As the powerful Joe Rogan says, “we are living in strange times.” Who could have anticipated a virus would shake up our world to the degree it has? We have all been forced to adapt to a new way of living in such a short period. Through that adaption, though, has come a new wave of ideas, innovative ways to achieve results and an overall sense of evolution.
Outsourcing audio/video work is not a new concept for our industry. Still, much like the Zoom Boom we have experienced recently, this new world has caused many to rethink our approach to business. Zoom was also not original to the industry previous to the COVID-19 outbreak — but it has allowed us in these turbulent times to connect with our peers, customers and partners in ways we never took advantage of before. Taking advantage of outsourcing capabilities now could mean the difference between AV integration businesses thriving or folding.
Here are five reasons why your business should start thinking about outsourcing AV needs moving forward.
- Overhead — During these times, many AV integration firms have had to make difficult decisions in either furloughing employees or the worst-case scenario, laying them off. While I always support the effort to bring folks back to full-time employment, I think there is an increased need to do so methodically and cautiously. Outsourcing can help you achieve the results you need out of your business while minimizing potential risk and liability.
- Time equals money — Many AV business owners and personnel are currently trying to figure out how to reopen their doors. They are also attempting to follow the guidelines of new state and federal regulations, strategize for growth in a new environment and reorganize the 80% of the mass that is the underwater iceberg we don’t see. Time spent managing design, installation and service means time taken away from strategizing for the future. Outsourcing can minimize the impact on task-level work and ensure that you are focusing on the long-term sustainability of your business.
- Economic repeat — Many researchers and epidemiologists predict a reoccurrence of the COVID-19 virus spike in the fall time frame. I think it’s safe to say we all hope that doesn’t occur, but it is still wise to prepare in case it does. This first wave has not been friendly to the AV industry, essentially putting all projects on hold, restricting cash flow and profit to the bottom line. Interrelated to reason No. 1 — it’s vital to mitigate risk, you can do that by outsourcing everyday tasks that are profit-generators. Outsourcing the things that don’t necessarily require your internal workforce’s deployment or effort is a great way to ensure your business stays healthy during troubling times.
- Expansion — Many companies have and will continue to react to this pandemic in a “woe is me” fashion. While they are reflecting on better times, other businesses are looking through with windshield wipers, gearing up to create an opportunity for themselves. Outsourcing can help as an organization is throttling up for expansion. You can increase your geographical footprint by outsourcing labor/installation in regions that would not be considered in your immediate, focused geography. You can also expand your capability, which could include drafting, rendering, digital content creation, programming and ongoing managed service agreements for the end client. These are all areas you can create expansion in and do so quickly and confidently with the help of outsourcing.
- Expertise — It’s impossible to be a master of all trades. Often, you find your business walking away from opportunities because your organization simply doesn’t have the internal expertise to meet the demands of the end client. Outsourcing is a great way to ensure that you can capture those projects and do so knowing the experience to complete the project is there. Also, consider this. To be considered an AV expert, we often create an association with the obtainment of CTS, CTS-I or CTS-D credentials. In the fiber and networking communications, it’s RCDD, and for project management, it’s PMP. There are many industry credentials, and in some cases, they are required if you want to work with special hardware equipment or software. My point is, to be an expert in any one area, requires serious time and money investment in ongoing training. You can mitigate the expenditure impact by outsourcing the expertise you need when you need it.
There is no doubt outsourcing in AV has become less taboo over the recent years and more widely adopted as a part of regular business practices. The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated the need for outsourcing adoption. We (Almo Pro A/V) have worked diligently to evolve our services program in a way that closely aligns itself with the needs and demands of our integration partners and their customers. There is no better time than now to start integrating outsourced AV services into your business.