AV Industry Supply Chain Issues and Solutions
Over the past 18 months, COVID-19 has posed a major hindrance to the world of AV, including shifts in market needs and the long-term challenges related to supply chain issues. We sat down with QSC and chatted through their take on the AV industry as they offered some positive adaptations to better service their customers.
Executive Chief of Staff & Chief Market Officer, Anna Csontos, shared that the company found innovative ways to shift project focus through the pandemic, especially in its systems integration business, with new product introductions and growth in other sectors.
“COVID changed a lot of things. While we saw some projects get suspended or put on hold, we saw other verticals heat up really quick. Higher education is a great example. Colleges were presented with a unique challenge of figuring out how to teach without having kids on campus,” said Vice President of Systems America for QSC, Frank West.
While QSC continues to grow, the company, like the rest of the world, is now navigating through supply chain issues. Over the past few months it has become more evident how complex it is to build products and bring them to market – starting with component availability and pricing, manufacturer capacity, and logistics (including container and port availability).
“It’s a lot harder today to deliver an entire project because the uncertainty is much higher in terms of when products will be shipped… the concept of actually delivering a complete project is changing quite a bit,” Csontos said.
QSC believes maintaining flexibility and transparency is the key to navigating this supply crisis, and encourages consultants and integrators to do the same with their partners. Csontos says, “That is the most essential information any company or integrator can provide: ‘What can I get today? A key way to help our partners is to give them a realistic estimate and understanding of what we can deliver to the market.”
West continues, “[I can’t stress enough] the importance of long-term planning and collaboration between manufacturers, integrators and end customers to understand demands. We’re asking everybody to keep us in the loop of future needs so we can prepare better.”
One way QSC is combating these supply issue is to encourage customers to consider their desired outcome and explore available solutions that can deliver those same project goals. With QSC’s prior acquisition of Attero Tech, its large portfolio of network-based endpoints can provide scalability to its new line of purely networked Q-SYS Core processing solutions.
West continues, “We are able to show customers that a Q-SYS Core Nano processor with the right Attero Tech by QSC I/O device can satisfy the needs of the project, often times more economically.”
Looking forward to the end of the year and into next year, QSC is keeping a realistic, hopeful outlook for the future of AV. They see the supply chain disruption as a short to medium-term interruption, and will continue their constant communication with the channel, its integrators and end users to help set expectations and work together to solve issues. In the meantime, QSC continues to invest in software-based innovation to continue to uncouple our industry’s dependence of bespoke hardware solutions.