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Take a quiet moment to plan ahead

Latest News / Take a quiet moment to plan ahead

If there’s a time in the year that best lends itself to planning, it's right now in early July. The mad rush to prepare for, attend, and follow up from ISE and InfoComm is largely done, and the next few weeks before the school holidays start, and people disappear for their summer break, have not quite arrived.

The summer of 2022 is also unique in that it marks the longest we have been out of pandemic-related lockdowns or restrictions for two years. We have managed to regain a sense of continuity when it comes to making business decisions, and projects that have been off, then on, then off again, are now being planned with more confidence.

Ironically the workplace shifts that the pandemic generated now have the potential to benefit us in the AV industry. Not only are organisations upgrading their systems to include AV installations that can support hybrid models of work; but the need to properly equip remote workers has encouraged added investment in communications tools in employees' home offices.

Large corporate organisations are re-imagining their physical office space and looking for solutions that are highly flexible, multi-functional and collaborative; suitable for a more mobile workforce, and one which values performance and agility above all else. In retail, as in entertainment venues and sports stadia, the desire is to deliver outstanding visual experiences that remind audiences of everything they love, and have missed, about being out and in crowds.

Meeting these needs is not straightforward right now. Top of many consultant and integrator concerns is the microchip shortage, the effects of which are being felt in significant supply chain delays. Manufacturers are waiting in line for the necessary chips to be delivered so AV products including smart TVs, digital signage players, A/V receivers and switches can be completed, and the AV industry is not a priority by comparison with PC and laptop computer companies or the mobile phone sector.

But this should not hamper planning. If strategies for new projects are discussed now, and technology specifications agreed, it means that orders can be processed during the next few quiet weeks. The ‘just in time’ delivery model for components, which has been found wanting in the face of the global pandemic, is no longer applicable. This means that customers, integrators and manufacturers must think months in advance, not weeks, and if projects are time-critical allowance must be given for the delays that are happening across the industry.

This summer period gives us some breathing space to improve communications and set expectations. Companies have just come through a major trial and those that have survived and are in a position to invest in new AV solutions, will undoubtedly understand the market pressures and need for patience. As the entire world transitions to new ways of working, collaboration has never been more important, so let’s plan together and work through the uncertainties until the forces of supply and demand once again find themselves balanced.