Jeff Irvin, Spinitar

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Let's say you just bought a house bad news. Is your one step closer to becoming your parents. You'll proudly mow the lawn and give anybody noticed you mow the lawn. Tell people to stay off the lawn. Compare it to your neighbors lawn and complain about having the Modem on again. Good news is it's easy to bundle home and auto through progressive and save on your car insurance which of course we'll go right into the Lawn Progressive Casualty Insurance Company affiliates and other insurers discount not available in all states or situations. You are listening to the pilgrim on the four zero five with will crist join him as he and his guest discover how businesses thrive in California welcome to the program on the four five. We have a real treat today. We're going to hear from Jefferson the founder and C._E._O.. Of of Spin Atar and Jeff started this company Anthony himself and WanNa hear about how how he got started in. What were the obstacles he had to overcome and then we'll talk a little bit more about how he sees business today in California so welcome Geoff Welcome Okla token on the size thanks well? It's good to be here <hes> yeah it was it was back in <hes> in May of nineteen eighty six that I actually founded the company said been doing this now for about <hes> thirty thirty two years so good longtime the <hes> might kind of my background prior to that I went to school at Arizona State upon graduation what to work for a company by the name of Croix that was <hes> early manufacturer of lettering labeling cooling systems. I worked for them for about five years. They decided to either solar close all their direct sales offices around the country and go back to an indirect means of distributing their product and that actually provided invited the opportunity for me to put my name in the hat to acquire the Croix Branch Office that was here in southern California at the time and I did that at the ripe old age of <hes> I guess twenty six so so I was always young <hes> and <hes> it was an interesting time to because no California banks would <hes> finance me <hes> would lowness any money to get into business even though I could show them financials from the prior business and its performance <hes> if you didn't have dollar for dollar equity in California real estate they weren't going to provide any loan so luckily I had an uncle back in Illinois that was a banker banker and and <hes> e- trusted and what we were doing and started the business on May Twenty Six nineteen eighty six with eleven people and it was a bit scary. I remember that first day like it was yesterday Saturday that he's a driving to work that morning thinking oh my gosh what have I got myself into <hes> but <hes> fortunately it all worked out <hes> we were able to grow the business from eleven people all too we have about one hundred fifty folks today back then we were pretty simple company. Just peddling you know rudimentary audiovisual gear so lettering the labeling systems that would create original type and content for overhead transparency presentations slide presentations proposal covers that type of thing migrated the company from fina provider of technology to an integrator of technology <hes> as we've progressed from Elsa panel's still be projectors and then begin to build in the late nineties and immigration practice or a services practice <hes> because it was pretty clear in evidence that we needed to on not just be a provider of technology but needed to be services provider an integrator technology and get more revenue from services and less from this peddling a box and then it was primarily objectives. Why did you do that? Why don't you think that was necessary? Will we saw margins eroding probably about two percentage points every year <hes> and primarily the the the the hub of what we were selling were L._C._d.. Projectors at the time and then and back in the good old days we could go out demonstrate projector customer would buy one or twenty or whatever and we would make good fair margin but every year <hes> kind of year-over-year we saw margins corroding about two percentage points. You know catalogers superstores. <hes> you know the Mass Merchandiser is irs. The Internet people Internet players got involved <hes> Jeff the Japanese got involved in the industry big time and and it was their objective to make sure that the product was available it any which way the consumer was going to fathom to buy the product so that compressed margins and it was really we were. I I like in our business to the computer. Business was Kinda like how many mom and pop computer resellers were still around today or at that time and felt like the same impact was going to happen on the business and we were going to need to become much more of a services services focused company or potentially not survive so it was really survival strategy well. I had a client <hes> who had a similar <hes> experience with I._B._M.. Man He really he could show me on the on the board what was going on with the margins that he was getting for his his servers and all of the weapon of the products right in in he really did have to move into providing services in our increases margins and it it was not easy. I mean <hes> it was difficult to really take a transactional sales organization in Mike Migrate them to be a more of a solution services focused pissed sales organization <hes> some made the cut and some just didn't make the transition at all and quite frankly to I was a I was a sales and marketing guy that was good at peddling boxes of technology itchy but I didn't really know the integration kind of contractor part of our business today so I was able to bring in a business partner <hes> a business par or nerve still today Jay Regina who join the company in in nineteen ninety nine <hes> as a partner in the business to really build our services practice and <hes> really today. I mean largely. That's what we're known for is really are integration business and that the transactional was actional businesses virtually gone away