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AVAD Sets Course to Radically Change Its Business Model

The A/V solutions distributor will move away from reliance on physical branch locations to centralized distribution centers, expanded field sales force with call centers, and web portal for purchasing.

Editor’s note: The following article was originally reported by SSI sister publication CE Pro.

SHERMAN OAKS, Calif. – In its first strategic move since being acquired by Kingswood Capital in July, AVAD is announcing a series of structural changes that will migrate the distributor away from total reliance on its physical branch locations to more of a web-based purchasing model with centralized distribution facilities.

AVAD, based here, currently has 23 existing branches across the U.S. and Canada. Some of the locations will be expanded and relabeled as “Experience Centers,” while other new locations will be opened. At the same time, as part of the evolution AVAD had announced it will close three branches: Livermore, Calif.; Chesterfield, Mo.; and Edison, N.J.

As part of AVAD’s moves, the distributor is expanding its field sales force to new markets beyond its current footprint and blending national and regional call centers. AVAD is changing its approach to logistics by establishing central distribution centers across North America.

“AVAD intends to break out of its longstanding ‘analog’ branch model and take our business to our customers.”Tom Jacoby, Chairman and CEO, AVAD

The company says the move will provide increased inventory availability and rapid order fulfillment to integrators. Part of AVAD’s new initiative will also include expanded will-call for dealers.

Finally, AVAD is also launching a transactional and information based web and mobile portal platform. CE pros will be able to use the portal to buy products, along with share ideas and receive training. This move is not alien to the market. Distributors like Capitol Sales ship from a central distribution hub and rely on purchases electronically.

AVAD is also expanding its design services for dealers, and has doubled its tech support department.

The results of these changes, according to the company, will be streamlined operating costs, improved methods for delivering training and education, and the opportunity to showcase its products at AVAD’s soon-to-be-announced experience centers located throughout the United States and Canada.

“We are very excited about the future of AVAD and these changes to our business approach,” said Tom Jacoby, Chairman and CEO for AVAD. “The current AVAD business model was developed before virtual sales organizations and just-in-time product deliveries were the standard of commerce in North America. AVAD intends to break out of its longstanding ‘analog’ branch model and take our business to our customers.

“The future of AVAD includes a meaningful expansion of digital, web and mobile tools, central and regional call centers, expansion of our design and technical services, a regional-based sales force and extended availability of will-call centers in many new markets along with the continued use of company-operated physical locations in many of our existing markets.”

These investments and enhancements will begin implementation immediately with several AVAD locations transitioning to new sales centers over the next 30 days.

The company says the changes will take effect with minimal disruption in AVAD’s ability to take or fulfill orders.

Additional company initiatives will be announced over the coming months.

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