Widgets Magazine

The Friday 5: April 3, 2015

Margins, Margins and More Margins
To simplify the five stories you need to read but-*might have missed, I’m compiling three of them into one entry. This started when Christopher Maione penned a blog called “Where Did our Margins Go” on AVNetwork, about the ever shrinking profit margins. Then, Tom Stimson, of the Stimson Group LLC, retorted with “The Final Word on Shrinking Margins” framing the question differently from Maione’s original quote. Michael Shinn of IMS Technology Services, a greater Philadelphia based company, offered his thoughts on the matter of how the industry has changed in “Devaluing-*AV Professional Services,” right here on AvNation.tv. All three of these articles all point to one common thread- the industry business (not just technology) is changing. It will tie in nicely with the return of AVCrosstalk April 7th, where the topic is Design/Bid vs Design/Build.
Creating a ‘Points-Based’ Incentive Program for Technicians
One of the topics brought up in the discussion on margins and profitability was how poorly managed or installed projects can eat at the bottom line and turn those-*with incredibly high margins into money-losing endeavors. Matt Bernath of Surreal Systems in Anaheim, California, has decided to ratchet up the incentive for his technicians to get projects done quicker and better. He started an easy to track and manage program where his installers can earn points for different aspects of their job relating to performance and achievement. Have a full read of the article and consider if this is a way for your integration firm to put more projects on a path towards profitability.
Read More at CePro
Why apprentices are vital to business and the economy
The first line of this piece is a dead giveaway it is from across the pond in the UK. That being said, there’s still plenty of useful information regardless of where you are located. We talked this past week on AVWeek-*about how to get the next generation into the workforce, because let’s face it, a large percentage of current AV system designers, manufacturers reps,-*programmers and engineers are getting ready to retire. It’s important to have -*a dedicated process in place for training the next level of workers within your organization. Whether that’s jobsite training and development of your install technicians, or having quality system design engineers trained before your senior designers head off into retirement.-*Let’s not forget-*the need to attract young talent to the manufacturer’s side to grow, learn and fill the void when engineers/programmers fly the coup.
Read More at LinkedIn
Average broadband can stream three 4k videos simultaneously thanks to ‘Perseus’-*
In another “that’s great but does it really matter just yet” article!-*Thanks to a new-*compression algorithm, users can now stream three pieces of 4k content over a standard -*broadband connection. Currently Netflix, the streaming giant, requires a 25mb broadband connection to playback 4k content. Imagine being able to view three streams with just a single middle-tier internet connection. The industry is doing a better and better job of addressing how the content will get from the source to the receiver, now we just need to address what the content is and how we get it from the receiver to the display.
Read More at telecomstechnews.com
Connected Classroom: Integrating the Best Audio Solutions for Advanced Classroom Installations-*
This article starts with a why-*we build connected classrooms, and not just because the technology is cool, but because it’s important to remember that they-*are designed to increase engagement and facilitate learning. Perry Goldstein, director of sales and marketing at MXL, does a great job in walking through the types of audio devices, specifically microphones, to use when designing connected classrooms. Our industry has done an incredible job of talking about video for connected classroom, routing signals, easy to operate controls, etc., but this pieces emphasizes the need to make sure your connected classroom has the right audio devices for speech reinforcement or distance learning.
Read More at AVNetwork.com

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