There is a new nightmare creeping higher and higher within our industry, growing more prevalent and pervasive day by day. That plague is the enormous backlog of equipment delivery and availability across the AV and IT markets. Nobody has been spared by this invisible enemy of the professional gearhead and knob-tweaker. With long delays in the delivery of much-needed switchers, end-points, amplifiers, and control processors projects see longer delivery times and constant frustration grows.
Nonetheless, there is a bright light in this encroaching darkness of empty racks and enclosures. Vendors who were often overlooked and ignored now are seeing the tide turn their way. The Big Boys of AV have been unable to deliver products timely due to a worldwide chip shortage, brought on by the pandemic. However, those brands and vendors who have been pushed aside or disregarded previously have seen surges in their sales due to a vacuum in inventories. With companies like Crestron announcing further delays in the delivery of installation mainstays like DMPS, NVX, and other core products, other brands like Aten, RGB Spectrum, and ClearOne have stepped up to save the day.
Legacy and smaller brands that have been sitting on stock have been able to fill a void left by the likes of Biamp, Extron, and QSC, to name a few. This has forced many, somewhat reluctant buyers at first, to return to those brands that have traditionally been pushed aside in recent years. And let it be known that those brands were not less effective or subpar…Heaven Forefend! Rather the Big Boys of AV have been rewarding integrators and resellers with juicy incentive-based rebate programs to the detriment of our clients and our creativity as designers, engineers, and integrators.
So, I say unto thee with full confidence and glee: EMBRACE THE TECH APOCOLYPSE! Seize the day ye merry men of AV and spec the gear you can get and that you know will come in on time. Trust in the market to do what it does best: bend, sway, and rebound.
As any good economist would say, in far more words, markets are resilient and when one falls another will rise to take its place. I for one have embraced this chaos, pitching and specing products I trust and love. And let’s be fair, none of these other brands were ever lesser or inferior, to begin with. We’ve just been enticed and conditioned to go for those big-name brands for years. But while those core lines spewed out new shiny toys years after year, many with bugs and functions which did not improve their respective lines, the other guys and gals were watching carefully from the sidelines making solid products. Watching and learning from the myriad of failed new things and endeavors that bore sour fruit.