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Simon Sainsbury of buk Solutions on the changing nature of the industry

A microcosm of what is happening across the AV channel, buk Solutions has undergone a rebranding and now re-focused its offering on a broader product and services portfolio. MD Simon Sainsbury provides insights on the changing nature of its business

What were the main factors behind the rebranding?
It felt appropriate to launch our new name and logo in our 30th anniversary year, giving us the opportunity to celebrate our heritage and achievements. Naturally, we will continue to provide the first-rate services that our clients have come to expect from our dedicated team of professionals.

The rebrand also enabled us to implement wider changes, including the addition of new distribution partnerships and improving the company’s ability to rent and sell products from a more diverse range of suppliers. It is important to add that we are also offering enhanced complementary event services as part of our rental portfolio which includes consultancy, interpretation and translation.

And in broader terms, there have been a number of companies rebranding over the last year or so – what do you think this says about the changing landscape of the AV industry?
Nothing stands still in this industry and with the increasing migration of AV moving from analogue to digital, we all need to be equipped and ready to adapt to the changing face of the market and technology. The inevitable convergence of AV with IT has meant the products and skills needed to deliver the benefits have changed. We, and others in our field need to amend and tailor our product and service offering to reflect these changes. Those that make that change successfully will continue to thrive.

You have also expanded your range of services and products.
Yes, we announced our expanded product range shortly after our rebrand which allowed us to upgrade our offering to our clients. One of the key benefits was that it enabled the team to sell products from a more diverse range of manufacturers – not just Brähler.

Our customers can now purchase almost any product offered by any of the brands the company is working with, including Crestron, Polycom, Sony and Blackmagic.

‘The inevitable convergence of AV with IT has meant the products and skills needed to deliver the benefits have changed’

This is an exciting development in the history of the company, bringing us increased flexibility and enabling us to explore a wider variety of solutions that meet our customers’ exact AV requirements, no matter how complex, while providing more cost-effective solutions for customers.

We are continuing to offer next generation hardware such as multimedia microphones, language interpretation systems, voting keypads and AV equipment from a number of brands.

How challenging is education and specifically the universities sector to operate in?
Through collaborative work with some of our partner organisations, including Sanako, we have produced advanced learning and teaching resources for a large number of students across the UK. We have installed some of the most advanced equipment available, most recently delivering projects at the University of Leeds and Queen’s University in Belfast.

Working within this sector does come with some challenges. The tendering process for these types of projects are often very long and having to work around term dates restricts you to only working during academic holiday periods. This therefore creates very strict deadlines.  

Our work also requires us to occasionally work with the universities existing IT departments, adding another level of communication to proceedings which can sometimes slow down a project.

Overall, our experience of working with universities has been very positive. Like any sector it is necessary to adapt to meet a client’s requirements and that is something we pride ourselves on at buk Solutions.

The company is looking to train and develop its recently expanded team. What elements do you think contribute to worthwhile training for your staff?
We are committed to the training and development of our staff. Maintaining our credibility and prestige in the conference technology and technical event management industry is vitally important to us. With our new brand and a number of great projects coming up, it is a very exciting time for buk Solutions with further growth planned.

Developing our employee’s technical knowledge and ensuring our technicians possess on-site event management skills is an area we really focus on with our staff. We make a concerted effort to get our conference technicians involved in as many aspects of our services as possible. We provide them with a wide variety of opportunities and expose them to a range of different events, so they can consolidate and grow their skill-set and gain an insight into the extent of the services we provide for our clients.