We’re pleased to announce that leading international integrator AVMI has come on board as sponsor of the Manufacturer of the Year and Distributor of the Year Awards at the Install Awards 2018.
AVMI made the headlines recently with the acquisition of UK integrator Focus 21. “The attraction of Focus 21 was that they very much have the same culture as us and over the years have built up an excellent client base with some really valuable long-term relationships,” AVMI CEO Ed Cook told Installation. “They’re a company that we’d looked at for quite a while. They have a very good reputation for their rack building, their project delivery and their customer service – all things that we value.”
As well as being a good fit for AVMI in terms of project types, Focus 21 is also well equipped in terms of its large project experience, said Cook: “Typically if we were to buy companies that are quite a bit smaller than us, their engineers wouldn’t have the experience, or possibly the expertise, to handle the scale of projects that we do. Whereas Focus 21 have always punched above their weight; they have been involved in big projects.”
Focus 21 was the first integrator in Europe to earn AVIXA’s AV Provider of Excellence (APEx) Award. “They have engineers that are used to big company processes – and their APEx accreditation proves that. It shows that they are able to work in a disciplined manner, which is what we need for our larger projects.”
Justin Paveley, projects director at Focus 21, headed up the company’s drive to APEx accreditation. He explained that achieving it required “a level of commitment to education – we far exceeded any numbers that were given to us [for the proportion of CTS-qualified staff] and we had to conform to a number of key industry standards. We achieved that and we’ve constantly improved on that – so in terms of our CTS credentials, for a company of our size we have the biggest team of CTS holders in Europe, we have the most CTS-I qualifications in Europe, and we’re leading the way when it comes to education and deploying AVIXA standards.”
Cook believes that Focus 21’s culture and attitude stems from its founders and many of its staff having backgrounds in the armed services. “Delivering projects well and looking after customers well requires a certain level of discipline, and we do take the view that if people have been in the Army, Navy, or the Air Force they will have that. A major part of why Focus 21 have been so successful is that they are quite regimented in ensuring that they don’t miss any details; when they say they’ll do something, they do it; they do it right, on time; they look smart – all the characteristics you’d associate with the military they bring to the table, and I think that helps. We have numerous staff members ourselves with a similar background, so we know that it’s a plus. “
Although it is purely a UK-based company, acquiring Focus 21 will help AVMI to expand internationally, explained Cook: “Focus 21 have a particularly high percentage of engineers, which are in very short supply here in the UK.” For international projects, other than those that are run from AVMI’s New York and Hong Kong offices, “we are sending out teams from the UK. So having more UK-based engineers allows us to do more international business – simply because the group has now got a lot more technical resource.”
Paveley added: “The merger has given us an absolute opportunity to grow in a big organisation, and the guys are very excited about that. There are guys that were probably coming to the pinnacle of their careers at Focus 21; what this has done has enabled us to look at bigger opportunities due to the size and growth of AVMI.”
To complement its international offices, AVMI has a Partner Programme with over 80 members all over the world. This hybrid approach of regional offices and partners means the company can offer its blue-chip clients a single point of contact who is an AVMI employee – “but we will be able to support you in the multitude of countries that you’re in because we also have this very extensive partner programme sitting behind us.”
While more international offices may be on the cards in future, “what we’ve got at the moment gives us enough to be able to grow our international business.”
Finally, Cook gave us his thoughts about the Install Awards: “I am delighted that we are sponsoring the Install Awards. Anything that recognises the successes of the industry is to be supported, so thank you for organising them. We have won a prize or two in the past, which is great – so I’m looking forward to the event in a couple of weeks’ time.”
Alex Couzins, marketing manager at AVMI, added: “We are very pleased to be sponsoring the Install Awards in partnership with our new colleagues from Focus 21. Previous events have always been a big success for both companies and we wanted to use this opportunity to share and celebrate our joint achievements together with the wider AV community.”
The Install Awards ceremony takes place on Thursday 28 June at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel, London, beginning at 18:00. For tickets and table bookings, please contact Becky Hancock on [email protected] / +44 (0)20 3871 7378 or visit www.nbmevents.uk/installawards/booktables
To find out more about sponsoring this event, contact Gurpreet Purewal on [email protected] / +44 (0)20 7354 6029.