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Business analysis – Weathering the storm

test 15 June 2009

End-users continue to expect value for money, but the message across Europe is that they haven’t stopped spending, especially at the higher end of the market. Ian McMurray reports

It was reputedly Joseph Kennedy, the father of US president John Kennedy, who coined the phrase ìWhen the going gets tough, the tough get going.î Well, it certainly looks as if the going is getting tough, and likely to get tougher ñ so how does the custom installation industry see things working out in the coming months, and perhaps even years?

For the time being, most are at least somewhat bullish. ìThe upper end of the market remains extremely buoyant, and, to quote one installer, ëIíve just come back from Monaco and there is no recession thereí!î says Stuart Tickle, managing director of residential AV distributor AWE Europe.

ìBusiness growth for us has remained steady across Europe,î notes John Allin, operations director at Creston, ìand in fact our Russian business is growing, which is a real cause for optimism. Our home cinema sales continue to remain buoyant, and I see no reason for that to drop off. In fact, with the upcoming launch of our ground-breaking ADMS prodtually resume its upward curve.

Doing things better

Whether the effects of the economic downturn are biting yet or not, however, itís unquestionably the case that custom installers and the manufacturers supplying them are preparing for one ñ albeit in a sometimes bullish way.

The last word goes to The Edgeís Tyson. ìWeíre in an industry thatís been on the up,î he says. ìWhilst that rate of increase may slow down, there will still be plenty of business around, particularly for those companies that take the opportunity to take a good look at themselves, and improve the way they do business.

ìWe all think weíre doing a great job for our clients but we could all be doing things even better. This is an opportunity to make sure we do things efficiently, to cut out any dead wood, to look at our businesses through our clientsí eyes and change the things that need changing,î Tyson concludes.

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