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CI Distribution & Labor Survey: Integrators Ask. Herman Answers.

Commercial Integrator has released the results of its in-depth survey regarding distribution and labor contracting. The survey presents results from over 450 respondents who shared their needs and desires when it comes to working with Pro AV distributors.

As a leading distributor and labor subcontractor ourselves, we found the survey results interesting and reassuring as they highlight many of the services that are at the heart of Herman’s business. Our purpose is to empower integrators to achieve more, and we do so by solving many of the challenges uncovered by the CI Survey. Let’s take a closer look:

Distributors like Herman exist because the Pro AV business is complicated, with each job requiring unique logistics and coordination. As CI puts it,

“Integrators are in charge of procuring multiple products from disparate manufacturers and ensuring that they arrive to the job site on time and as ordered. Once they reach the site, integrators need the skilled technicians that can install the products correctly and on time.”

From Herman’s perspective, we understand these challenges intimately and have built the distribution relationships, infrastructure, talent, and skills to ease the burden for integrators.

Distribution Results
In summarizing the three major needs of AV integrators when it comes to working with distributors, CI cited:

  • AV integrators want consolidation when ordering products
  • AV integrators want distributors that exhibit good customer service and technical knowledge
  • AV integrators need more skilled technicians

As CI put it,

“Logistics, customer service, and skill – that’s the general wish list of our respondents.”

When it comes to choosing one item that is most important for distributors to offer, the top four results reported by the CI Survey were:

  • Order consolidation (15%)
  • Exceptional customer experience (11.3%)
  • Easy to do business with (11.3%)
  • Dealer-direct pricing programs (10.3%)We were pleased to see these results.

We were pleased to see these results. With over 60 top manufacturers as distribution partners, order consolidation is a key benefit Herman offers to our integrator clients, along with great reporting and logistics support. We are able to provide these added-value services while matching dealer-direct pricing.

Labor Results

When asked about the most important attribute when selecting AV labor subcontractors, the CI survey cited:

  • Quality technicians (38.3%)
  • Required skill set (22.6%)
  • Good communication (10.4%)

According to CI,

“About 54% of respondents said that ‘finding technicians with necessary technical skills’ was the biggest challenge when hiring an AV technician for their company.”

These results confirm that our focus on highly trained and skilled technicians at Herman Integration Services, including CAD and programming, make Herman an ideal partner for the integrator seeking to expand and enhance their labor capabilities.

Another interesting bit of data in support of subcontracting labor was the amount of time it typically takes to train and get newly hired labor up to speed. According to the CI Survey, over 81% of respondents said it takes more than 4 weeks, with 39.4% saying it takes 5-8 weeks. Clearly, an advantage of using highly skilled subcontracted labor is to eliminate that extensive ramp-up time and expense.

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Herman Hits the Mark

In conclusion, CI stated that based on their respondents answers, the right Pro AV distributor.

“…would provide logistical programs that help cut down on the complexity of ordering multiple products from multiple vendors. They would offer labor subcontracting services and would ensure that their subcontractors are technically skilled professionals.”

We’re proud to say that Herman is that “right Pro AV distributor” for hundreds of integrators across the country. Herman Pro AV is a leading provider of product procurement and logistics services, while Herman Integration Services offers nationwide installation and service technicians as well as technical and programming services. We’re well-positioned to address the issues raised in the CI survey and empower integrators to achieve more.

You can read CI’s full article on their distribution and labor survey here: https://www.commercialintegrator.com/business_resources/research/pro-av-distributor-labor-markets/