In late 2014, Visions Electronics, a retail chain of 32 electronic superstores within Western Canada, began looking for ways to create increased revenue streams and diversify its audio visual support offerings. Its current 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.
Visions displayed its sophistication as an organization by recognizing that a separate business unit, its commercial division, needed a facelift of its own to better serve their customers. This division had 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 its locations and all of its 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.
Visions created an outline of what they wanted in a partner and narrowed it down to a short-list of suppliers. The team came 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.
Visions was encouraged by meetings at Peerless-AV headquarters, where they 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.
In determining the right supply partner, Visions needed the following points addressed:
Visions needed 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. The line of products ultimately decided on by Visions is made just for them, thus assuring that its retail inventory would be specific to its stores.
Marketing & Sales Support
To best promote its products, Visions was seeking a true marketing and sales partner. According to Ryan Kinsman, product manager at Visions, “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, training binders, etc.”
Visions also wanted to expand its retail AV accessories categories. With Peerless-AV, Visions 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 would allow the chain to expand its revenue potential.
For its commercial business, Visions required a supplier that would be able to provide the inventory needed to support its 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 spend, 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 is proud to have 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. The stations are two-sided, which allows for digital advertising on one side and static advertising on the other. The illuminating blue light, located at the top of the kiosk, allows electric vehicle drivers to easily identify where a charging station is located within a crowded parking lot. In addition, the stations are equipped with an EKM power meter for charging and a cellular modem that allows for real time content updates and power consumption records. In the future, electrical vehicle charging stations could be implemented in store parking lots. The goal of any successful kiosk deployment is to find a partner that can provide a best in class turnkey solution that is shipped directly to the end user. Visions found such a partner is Peerless-AV.
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 Visions’ 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.
“As long as I have been a buyer, I have never had this many people involved and gone through such a thorough process,” said Ryan Kinsman, Visions. “We don’t typically see that kind of relationship in B2B partnerships and my entire team understood immediately that Peerless-AV had our back.”
By early 2017, Visions has already seen a substantial increase in business, on both a 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 eight months 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,” said Kinsman. “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.”