How the Mighty Have Fallen – A Case Study - Via International's Recipe for Success Missed the Key Ingredient
The recent announcement that the giant A/V integrator Via International is shuddering it operations got us to thinking. How is it that a company boasting $73M in annual sales ($200M in sales projected within five years) can fail? The creation of Via International was touted as the portent for the future of audio video integration – the benchmark for how all custom A/V firms were going have to do business, if they want to survive.
Not so fast…
It’s easy to understand why all of the industry experts were falling all over themselves to pump up the Via International narrative. The story was quite compelling. Combine six of the CE Pro Top 100 Technology Integrators from all over the United States – with their capital, manpower, extensive customer databases, product knowledge and sharpened business practices. Centralize all operations under one gigantic tent, unify financials, operating systems and vendor relationships.
With a full-time staff of nearly 400 people, 20 locations nationwide and a customer roster comprised of the ultra-wealthy, Via International was poised for greatness. The only thing missing was the glass slipper.
Sadly for the Via International staff, whose employment was unceremoniously terminated, there was no fairy tale ending. All that remained was a case study in the scalability of successful A/V integration firms.
In theory, wildly ambitious plans to take over the world are all well and good – In theory. Just ask the Romans, the Mongols or the British Empire…
By contrast, for the past 40 years Audio Den has embraced a slow and steady, organic growth business model. Where it lacks in sex appeal and excitement, this methodology has helped Audio Den weather three major economic recessions. What started as a modest two-channel tweak shop in a strip mall, has evolved into a full-service technology integration firm – housed in its own 7,000 square foot facility and retail showroom.
Growth is good – but not when it comes at the cost of your founding principles – the very essence of what made your firm great in the first place. At its core, Audio Den is a customer service company – the electronics, speakers, accessories and programming just come along with that relationship.
There are countless places to buy A/V hardware these days, on-line and in-person. However, there is a rapidly shrinking number of companies who care about you after you’ve clicked “Buy Now” or walked out of their store with your hardware. Audio Den cares – walk into our showroom, call us on the phone or invite us into your home and let us prove it.
Audio Den is prepared to take over the world – one installation, one household, one relationship at a time. Steady as she goes…