The global pro av industry currently generates about $91 billion a year and is projected to be a $114 billion global industry by 2016, according to InfoComm's 2014 Global AV Market Definition and Strategy Study.
For the value-added reseller (VAR), the $23 billion dollar year-over-year increase in pro av spending is significant because it suggests a growing global reliance on pro av and digital signage fueled largely by corporate, education and other sectors.
Despite such sunny projections, and the fact that society increasingly relies on pro av to facilitate essential communications, it can still be challenging for VARs to explain their value when it comes to responding to ever-growing customer needs.
Here are a few ways to highlight how VARs provide valuable pro av solutions for their customers.
Provide turn-key solutions.
VARs are in a unique position to provide planning, integration, deployment, customization and customer training among other valuable services?all under one roof. In many cases, VARs offer hardware maintenance and software customization or guide customers in adapting to (and adopting) new technologies. Some VARs specialize within certain verticals such as manufacturing, healthcare and financial services, etc... This allows VARs to pass on savings to customers by reducing spending on unnecessary investments (training, hardware) they might have made in a vertical had they not partnered with a VAR.
Established customer relationships. Many times, VARs already have extensive customer networks with the same people and are already doing business with the very people their customers want to sell to. Why is this a big deal? Because customers benefit from industry relationships already forged by VARs, effectively putting the "value" in value-added reseller.
VARs aren't just middlemen.
As a VAR, it's really important to demonstrate technical expertise in addition to demonstrated success with project completions, budgeting, etc... When a customer asks whether they should choose 60-inch or 70-inch video display or a certain digital signage software, the VARs depth of knowledge comes into play by offering the best possible solutions based on individual customer demand. VARs lend their pro av industry experience to customers in a way that produces demonstrable ROI whether in hardware savings or by facilitating communication of a company's value proposition via a successful marketing campaign.
VARs have advantages in economies of scale.
Because VARs have extensive pro av relationships, they can drive savings to their customers by offering better pricing and discounts than could otherwise be obtained as a direct buyer. VARs also receive deeper manufacturer discounts which they can then pass along in the form of customer savings. This results in tangible cost savings without adding to fixed costs.
VARs add value in a number of ways that customers may not initially be aware of but nonetheless, the end result is a customer that can more efficiently make use of scarce resources and increase their bottom line.
Are your customers fully aware of the all the benefits of using VARs as providers of turnkey solutions? Has explaining the value of VARs to your customers resulted in increased or repeat business?