CE Pro November 2021 - 68

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Azione Unlimited
Fall Conference
Makes Sweet Music
Industry buying group attracts 230
attendees for 'Nikhedonia in Nashville'
to share ideas on company structure,
efficiency. By Jason Knott
TAKING EXTRA precautions
to keep attendees safe from
potential COVID-19 exposure,
Azione Unlimited held
its " Nikhedonia in Nashville "
fall conference hosting 230
attendees in September. The
event was proof that a conference
can be conducted
safely, and as much a celebration
of meeting physically
in-person as it was a recognition
of the record-setting
sales the group's members
continue to have in 2021.
" Business is great, " succinctly
said Richard Glikes,
president of the buying
group. Collectively, members
of Azione Unlimited have
had record sales in every
month in 2021. Azione now
has 257 dealer members,
including 31 in Canada. In
June 2021 alone, sales for
members were up more than
50%. Glikes says the sales are
not just in staple categories
of audio, video and control,
but energy, voice, lighting
fixtures and other emerging
categories.
All that sales growth is
68 | CE Pro November 2021
happening while the market
is still facing supply chain
pressures, which several vendors
noted are likely not to
ease until 2023. In the meantime,
Glikes advised dealers
to adjust their contracts with
customers to reduce the 10%
holdbacks due for full completion
of the project.
" How can you finish the
job when you don't have
all the parts? " he asked
rhetorically. He recommended
integrators possibly
change proposals to read
the holdback in due upon
" substantial completion "
instead of " full completion. "
In the meantime, he advised
dealers to carefully analyze
their inventory.
" Just-in-time ordering of
equipment does not work
anymore, " he noted.
Among the key initiatives
Azione is working on are
special classes for members
to achieve American
Lighting Association Lighting
Specialist designations. The
group is also continuing to
enhance its new website
Azione only had 30 attendees and three sponsors cancel
from the Nashville event due to COVID-19 safety requirements
or travel restrictions. Azione's Richard Glikes (below)
says members set sales records for every month in 2021.
for workforce development:
smarthomehire.com. To date,
the site has garnered nearly
20,000 pageviews and 1,300
unique visitors.
Another effort in the works
is the Azione Architect and
Designer Alliance (AADA),
which is a website aimed at
outreach to members of the
AIA, ASID and CRAN associations
in the design and
architectural space. Lastly,
Azione is looking at hiring a
full-time, in-house lighting
design professional who can
work with members on their
project layouts.
The event included lots of
idea-sharing. In one session,
integrators shared the most
important change they had
made in their business during
the pandemic. Among the
advice offered was how to
structure your company, how
to adopt lighting fixtures
successfully, how to provide
meaningful gifts to employees
and clients, and ways
to build team culture in the
business.
Randy Stearns, CEO of
D-Tools, spoke to the group
about creative ways to solve
the labor shortage. Another
highlight from the event was
the return of Sam Runco,
who relayed his rags-to-riches
story to the group. Chad
Russell of Josh.ai reviewed
the future of interfaces, noting
that voice control will be
the dominant interface in the
future, not the touchpanel.
Lastly, Ari Supran, CEO of
Sonance, discussed how to
effectively build company
culture.
cepro.com
http://www.smarthomehire.com http://www.Josh.ai http://www.cepro.com

CE Pro November 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CE Pro November 2021

CE Pro November 2021 - Presentation Page
CE Pro November 2021 - Cover1
CE Pro November 2021 - Cover2
CE Pro November 2021 - 1
CE Pro November 2021 - 2
CE Pro November 2021 - 3
CE Pro November 2021 - 4
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CE Pro November 2021 - Cover3
CE Pro November 2021 - Cover4
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