In each edition of NSCA’s trade journal, Integrate, we highlight members, learn about what makes their organizations unique, and discuss how they benefit from NSCA resources. Meet Redwood City, CA-based Coitcom.
To get to know Coitcom, an audio-video integration firm in Redwood City, CA, we chatted with President Kevin Miller.
Q: What makes your company’s approach unique within the NSCA community?
I had zero background in AV when I joined Coitcom in 2005. At that time, Coitcom was a six-person, $1.5 million company and lacked any type of training system. Knowing that we wanted to grow, I began reaching out to clients, asking them where their pain points were and how we could help. We then built the teams, systems, and offerings they needed.
To this day, we don’t have dedicated salespeople or an advertising/marketing budget. Our employees constantly work together to explore every client use case and balance what the client needs, wants, and can afford. It is a custom and iterative process, but we have found it to be extremely effective in growing relationships and executing successful projects.
Q: You implemented some significant changes. Was there an adjustment period? How did it impact company culture?
We need everyone at their usual high level and not distracted or disappointed. While the COVID-19 disruption has had many scary moments, I am excited that we have put ourselves in a great position to grow and excel coming out of it.
Q: What are the biggest business challenges that lie ahead for your company? How will you overcome them?
Coitcom’s biggest challenge is retaining nimbleness and responsiveness as the company continues to grow and the industry continues to change. With 60+ employees and a large backlog of projects, it would be easy to fall into a rut and not continue to explore new opportunities. Our response to this challenge is to constantly force ourselves to come up with new ideas that can be prototyped quickly and inexpensively. We also encourage every one of our employees to bring any ideas that they think have promise to the table for discussion. The only limitation I put on idea generation is that the ideas must be legal and potentially profitable! We have received many of our best ideas from employees who have never set foot in a management meeting.
Q: What is the most important benefit or resource provided to you by NSCA? How do you leverage it?
NSCA has a host of tangible resources, like technical training, economic outlooks, human resources guides, Compensation & Benefits Report, legal reviews, etc. that can save a company hundreds of hours and tens of thousands of dollars.
Whenever we have a question about our business operations, the first thing we do is check the NSCA Essentials Online Library for guidance.
Q: Why is being part of a trade organization and part of a community important?
Being part of a trade organization and the overall community is a huge plus for Coitcom’s development. Because of NSCA, we have partners and friends throughout the country that we rely on for guidance, experience, and partnership. My team is constantly bouncing ideas and experiences off our NSCA friends to get feedback and improve our decision-making process. As the world continues to get smaller, we have also partnered with multiple NSCA companies to service clients throughout the country and internationally.
Q: What is one lesson that the NSCA community can learn from your company’s approach to business?
A lot of our success can be traced to two things. The first is that we focus on opportunities that are win-win for the client and Coitcom — and that have the potential to turn into long-term relationships. The second is that we are careful to make sure we don’t fall into a herd mentality just because everyone else is doing it. Figure out your path and follow it. Take care of your team, your clients, and your plan, and everything will fall into place.
Q: Why are your employees proud to be part of your organization?
AV is a fairly straightforward industry, and we’ve been able to set a hiring mantra of looking for attitude and aptitude rather than established skills or accomplishments. As such, we have dozens of examples of Coitcom team members who joined us at the lowest level and climbed the ranks quickly to leadership positions.
We also pride ourselves on reducing bureaucracy by enabling our employees to make a large number of decisions on their own without being micromanaged. We are able to do this because so many of our team members have held multiple positions at Coitcom and know how we do things.