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2018 AV Resolutions

It’s that time of year….

AV9000 Checklist Item Under Test: 6.6.2: Sanity Check: Any possible user objections have been corrected or noted.
Reasoning: Twenty-seventeen was a wild ride, and there were many changes in the industry. Several mergers created many large companies. InfoComm International died as the name of our industry’s trade association—long live AVIXA! It seems every manufacturer has a one-box solution for small conference spaces. A lot of people enjoy logging room-use analytics, but few are actually looking at them. The beginning of the year is always a good time to plan where we should be spending our continual-improvement efforts and run through a “sanity check.” These are my 2018 AV Resolutions.

Continue to implement quality-minded ideals into my organization and the industry as a whole.
• Even though we are ISO 9001:2015 registered, and we are an AV9000-compliant company, we can still bring so much more quality into how we deliver AV services. Quality ideals are company-wide certifications that assure clients, partners and employees that the company is delivering a consistent product, no matter who works on it. I can’t think of any other single effort that keeps clients happy, keeps employee morale high and improves profits, all at the same time. And we’re just beginning to see the AV industry pick up on these quality-management ideals. I think Audio Visual Resources (AVR) can bring quality into our sales and marketing forces to track effectiveness better. I think the industry can continue its adoption of quality-driven thinking.

Break down the AV-peeps/end-user language barrier.
• Have you ever tried to write something for a client—perhaps a proposal, website copy or a blog—and, about halfway through, you realized you were speaking AV? Clients do not speak AV; we do. We need to change the way we interact with clients, so that they understand what we can bring to the table. The only way we can do that is to change the way we talk about AV. It has to be technologically accurate, meet their needs, include all the details and be delivered in an easily digestible form. I’d like to see our proposals, reports and client emails reflect this language. It won’t be easy, but it is necessary. We just need to capture some of the eloquence of our industry’s great instructors of our time (for example, Scott Wills and Pat Brown) and describe our value to clients in a way that elevates the industry, while also being easily understood.

Become an “Experienceneer.”
• InfoComm International is now AVIXA for a reason. Have you seen how architects are including virtual reality (VR) to get clients excited about their new space? Have you seen how apps on our phones are using predictive learning to let us know, as soon as we step out of the office, that traffic is heavy on the way home? Have you noticed that “the internet” knows that you looked up Season 9 of “The Real Housewives of Orange County,” and it’s now offering you the Blu-ray box set no matter what website you visit? We need to start implementing these experiences in how we deliver AV (minus RHOC, maybe). VR might be overkill for a small conference room proposal, but how about an emulated control system app that also visually shows what the client will see on the displays, as they step through the interface menus? How hard would it be to have control systems start to recommend common room setups based on the date and time? What if we start to tap room-use analytics to design our systems and meet space requirements better, campus-wide? I’d like to see this happen in 2018.

Increase the value of integrated systems.
• I’ve heard several people comment that they fear for the future of integrated systems. Single-box conference solutions continue to improve and steal market share from integrators. Large systems continue never to be completed, or they’re the bane of technology managers’ existence. Manufacturers are required in the field more and more to make systems work, because of poor design and/or installation. IT and cable worker companies are offering “AV services.” As the AV industry, we need to make sure our systems are delivered complete, on time and within budget. If we focus on that, it will separate us from the other industries that try to do what we do. If we deliver on that, we will start to see the AV industry command the respect among the construction trades that we deserve. However, we need to earn that respect. The AV9000 standard is one readily available way to accomplish that goal. Live it and love it.

Oh…I also want to lose 10lbs. Have a Merry AV New Year, everyone!

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