well would would you say that I mean we we know that varieties of channels now are given the access they have to global markets. They're willing to take a much smaller margin written because they have a larger number larger quantity that they can move right so the now would you say that that the real need that people have then accompany using thing videoconferencing the real need they have is understand how to use it how to make the most of it how to eliminate problems where the support is for for <hes> you know being able to do the kinds the things they wanna WanNa do yeah and I think that's a that's a huge part of it in an interestingly enough will it took us quite some time to figure that out we we go out and we design and bill and dance support from the service standpoint high-performance work in learning spaces for our customers. You know whether it's a boardroom conference room training room classroom Huddle Space Command Control Facility Emergency Operation Center City Council Chamber Church Sanctuary. Whatever that's what we do but one thing we kind of realized <hes> year or so ago is that we had really not done a great job educating locating the customer how to get the the most return on investment and get the most impact <hes> from the use of those spaces and so we have now launched a training services option the package for customer so all stakeholders go into use those spaces that our technology equipped are now much better trained and educated on how to use those rooms so they get the best return on that technology technology investment and I think that's huge? I think that is so so important in unfortunately took us a long time to figure that out that there was really a need to be able to provide that for customers because at the end of the day <hes> some some of the stuff is is not as simple as it should be well in in to me. It seems to me that if we focus on how do we increase our margins that that can be complicated. Come up with a variety segues increase margins if we if we were to focus on what are the needs. What are the problems that our prospects or customers car clients want to solve that they're not solving right now? Absolutely I mean that's it. It's all about outcomes right. I mean it's all about <hes> outcomes for the customer and being able to better understand what are those outcomes that they're trying to achieve inexperience experience and then how do we create through technology and also even may be in in combination and working with interior design and architectural resources that optimum work in learning space for our customer customer so that they're able to achieve that desired outcome. You know we're again. We we saw cool technology. We sell stuff that you know black boxes with blinky lights that and lots of cool stuff and quite frankly as sometimes we're our biggest enemy in that we don't do a real good job sometimes of really drilling down <hes> and trying to identify if put the technology aside if you will in drilling down to customer need and customer requirement customer expectation and what does success look like to them and then then really working with them and then designing a system that will achieve that desired outcome oftentimes we jumped to the design. We jumped the technology when really at the end of the day that's just a means to an end. That's a portal that gets us there but making sure we understand customer outcome in what they're trying to achieve really really pivotal well all in industrial that changed the whole nature of business. May at some point business was <unk>. I Suppose Wall Street has a lot to do with it. The the the public companies in the quarterly earnings has to do with what we make last quarter. What's our margin last was our sales revenue last quarter? We know the kind of craziness that happened in the in the Internet bubble about I mean I was very aware of companies that were inflating their their revenues by all sorts sorts of machinations but that's not the real. That's not the real issue for business. Is it well no it's it's not I mean thankfully. I guess <hes> I mean sometimes. I wish we were publicly coffee mug. We know company because we might make choices make Nixon choices that are a bit different than the ones that we make but I guess thankfully at the end of the day we're not publicly traded. We <hes> certainly are as interested. Is Anyone in terms of you know the financial performance of the company and we're interested. I in our customers financial performance in those outcomes as well but at the end of the day <hes> we try to differentiate ourselves by designing buildings supporting a better experience for our customers so that those communication gene objectives are Mac and if we do job of that I think at the end of the day everything flows through absolutely absolutely because if if if a company is known for listening in understanding what the the needs are what the problems are that that that prospect or client wants to solve and then goes about solving them or making decision that we can't and let me refer you introduce you to somebody who can if a company gets that kind of reputation nation. It seems to me you know you tell me it seems to me that they're going to get a lot of introductions from current clients to say and I think it introduces I mean it it differentiates sauce from maybe the other people are going to walk in and meet with that customer as well to the more thought provoking <hes> kind of headier questions that were were prepared to ask in present to the customer and get them to think about things that maybe they have not thought about. That's going to differentiate us from the other people that are out peddling boxes of technology. There are a lot of people that can do what we do. <hes> I guess fortunately or unfortunately a Lotta folks in our industry. They're more technically proficient than they are. Sales proficient and I'm a guy that broke was born and raised on Xerox Pius One and Sarah gifts to spin spin selling and and all about needs satisfaction covering identifying need and then making sure that we're presenting