Pro AV isn’t out of the woods. AVIXA’s 11th weekly COVID-19 Impact Survey shows an uptick in the share of AV providers reporting a negative impact to their business over the past week. More companies say they are cutting salaries, perhaps protecting the overall low share of permanent layoffs. This week’s survey also shows end-user customers are beginning to show signs of AV activity.
Even as more economies begin to open, business sentiment has appeared to take a turn for the worse. Maybe with the additional clarity that comes from seeing details of governments’ phased reopenings, AV professionals—especially AV providers—have a better idea of what’s ahead. Having expected projected work to reboot in June, then July, the largest share of AV providers (23 percent) in AVIXA Market Intelligence’s COVID-19 Impact Survey, fielded May 26-27, now expect to resume project work in earnest in August, while 20 percent are eyeing September.
Overall, the share of AV providers in the latest survey citing a negative impact on their business over the prior week has risen to 66 percent from 61 percent, with the bulk of that increase coming from respondents in North America. Reports of staff reductions over the past seven days, which had been in decline, rose this week, with 15 percent of all AV provider respondents saying their companies had cut workforce since the last survey. The share of AV providers perceiving revenue decline over the past week is also up, to 43 percent from 40 percent.
Companies still say the bulk of their staff reductions are in the form of furloughs, with a weighted average of just 18 percent coming in the form of permanent layoffs, although even that figure, too, has begun to tick up slightly. Also, rather than laying off workers permanently, more companies are resorting to salary cuts. More than 40 percent of AV provider respondents said their companies are adjusting to revenue declines by reducing salaries, up from 31 percent.
Looking for signs of life, resumption of projects appears the same as last week, while fresh inquiries are slowly increasing. Nearly 40 percent of all AV providers said they’d begun to resume projects over the last seven days, the same share as last week, and 43 percent reported more incoming inquiries, up from 40 percent.
AV end users are showing signs of increased activity, which could be positive news: 35 percent of end-user respondents reported resuming projects over the prior week, up from 30 percent in the last survey. Meanwhile, 13 percent of end users reported supply chain improvements (up for 9 percent) and 11 percent said their organizations had restarted some in-person meetings, a figure that was zero a month ago.
As always, when AV professionals inch back to work, they’re doing it safely. According to an AV end user respondent, “We’re beginning a phased return to in-person work safely, with enhanced social distancing rules, mask wearing, and cleaning efforts. This phased approach obviously depends on local requirements and rules, with each state or jurisdiction having its own specific rules.”
To read AVIXA’s full Impact Survey, click here.
To read more news from Sound & Communications, click here.