Commercial Integrator has published an article focusing on how the current situation may have a positive impact on demand for labor services when things start picking up again. Herman is one of the companies featured in the article, which included the video above of Chris Bianchet, GM of Herman Integration Services.
According to CI:
The slowdown across the AV industry could be creating pent-up demand for the industry that will mean new opportunities for audio visual labor services & staffing services across the industry once we get the all-clear to return to the projects that were stalled out when the coronavirus pandemic reached our shores in mid-March.
Almo Integration Services, Atlantis Partners and Herman Integration Services are three audio visual labor services that are poised and ready to get back to work and they’re uniquely positioned to gain new partnerships with the AV integrators who were forced to lay off or furlough their techs in the economic downturn
Although the three company aren’t keen on capitalizing on the misfortune of others in their industry, their business models mean they have the capabilities to plug holes for companies that might otherwise have to walk away from jobs because they just don’t have the staff to complete them after COVID-19.
As the article also notes, “Herman boasts about 120 AV techs across the country from New York to California, says Bianchet, and he expects they’ll be busier than ever when the pandemic moves through the U.S. and work can pick back up at a somewhat normal pace.
In addition to installation, programming, engineering, and project management, Herman Integration Services also runs projects for integrators that don’t have a local presence where they get work, says Bianchet.
The New York market has faced the hardest hit, with California also seeing a “tremendous slowdown,” but Herman is still seeing work in the southeastern U.S., Midwest, and Texas along with “quite a few projects” in the Washington, D.C. area, says Bianchet.”
While these are difficult times, we’re confident that things will return to normal, and the AV Industry will continue to grow and thrive as part of the backbone that keeps businesses and communities connected.
Bianchet remembers AV integrators being slow to rehire after the recession in 2008 and expects the same this time around after COVID-19, a phenomenon that will lead to “a nice spike in subcontracting,” he says.
“We think it’s going to come back and there’s going to be a lot of it,” says Bianchet. “We’re trying to prepare for that and make sure we’re in a position to help companies.”
Bianchet expects “more of a need for collaboration spaces and meeting rooms” when companies return to their offices, a phenomenon that “should be good for our industry” in the long run once we “get through the pain of what we’re dealing with now.”
Since the pandemic outbreak, Herman Integration Services has been doing AV installation work for some companies with which it didn’t previously have a formal relationship, says Bianchet, but the challenge these days is getting access to the site or figuring out if it’s clean enough for installers to be there.
Herman is distributing donated masks to its techs, says Bianchet, and distributing large rolls of toilet paper to those who need it. The company also has a supply of donated hand sanitizer and other supplies the technicians need to stay safe at work, including masks and gloves, he says.