Each week, I am highlighting on some of the incredible people who are in the Audio Video Industry. As this blog is mostly about AV insiders, today we are profiling Randy Pagnan .
Here is a brief intro about him.
Randy Pagnan has worked in the Audiovisual industry for over 30 years. He is currently president of rp Visual Solutions.
Please drop your questions in the comments below and i will make sure that he sees them.
1.Describe your journey in the AV industry? How did it start?
I was working for Electrohome Limited a Canadian based company in their Motor Manufacturing division when an accounting job came up in the Electronics Division for a Financial Analyst for their Projection Systems group. I instantly enjoyed the business of communication and had a real passion to understand more than just the financial numbers. After 2 years in that role – I applied for a position in Sales and became the Canadian Sales Manager for Electrohome Projection Systems.
2.What do you think is the challenges that are facing a new person who wants to join the industry.
First off – you have to find our industry —-although we are everywhere and everyone uses today some form of communication devices to get their message across — we remain a best kept secret. There is limited formal education to get into our business —- and the best learning and training still comes from the school of hard knocks. That is why you see such a high number of ex rock and rollers in our industry. There are many opportunities for informal education- spearheaded mostly by INFOCOMM and other trade associations. If a resume comes across my desk of a young college graduate but with no experience – if I see that they have got their INFOCOMM CTS designation – I would be keenly interested in talking with them.
3.What are the positives of working in this industry
We touch all industries and are EVERYWHERE. I am always a bit perplexed when someone in our industry says ‘I am tired of this business’ – well if you are tired of a particular sector- say education – then morph to fortune 500 – auditorium, boardroom and classrooms, tired of that – morph into visual displays for command and control rooms.. or medical imaging, or event staging. The other positive – our industry has personality —- there are so many good people in the A/V Industry.
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4.What in your opinion would you change in the industry? What are the negatives that are prevalent ?
The barriers or cost for entry as an integrator are minimal….and while that may sound like a positive – it is probably is the biggest single contributing factor to what plagues our industry most – which is depressed margins on product. Margin erosion in the commercial A/V Business is comparable to what you saw happen in other industries such as computing and broadcast. AV clients feel that they can go online and buy all the products to make a system why should they pay an integration firm to provide them. Thereby the true value of system integration is often lost on the battle for low costs.
5.Describe your ideal client? What do you wish clients to know before hiring you.
RPV’s solutions are 100% custom – by the very nature – most of what we have done has not been done before, and requires very skilled design, engineering, fabrication and installation to ensure customer satisfaction. The installation component – which we typically perform in concert with our customers (the integrator) warrant up front expectations by all parties. So – to answer your question – our ideal clients are at either end of the spectrum…. Those that know that they cannot do this part of the project and those that know they can (inexperienced to very experienced). Those that realize this and either hire us to install our component or install our component as good as us – are ideal to work with. Nothing worse than when we have a customer who says “yeah we can do this – it is easy” and as soon as our product gets on-site – we know that they do not have the right skill set to install this properly. Sadly very few clients will invest in training on our products as we are seen as “just a mount”, verses what we really are – which is an architecturally integrated visual structure. Our install team can do this. We want clients to know that we are on their team, and when engaged, we work and support the client as if we were on their payroll. We all want the same objective – happy clients.
6.If you were going to start over, what would you do differently ?
RPV has carved out a unique niche where we are highly regarded as the best in optical screen solutions and challenging mounting projects – which usually means we are solving for the large, curved, tilted or architecturally integrated display walls. The only thing I wish I had done differently is that I had started RP Visuals – 10 years earlier.
7.Describe a typical work day for you. What are your daily disciplines?
The one thing typical is to expect the unexpected. By nature of what we do — the phone rings or an e-mail comes in — and we are asked if we can build a mount to suspend a 38’ tall by 18’ wide wall UHD Direct View LED over an open atrium in a prestigious lobby in Dubai and deliver this is 9 weeks. Typical daily disciplines is to review new projects, new orders, installation schedule – but most importantly we have a listing of any field problems. Existing customers issues always take precedent over any new potential business. I am pleased to say we have currently (as of today) no field problems – which with the amount of jobs we have done and the complexity – I am pleased to say.
8.Describe the apps and gear that you use daily which makes you more productive?
Our CRM – Contact Resource Management tool (ACT) is what sets our daily tasks and drives our follow-up. This combined with MS Outlook is how we manage our days. Face to face meetings are still the best to accomplish the most – but not always practical. We are constantly reviewing drawings and site pictures so tools like GOTOMYMEETING and FACETIME are of great benefit.
9. In your role in Infocomm as a board of governors, what was your responsibilities ?
While on the Board the biggest single responsibility is to participate fully. Be versed on the matters at hand and if not – reach out to other members who would have a vested interest in particular topics to garner their input and comments. The Board of course does have a fiduciary responsibility as well on some voting matters – so very important that should you commit to volunteer that you take your job serious. I served on the board for almost 5 years prior to becoming Secretary Treasurer and then ascending through the chairs to Chairman of the Board.
10. With your experience of over 25 years in the industry, how do you stay relevant in terms of new technology and value to the customer ?
My “secret” annual trip is to attend ISE – Europe. Great show and fortunately for me — almost everyone speaks English. I always walk the show until I see at least a couple of cool things – that I can add value to in terms of a unique mounting solution and / or projection screen solution. Fortunately lately with advances in projection technology (laser) and fine pitch direct view LED — lot’s of stuff for RPV to add value to our customers with.