I sat down with Ryan Kinsman, product manager at Visions Electronics, to talk about their recent collaboration with Peerless-AV for their retail stores. Visions Electronics is a retail chain of 32 electronic superstores within Western Canada.
Maureen Jenson: Give us some background as it pertains to the retail solution you collaborated with Peerless-AV on.
Ryan Kinsman: We began looking for ways to create increased revenue streams and diversify our audio visual support offerings. Our previous mount supplier had a shrinking line, and was limited in their product offering to just the mounting category. Visions was looking to find a solutions supplier with greater product diversity within the mount line that could also add significant value in other product categories, and so began the search for a new supplier.
We also recognized that our commercial division needed a facelift of its own to better serve their customers. This division has four locations that were sourcing their own commercial AV mounting solutions. With limitations surrounding sourcing, such as time constraints and pricing, as well as volume commitments and logistics, Visions decided to move towards combining the buying power of all of our locations and all of our business units with one supplier. In order to be forward thinking with this line, Visions began the search for an AV support supplier that could offer retail, commercial, and custom solutions.
MJ: How did you go about your search?
RK: Visions created an outline of what we wanted in a partner and narrowed it down to a short-list of suppliers. The team went to the Peerless-AV headquarters in Aurora, IL to meet with the Customer Experience Team, consisting of a mix of Sales, Marketing, Product Development and Customers Solutions Support experts.
We were encouraged by our meetings at Peerless-AV headquarters, where we discovered the brand’s ability to produce commercial and retail products; the wide variety of product offerings had the potential to create massive growth for various divisions within Visions.
MJ: What factors were a priority for you?
RK: In determining the right supply partner, we needed the following points addressed:
- A product that was proprietary, not widely available in Canadian retail, and that could not be price-shopped online. The product needed to have protected model numbers, and in some cases, products that were unique to Visions, avoiding any future price wars.
- To best promote our products, Visions needed a true marketing and sales partner. Marketing is such a large part of what we do and it can’t just be an after-thought to a retail store. We needed a company who was going to work with us to create exclusive packaging, products, program support, planograms, spiff programs, and training binders.
- Visions also wanted to expand our retail AV accessories categories. With Peerless-AV, we would have the opportunity to do so with multiple products, such as the UltraView™ Outdoor TV, Xtreme™ Outdoor Soundbar and PeerAir™ Wireless Solutions. These new products will allow the chain to expand our revenue potential.
- For our commercial business, we required a supplier that would be able to provide the inventory needed to support our customers in a timely fashion. With Peerless-AV as a partner, the Visions Commercial Team found easy and immediate access to a plethora of commercial products, such as video wall mounts, kiosks, and even outdoor TVs/displays. Additionally, by purchasing through a single source, Visions would be streamlining all spending, decreasing internal costs, as well as increasing sales due to a quick turnaround on delivery time. While not sold in stores, Peerless-AV’s line of kiosks is critical to Visions’ commercial business. Peerless-AV has a fully staffed custom solutions team that works diligently to create solutions, such as the Volta electric vehicle charging stations. These kiosks were designed with the end-user in mind. The final solution had design and maintenance at the forefront, offering sleek and modern digital charging stations for public use.
MJ: How was everything implemented?
RK: To begin the process, Visions worked closely with a wide variety of departments within Peerless-AV – namely its Sales, Marketing, and Product Development teams. Peerless-AV’s Sales team worked closely with the Visions team to determine the correct product mix – one that would fit our customer base, but that would also allow growth. Once the products were determined, Visions was able to work with the Marketing Team to best promote the products.
Visions’ key players had direct access to the Peerless-AV Marketing team as well as full input on all aspects of the marketing materials, such as POS banners, packaging, etc. Peerless-AV worked with Visions to develop materials that resonated with the Visions brand and would entice its customers.
MJ: Tell us about the end results.
RK: Visions has already seen a substantial increase in business, on both the retail and commercial level, as well as a decrease in internal spending, as the company is now more efficient by working with a single supplier for all of its business divisions. In the time that Peerless-AV products have been on the Visions sales floors, there has been a lift in sales. The B2B division has seen terrific growth, as well.
Without Peerless-AV as a partner, we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to make many of these projects work. In fact, we recently handled a roll-out of over 300 carts for a school board; Visions would not have had this opportunity previous to Peerless-AV becoming our partner.