“If you don’t know where you’re going, you might not get there,” Yogi Berra once said.
His famous quote was referenced right before David Workman, CEO of ProSource, held his State of the Union address last Monday at the ProSource Summit in Orlando, Florida.
Judging by his speech, picking a destination is not going to be a problem for the buying group. Workman used his time on stage to give a nod to 2015, as well as to share his vision for ProSource’s future, including the bumps he anticipates along the way.
Year in Review
Workman started off by looking at the 2015 year in review, stating that the year held record volume with vendor partners and the single largest increase in purchase volumes.
Workman also noted that the market wasn’t as good as it could have been but certain areas have been doing well, including luxury and CI. He also talked briefly about the emergence of 4K into mainstream as well as the new CI-focused district management team.
Among the various endeavors mentioned for the coming year, the introduction of ProSource’s newly launched online portal seemed to be a topic worth coming back to throughout Workman’s address. The portal is intended for users to look up vendor programs, member benefits and more. Live sessions on how to work the portal were held at the Summit.
A focus on alliances was also mentioned for the year ahead. ProSource has two new alliances from 2015, one with commercial group, CI Edge, the other with Power Audio Video Group. The CI Edge alliance was created based on the significant number of members branching into the commercial space. The alliance with Canadian-based Power Audio Video Group was based on manufacturers focusing on the North American market as a whole.
Workman also noted that the year ahead should be an exciting year for the TV business and that the headphone and Bluetooth category should not to be overlooked as most customers are now focused on the ecosystem in their homes. He went on to state that home automation networking is expected to grow a minimum of 15-20% over the coming year.
Workman wrapped up the year ahead segment by stating his intent to focus on fewer but larger dealers and his intent to up the group’s education and best practices by the end of 2016.
Roadblocks to Overcome
The address did not forget to acknowledge the roadblocks the group is hurdling over, including online retail and what Workman referred to as “the elephant in the room”- the Internet of Things.
Regarding online retail, Workman reminded the room that solution-oriented selling and the services integrators provide are the reason people still deal with brick and mortar.
“The good news for all of you is that online can’t do what you do,” he stated. “Just pushing a box across a counter with no other value added is becoming more of a challenge.”
Regarding the Internet of Things, Workman said that ProSource intends to develop a strategy that makes sense in addressing the associated challenges.
He stated his intention to only partner on this strategy with those of the mind that something is an assisted product and not a do-it-yourself product.
“I do not want to partner with brands that are going to use us as the fool so that they can sell Home Depot tomorrow,” said Workman.
Although the solution is still in development, he stated that ProSource will pick its brands carefully, try and understand the business model and that there is probably a recurring revenue component involved.
The address ended on an upbeat note with recognition of all 15+ Year Members as well as numerous awards including:
- Highest Member Benefit Percentage in 2015: Aaron Sholtis of HiDEF Lifestyle.
- Innovator of the Year: Dale Wilhelm of Bekins
- Integrator of the Year: Lea Travis of WiPliance
- ProSource MVP 2015: Lance Anderson of Admit One