Q&A With Sam Taylor, Almo Pro A/V
When AV distributor Electrograph Systems closed earlier this year, its president Sam Taylor moved to launch a new pro AV division at electronics distributor Almo.
SAM TAYLOR: When AV distributor Electrograph Systems closed earlier this year, its president Sam Taylor moved to launch a new pro AV division at electronics distributor Almo. Whereas Electrograph reportedly buckled under a heavy acquisition strategy, Taylor has Almo Pro A/V laser-focused.
PRO AV: Take us back: You're talking to Almo when Electrograph falters in tough economic times. How do they green-light a move into pro AV?
TAYLOR: There were things that were unique to the structure of Electrograph. Electrograph had branched out into spaces that were more impacted by the recession. But the pro AV market remained pretty strong. ? I talked to other companies and they wanted to bring on a much smaller subset of [Electrograph] people, folks with a long history in the pro space. There was a void left by Electrograph we wanted to fill.
PRO AV: What will you bring to Almo Pro A/V that worked at Electrograph?
TAYLOR:We're going to focus on educating resellers and keep our sales force InfoComm-trained, many with CTS certifications. And we're going to do regional shows where we train resellers, in partnership with InfoComm and manufacturers.
PRO AV: How about the product lines?
TAYLOR: One hundred percent of the lines I targeted for Almo are coming on-board. I wanted to be more focused. With distributors, and it happened to us at Electrograph, you get vendor line creep. In the end we'll have approximately 20 vendors, where at Electrograph it was 40 or 50.
PRO AV: What does that mean for dealers?
TAYLOR: We'll bring them products that offer better margins, and our sales staff will be highly trained on the products we carry. If you have too many lines you're not going to be well-versed [in all of them] and then you're just fulfilling orders.
PRO AV: Has distribution changed?
TAYLOR: Not really. Integrators still want someone who's knowledgeable about the products. If anything, some of them have cut back and don't have people that can answer all the questions in-house. And the vendors have cut staff, so there's even more need for value-added distribution to help bridge the gap.