Ireland’s strong recovery from recession and austerity in 2014 and 2015 seems to have slowed this year. But what are the indicators for its installed AV market showing? Our latest country survey finds out.
Our survey into the installed AV market in the Republic of Ireland opened with our usual question about levels of confidence in the country’s installation sector, compared with six months ago. The survey was split roughly equally between ‘higher’ and ‘the same’, with a negligible response saying ‘lower’. Accordingly, more than half of respondents expected their company’s revenue to increase modestly (by up to 5%) over the next year.
This optimistic viewpoint carried on into current trends in various different vertical market sectors in Ireland this year. Only retail was felt to be showing a net negative trend, while corporate, digital signage, education and hospitality were all strongly positive.
This month we asked a new question: “What do you think will be the effect on your business of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union?” A choice of five possible responses was given – from highly positive to highly negative. Just over half our sample said the effect would be slightly negative, either because of price rises from UK suppliers (which has already started to happen) or, according to one respondent, because international musical artists would be less likely to come to perform in the UK and, by extension, in Ireland.
We also asked our respondents to pick from a number of business-related issues, the one that was of most concern to them in the context of their own company. Once again, the most popular – chosen by more than half the sample – was ‘clients going for lowest price rather than best value’. One respondent commented: “Decisions based on short-term cost rather than long-term investment can sacrifice quality, which is bad for the professional industry.” Another said: “[There’s] always an issue with clients choosing the lowest price and then regretting that decision as the job was not adequately done. Choosing price over experience and quality equipment is the wrong choice.” Issues with cashflow and margins were also cited by some respondents.
Finally, we asked what one thing our installation professionals would change, if they could, about how the Irish AV market works. “I would ask clients to pay for design and consultancy,” said one integrator. “They generally expect it to be included within [equipment] costs [and] will not pay if you [charge it separately].” Another would like to have “more information and notice to be able to quote for upcoming projects.”