solutions that address the need and <hes> there there could be more of that in our industry for sure because like I said in general well our industry is a bit sales deficient well in that's you know that happens very often when people even when they're they're focusing on services. They still sell it as if it were a package of right and it's it's how do I. How do I ask questions so that you'll buy what I'm selling right in and that's all about me versus? How do I understand what needs you have in? How how can I help you accomplish? What you want to accomplish and I think in the in the heat of the battle you know our folks are busy trying to get proposes out the customers doing a lot of different things and but taking the time to really kinda drill down and understand customer outcome of that they're trying to achieve is always going to be the best play Kinda slow down to speed up if you will <hes> an in it does clearly differentiate ourselves from the rest because this most folks are not having those conversations fortunately or unfortunately wouldn't it be much better? If that's the kind of conversations. We always had absolutely absolutely again. It's pretty simple simple for me. I mean you know the way I was taught in a you know going into a business meeting as you built reporter you you did a headcount to make sure that everyone was there that needed to be there. In order to make an investment decision and you set an agenda new you you provided a general benefit statement and introduction statement then you did a needs analysis and then you presented your company solution based upon speaking of those needs and you summarize benefits than you ask to to for next steps APPS and and to move forward with the customer I mean it was very kind of McDonald's like <hes> methodical process that you went through whenever you engaged with the customer is a little bit less methodical article it and I think today's will actually could benefit from were structure and more agenda because I think if the end of the day we would have better business meetings and better customer outcomes if we did so absolutely and focusing missing <unk> understanding and we're focusing on what is it that you're struggling with and tell me what you know what causing it so. We'll look at how we could fix. It may have absolutely now a win win. Did you make this shift from boxes to meeting needs well. I tried to <hes> you know I had originally tried in the mid nineties to be able to begin the progression from being I quit provider to more of a solutions of you know the designing building and stalling of AV systems into rooms and I tried to do that on my own for a few years and I found quite candidly that I was not a good respirate. <hes> I really didn't know who was writer who was wrong I brought in you know what I thought to be kind of engineers and technical talent to be able to help design of these rooms and and specify why the technology that needed to go in these rooms and then I had a sales organization and found that the two individuals both technical and sales were fighting and I didn't know how to referee the fight so that's why was really kinda fortunate to go out fine J. EH my business partner today bring him into the organization because he knew the business and he knew how to referee the battle if you will and put the teams together to be able to <hes> kind of Gel and work together gather to be able to help you know work with the customer so <hes> yeah it was mid-nineties in his interesting. Today I mean literally the transactional business <hes> today is virtually nil <hes> we very rarely do we sell box of technology. He does not have some Labor services associated with that box and and so was that difficult to make that shift yeah it was really really hard. I mean I I remember people other other integrators other dealer fronts of mine from around the country that said a jeff. You need to be an integrator. You need this get more of your revenue from services and less from boxes and and they said you know snow it's going to it's going to be tough. Both <hes> and I'll tell you what it was a lot harder than they told me it was really hard. It was a transformation of the sales organization. It was a a learning experience for me because I didn't really know it fortunately fortunately again I was able to bring in the talent and the resources that did know that help Kinda get us further down the path but it was hard and it and it still is today how did you how did you affect the the change in your organization yeah. I think it was really <hes> about making sure everybody understood the the wife worse in the house cons. I mean the reasons why we needed to transition the organization in an and you know making the connection between kind of the computer world and the Audio Video World <hes> if you could can kind of linked the dots <hes> it made if it made it pretty clear that <hes> <hes> we're going to need to make make that transformation so I think the first part was really kind of selling the company on the reasons why this was pivotal in critical to the company success and their success and than being able to provide for their families everybody had a vested interest in it and then a lot of training and education to be able to help them through the transition <hes> that was critical as well too so I think first of all was just selling them on why and then the second piece was really about making sure they were trained in educated on how to be a solutions provider versus just a technology added you make the shift in your sales team digest replace sales people where they willing to learn new ways yeah I mean as I said earlier I mean some people were able to make the transition and there was a lot of sales training coaching and also to they they need to become become more technically equipped in technically astute to understand you know the world of designing and building AV systems <hes> in all the things that have to go in between a source in and out but the be able to make those devices communicate with one another so there was a great deal of not just sales