CR Talks to: Premier Mounts : Build Quality Wins Out
In tune with the pro A/V markets, installers and dealersDecember 2010 By Interview by Nancy Klosek
CR: What sort of dealer merchandising aids or other support or training is the company offering for the balance of the year and into 2011?
Noack: There are a lot of tools we offer. When we sell a flat-panel mount or cart or stand, all the hardware that's needed is included in the package. For example, for flat panels we even include levels and give all different types of hardware you may need to put it in a wall plug—spacers and different lengths of metric bolts that go into the back to hold the LCD on the mount. The point is, installers need not go out and find all of this; we have it all set out for them. If it's a security screw they want to put on, we include the Allen key. A lot of the other suppliers charge for things like that.
CR: You recently revamped your website to help streamline dealers' and integrators' ability to do business with you. How does what you've done differ from your competitors? How does the site improve upon what you did previously?
Noack: The look and feel of it is different. It's more professional, clearer and easier to find things. The navigation has changed; we started grouping things differently, and added log-ins at the back end for dealers so they can purchase directly online. We continually improve on our Mount Finder and our cross-referencing tools.
CR: What future product development directions can you speak about? Or is there anything else you'd care to comment about relating to the custom integration business?
Noack: The market is picking up, and there's lots of interest on the pro A/V side and in the custom market. At CEDIA EXPO, we showed a new prototype of a wire mount that was well-received. We also showed iPad mounts.
First came the iPad, and now everyone else will be coming out with tablets as well. The market is just tremendous and control companies are jumping on it. With that, everyone will need a mount and will need to put them on a secure mount—swivel, tilting, table—so that they don't disappear.
We initially had a request from a hotel chain that wanted secure mounts for the reception area, so we designed those, and that was the beginning. It's destined to be a growing area; everybody and their brother will have a mount. We're not looking so much at the consumer market growth, but on the pro A/V side, there's a tremendous need for secure mounts; ours come with a standard VESA pin on the back, so they will fit any of our articulating or wall mounts.
CR: Are there any other observations you can offer about the market in general?
Noack: In general, there is a tendency in the market for certain mount brands to drive down the market price—there's particular pressure from inexpensive imports. People might jump on an inexpensive mount, but if the really want something solid that they don't want to throw away after a year, they're going to go back to the pro stuff.
On the consumer side, people just want it cheap—the mount, the panel, and the projector. But on the professional side, that's not the case, because the installer is liable. If you install an inexpensive mount that doesn't do the job right, or fails after a year of use—especially mounts with moving parts—you're going to have problems. If you warrant your work, you're going to have to go back. You're going to have to replace the product and on top of that, you have to take someone back and re-do the labor—your margin is gone. A lot of people are realizing that if you use a better product right away, you won't have to come back.
All of our products have a limited lifetime warranty, so that if any fail, we would replace them. We know we can offer that because our mounts are very solidly built. We believe that the confidence of our installers and our customer base—and our reputation and theirs—is everything. CR