sales Jan/Feb 2024 - Cover2
Commercial Integrator + Security Sales Jan/Feb 2024 - 1
Commercial Integrator + Security Sales Jan/Feb 2024 - 2
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