training but certainly a lot of technical training <hes> that had to be done a whether it was through our industry association or even through manufacturers manufacturers that we were partnering with in Building Relationships with the make sure that people had the technical chops to be able to go out and have those conversations with customers because not all the time where we meeting with the people that were just the presenters presenters or the users of those rooms we were meeting with you know the the Audio Video Depar- audiovisual departments for enterprise accounts or the I._T.. Group or whatever more technically a stupid people that wanted to talk the technology czar people at least needed to be equipped to know enough about that to be able to go down that path with people that wanted to talk right bits and bytes and speeds and fees right absolutely and at the same time to be able to to to speak the language of of the the the C._F._o.. which is going to be how we're GONNA? What's going to impact our revenue? GotTa be ceased chief training officers who are really looking for how do we deliver this. <hes> a all those people who have a vested interest in in this problem that the company has yeah and I think that's the challenge and that's why you know to some degree. Our sales team has to be technically astute but also sales a stupid because they need to be able to go in if need be necessary and talk about how I'm going to get this image to this display and make sure that the I._T.. Folks know about that and and <hes> <hes> we can talk that talk but you're right. I mean the people that are the C._e._O.'S C._F._o.'s and the CEO's and the V._p.. Of Sales and the those folks that are going in and using those rooms they're interested about increasing attention and retention and influencing the audience and persuading directing behavior they're interested in all the the kind of the outcomes in the experiences in what will allow them to do talk to be able to achieve you know better performance <hes> so <hes> being able to have people that can talk technical and at the same time be able to be a stood at being able to understand customer outcome the language. That's not easily found no no no but this has been really interesting about how how you be gained be began as primarily a box provider in now now. The providing boxes is almost the after thought about you'll because the real issue is is not even services. It's solving problems absolutely for varieties of levels of <hes> in any the organization so I wanNA take a little break here and here from our sponsors and then come back and then I wanNA talk a little bit about about what issues you see going on today in the marketplace that okay sounds great right so take a break from the pilgrim on the four zero five and we'll be back shortly. We know you rely on your C._R._M.. System and fish usually love hate relationship most serum systems. uh-huh well let's face it. They're expensive the hard to understand people don't use them properly and you're probably paying for features that unity in want if that's your case and maybe it's time to simplify. It's time to get more from your C._R._M.. Why don't you go back to the original? Trust Gold Mine. We helped pioneer the industry after all Gold Mine C._R._M.. Is Well it's simple. It's affordable and it's proven if all those sound appealing to you if you're just tired of the C._R._M.. Headaches that you're getting from trying to implement and something that's just too complicated too expensive and too much for you to figure out the why not go back to the original visit Gold Mine Today Goldmine Dot Com so welcome. I'm back to the pilgrim on a four zero five where we have been interviewing jeff urban lead the founder and principal at spinner tar and we've been reflecting on the change from the initial initial sale of boxes uses for videoconferencing in the <hes> what else Jeff You said also you sell sold a lot of a lot of display units right and moving from vast to actually solving problems for enterprise level companies on how they're doing video conferencing communicating training so welcome back Jeff's. Tell me a little bit about issues that you have right now. You looked at your people right now. What what percentage would you say no where the company's going in how it's going to get there at the end of the day I mean we're still in the people business and even though we have you know done things to try to make our company easier to do business with for our people <hes> try to simplify you know their experience in doing business with Spin Atar so that ultimately rubs off on customer experience you know we're still in the people business we're still wrestling with you know <hes> you know culture and and making sure that you know were able to retain talent in and <hes> so those are things that are not unique unique to our business? Certainly it's probably every businesses out trying to do things that will <hes> improve their ability to be able to retain great people and attract great people so I think <hes> you know that's an issue. I think one the things that that we try to do <hes> in I think is very unique. Your company is were were very much a family feel. I mean we're we're big enough to be you know substantial and a in a fairly substantial player in our industry but we're also small enough to be able to retain more of a family field organization <hes> we're very celebratory who celebrate birthdays anniversaries celebrate <hes> exceptional performance moments with an annual incentive trip that we have every year which is called Chairman's Club to be able to acknowledge exceptional performance from our employees of the quarter employees of the year top sales performers and and such we also we're trying to be very community the with our with our our employees by sharing and having a monthly newsletter to let them know about all the goings on the happenings in the organization <hes> quarterly we have a breakfast all hands meeting meeting to be able to also share and disseminate information with an organization so were a very attentive to the people