Herman Blog

Be Your Company’s Secret Weapon

Written 2017-07-06 by Michael Diodato

If you didn’t stop by the Herman booth at InfoComm, then you missed at least four ways to bring value to your business. Whether you’re in management, sales, engineering or services, we can show you how to improve the bottom line for your company and make you employee of the month!

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3 Ways to Reduce Risk as a Systems Integrator

Written 2017-05-18 by Chris Bianchet

Being a successful business owner means not only knowing when to take a calculated risk, but also recognizing how to reduce other risks.  Of course, there are many factors that go into running a successful AV business, but reducing risk is something you have more control over than you may realize.  There are many areas that a company can open itself up to risk that can be costly. Consider these 3 ways to reduce risk:

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Making Silk Purses Out of a SOW'S EAR

Written 2017-04-21 by Scott Straw

There are a lot of strange sayings that have been around for hundreds of years and the one involving the intertwining of Porcine Animal Husbandry with Handbag Design is one of the strangest: “You can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear.”  Of course, leave it to the brainiacs at MIT to prove this idiom false (https://libraries.mit.edu/archives/exhibits/purse/).  I ran across this phrase recently and immediately saw the acronym: Scope of Work Statement & Equipment, Accessories, and Resources.  Obviously, I have a very disturbed and demented mind, but I was also aided by the nightmares of a recent system I was asked to integrate.  It dragged on and on and every visit diminished the profit margin.

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Go Fever

Written 2017-02-08 by David Harris

So, Friday, January 27th, was the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 1 tragedy that claimed the lives of astronauts Virgil 'Gus' Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee. I’ve always been fascinated by the ‘Space Race’ era, but reading the Ars Technica article, I found parallels between the culture of NASA at the time and the AV business…

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New Year’s Resolution #1: Avoid these Common AV Mistakes

Written 2016-12-27 by Chris Bianchet

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, isn’t it? Sure, so long as your AV installation projects are wrapped up, profitable, and your customers are happy. After all, isn’t that the goal of every business? Ring in the new year with great results, happy customers, and smiling employees?

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Customer Centricity: The Value of Service First in Building Life Long Customers

Written 2016-11-30 by Chris Bianchet

In my career in the AV Industry, one of the things that has been a tough pill to swallow time and time again has been the amount of turnover that I’ve seen with customers. It often felt like one day we were celebrating a new customer win, only to have one little issue with a project or service agreement go badly and off they ran to the next integrator. Sometimes, we would see the customers come back a few years later as they moved through several integrators and none were able to meet their demands.

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How we went from an Idea to #110 on the Inc. 500 in 4 years

Written 2016-10-04 by Chris Bianchet

I still remember the feeling of making the decision to start Herman Integration Services.  After a long stint in the AV Integration space, I knew there was an opportunity, but that didn’t make such a big change any less scary. After talking to David and Jeffrey Wolf, my partners in Herman-IS and the owners of Herman Pro AV, I knew we had something good. We had a combination of a need in the market, an understanding of the business, AND we had what felt like really good timing. In my experience, these are the ingredients to starting a successful business. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t say I was scared. I’ve never met a successful entrepreneur that wasn’t a little scared (Although some may not be willing to admit it). 

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How to Get the Most out of AV Labor Subcontractors

Written 2016-08-02 by Chris Bianchet

Perhaps one of the most difficult things about being a subcontractor in the AV Industry is the way we are most commonly engaged. Let me paint a picture.

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How Serious Are You About Creating a Recurring Revenue Model?

Written 2016-07-06 by Chris Bianchet

For as long as I have been in the AV contracting industry, I have been around and part of the endless conversations about the importance of recurring revenue. “We need more service revenue” and “we need more predictable recurring revenue” are the echoing refrains coming from the owners and leaders of our integration firms. I have also watched this talk fall flat time and again as companies try to act. Integrators take only small steps, if any, toward truly reinventing their businesses to be service focused, recurring revenue generating machines.

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Do You Know the Cost of Your Own Labor?

Written 2016-05-05 by Chris Bianchet

At the end of every project, integrators tend to do a rundown on their project costs. They factor in their installation labor, engineering, programming and then they apply that against their costs to come up with a profitability on the project. If they charged more than they spent, they take a little sigh of relief, because as we know, estimating labor can be a bit of a gamble.                 

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