Sound & Communication asked NSCA about COVID-19’s impact on the integration market and recovery. Here’s what NSCA’s Chuck Wilson and Mike Abernathy had to say.
In his video interview with NSCA Executive Director Chuck Wilson, Sound & Communication Editor Dan Ferrisi points out NSCA’s focus on business continuity content as the integration industry pushes itself through the COVID-19 crisis.
The video interview, which was part of Sound & Communication’s AV Industry Video Chats About COVID-19 series, delves into the suddenness of the impact. During NSCA’s 22nd annual Business & Leadership Conference on Feb. 26-28, for example, the mood was positive. “We had record growth, record backlog, and everything was on this uptick,” explains Wilson. Within a couple of weeks, however, things changed dramatically.
Instead of focusing on growth, members were instead applying for the CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program and trying to figure out how to keep their employment levels stable through late June to meet the criteria. The dramatic impact can be seen in NSCA’s Ignite program, which was initially designed to address integrators’ overwhelming need to bring new talent into the industry. Now it serves another purpose, too: to help newly unemployed integration professionals find new employment within the industry.
Wilson also discusses how COVID-19’s impact has varied based on the vertical markets that member companies support. “We’ve been tracking how deep the decline has been for certain vertical markets and how prolonged it’s going to be,” he says. Transportation, communication, education, healthcare, public safety, and command and control are examples of markets that have experienced less dramatic decline. “We expect it to go back to where it was very soon,” Wilson says.
On the flip side, markets seeing a deeper decline and facing prolonged recovery periods include corporate, houses of worship, amusement parks, recreation, sporting venues, and lodging.
Watch Sound & Communication’s Interview with NSCA’s Chuck Wilson
Business Continuity and the Road to Recovery
Ferrisi also asked Wilson about the industry’s recovery outlook. Strong and steady company leadership is key, Wilson explains, while also laying out how new construction and economic data provide insight into when the “U-shaped” recovery curve will take shape.
Integration firm leaders need to communicate often with steady, practical messaging to position their companies for recovery. They need to make smart decisions by leveraging financial stress tests, analyzing the paths their companies take, and considering how they spend money.
As NSCA Director of Business Resources Mike Abernathy writes in a recent Sound & Communications column, “One important lesson from this crisis for the AV integration community is that having a business continuity strategy should be continual focus as opposed to being reactionary.” Abernathy offers some evergreen tips for understanding business continuity fundamentals in his article. If you missed it, check it out here.