In the world of business “things” are bought and sold. Sometimes you are the buyer and sometimes the seller, but in the realm of commercial AV and digital signage most often you are both. Obviously, what you sell is critical but also what you buy and who you buy from often determines the success in what is sold. Over the last couple of decades the buyer/seller relationship has taken on new meaning. What is driving this change is the availability of products from sources that simply were not there at the turn of the century. The trend we are seeing is the commoditization of products where the items many of us buy and sell look the same. All things appearing equal creates a (sometimes false) sense of security and parity and this drives down the price as the lowest common denominator. But it is the false sense of security and parity that is not good for the buyer. So what is missing?
The answer is that information and adequate consideration is often overlooked. A customer can look at a product online and compare products that look similar and decide. If we are speaking about consumables like reams of paper or ink pens it really does not matter unless you are buying huge quantities. If we are speaking about commercial AV and digital signage projects this is another story. Information beyond the appearance of parity is in order. While some products may look similar are they really the same and most importantly are they appropriate for your project? In short do they work as needed and do they integrate seamlessly with other technologies in the project? This requires the live back and forth of human interaction where questions can be asked and answered. While human interaction is required, a simple back and forth with a vendor may not get you where you need to be. What you may require is a partner, so what is the difference?
A vendor supplies a product or service to a client. A relationship with a vendor is transactional (full stop) and both parties in a vendor relationship are said to be at "arm's length." Full disclosure is that this may be fine for some products you buy but in commercial AV and digital signage we are dealing in the design and integration of systems and most often we need more. We need a partner.
A partner becomes an extension of a client’s business. It matters because a partner assists the client in developing opportunities by contributing substantial knowledge, expertise and resources as needed. Their product/service is but one component of a much broader/deeper relationship.
One subject matter expert opined, “To me, a partner is someone that is willing to invest the time and energy in understanding your business, understanding your needs, looking at it from a long-term view or perspective and able to help provide solutions and ideas to meet the goals in the long-term. A partner understands that if you invest that time and energy in a conversation or a consultation now, maybe nothing comes of it today – but something will come from it in the long-term. You’re building that relationship versus just looking at your next check.”
CrimsonAV can certainly be a vendor but their specialty is being a partner. The company is built around the concept of high-quality, value, selection and service. A high-quality product lineup in the first step but providing that at a competitive price establishes the value that is a CrimsonAV trademark. Selection is the next step. Beyond display mounts CrimsonAV has an array of products for every project you do, each with its own value. Last but not least is service where the partnership is realized. This requires being more than a number and staying the course throughout a project. If a problem arises CrimsonAV is at your side and no they do not have to look up your name. It is value provided beyond the product. What this means is differentiation that matters. This is the benefit of being a partner versus a vendor where service doesn’t cost, it pays.
CrimsonAV products are available today at your local Security Equipment Supply, a mid-west based distributor of commercial AV, security, access control, and more with over 38 years of experience in the low-voltage industry. Sign up to become a customer today and gain access to our extensive in-house inventory of commercial AV products!