Analysis: Norway installed AV market survey

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Our latest survey shows a market that is holding its own, but with some significant concerns down the line.

According to the great authority that is Wikipedia, Norway’s most significant export partner is the UK, which buys just over a quarter of the Nordic country’s output. That’s clearly not the case with its AV industry, however, as respondents to our latest survey overwhelmingly declared their business unaffected by the Brexit vote.

The majority of respondents to our survey said that they thought levels of confidence in the Norwegian installed AV industry were unchanged compared with six months ago. However – and this is something we’re fairly accustomed to seeing in these surveys – when asked to predict their own company’s financial performance over the next 12 months, the most popular response was an increase of up to 5%. So people are either banking on a yet-to-be-experienced market pick-up, or they feel their own company will outperform its peers.

When we asked our respondents to predict trends in various verticals, there was a surprise in the results (see table): corporate came a long way down the list. To be fair, this sector is not as strong in Norway as in many other countries that we feature – it appeared in the halfway position when we last carried out a survey of this country in our September 2015 issue – but we were surprised to see it drop still further.

In common with their counterparts in other countries that we’ve featured recently, the business issue affecting their company that was most frequently selected was ‘clients going for lowest price rather than best value’, with ‘being undercut by competitors’ the second choice. One respondent commented: “Atea is destroying the Nordic market.” Atea is a Nordic IT infrastructure company which, presumably, is coming into traditional AV markets and undercutting the established players. Perhaps this accounts for the fall in the showing of the corporate sector?

The rest of the survey strikes a rather gloomy note – belying the more upbeat assessments at the start. We asked whether the total number of companies active in the marketplace was changing: the majority thought the number was increasing – because of “installers entering the AV market with low or less competence”, according to one. A different respondent called for “less cheap cowboys” when asked what one thing they would like to change about the industry, if they could. Finally, another expressed a desire to see “more focus on quality and competence under review”.