and we're going to need to be continually attentive for people because <hes> it's very very good economy right now. <hes> the talent search gets tougher and tougher and also <hes> companies are more aggressively outreaching to <hes> find individuals that they can pull into their organizations to help them grow so retaining and and attracting great talent you know he thinks Ross the other the other <hes> you know thing that's happening in our industry is I guess it probably has to do with a robust economy is there's a great deal of of mergers acquisitions going on in our industry presently and <hes> the bigger getting bigger and <hes> you know so we're kind of faced with what does that mean to us. You know right now. We're kind of a middle market sized <hes> player in our industry amongst kind of the top fifty integrators nationwide <hes> but we keep asking ourselves you know how do we get bigger as an organization and and and <hes> How do we compete against the real big boys and girls in our industry <hes> and what does that mean to us ultimately so <hes> that's going to be a challenge and then and then our value proposition I mean how to week seem you to provide value your customer because that's going to need to continually change and continually evolve <hes> and I think we need to continue to look for ways to be able to be a trusted adviser for customer to creek that stickiness. Let's go back now. What some of the things that I hear in talking to business owners in members of leadership teams is there's a sense in which the business owns them in in their working way harder than they wanna work is that that's an issue for you? Well <hes> I <hes> yeah I mean it. I'm constantly engaged night night and quite frankly though you know to me it may be a little bit of imminent addiction. <hes> and I guess with technology today. Even when I now the office I'm still in the office <HES> even when I may be take a few days off I'm still not taking a few days off so I think the good news bad news with technology and mobility and and all is that were able to Kinda stay glued in dialed in no matter what and <hes> I'm probably my biggest enemy. I mean if there's not a problem. I'll call into the office to look for one to try to find one. You know <hes> I love the try to help solve problems <HES> I it's. It's probably a bit of an addiction to me but the interesting interesting thing will is even after thirty two years. I love what I do. I mean I still love what I do and I remember a few years ago. We brought in someone kind of kind of run. The day to day operation of the business listen play President of the company and I found myself looking for things to do and looking for ways to provide value. I'll have to tell you that was a very uncomfortable feeling because almost felt like I wasn't needed anymore. We we all need the purpose in life right <hes> but yeah I we're and we're all mired in the mock in the activity trap and and certainly I could do a better job of being more strategic unless tactical up at the end of the day <hes>. I like the thrill of the kill. I liked the business my day job is really business development marketing. That's kind of what I'm involved in as my day job in the organization and I love that I really be love that the you guys have some <hes> I noticed you have some things that you you are working social services. You haven't outreach program. Don't you giving some money away doing things yeah we do. One thing I've I'm very proud of <hes> is <hes> we have <hes> connected with the people at city of hope which is one of the leading cancer <hes> treatment in research facilities in the world <hes> and we have <hes> an individual the Joel <hes> in our organization that has gone through some very very serious cancer experiences and as a result of that we we wanted to give back. We wanted to do some things that were <hes> <hes> a bit different than just you know selling clean and installing AV systems for our customers and so we established what we call golf for hope <hes> this will be are worth year coming up on November eight <hes> where <hes> we invite <hes> sponsors are manufacturer batterer sponsors that we work with and then also invited guests <hes> for a day at the at the golf course to come out and <hes> you know a raise money for the city of open their efforts to fight cancer and other <hes> life threatening disease and and I can tell you will you know the evening of that that <hes> that day where we have the word span quit we have silent auction the the <hes> the live auction and in all the fundraising that goes on it's one of the proudest states of of <hes> that I have I mean I'm so proud of our company and what we're doing and and it's just a real real meek feel-good day that were doing something that is good for others well it. It seems to me at least growing up. I grew up in entrepreneurial family. It was my uncle who had this great vision of. I mean he was a auto parts. Sales went. All around Texas of this was this was back in the twenties ace and he would start in Houston and go all the way around by boat by train by whatever sewing auto parts in eventually he came to the idea that he could move to south Texas and he could start an empire so he built a warehouse called Brindell sales and then asked all of his brothers and his his brothers in law to move the South Texas from Indiana and other parts in the country and they came down in in there was a franchising at that point but he just said you'll get to have valley auto parts in Edinburgh and you'll get to have it in in Brownsville and you have in Westlake. Oh he had eight different stores yeah because all empire that was my that was my experience of entrepreneurials wife in seeing that I also saw that they were all very involved in the community. I think that's critical. I mean I think you know <hes> it can't be all about <hes> <hes> monthly financial statement and <hes> you know I think you want to you wanna go through life than able to leave the world in a better place and and I and it's good to know that at the end of the day you've done some things that are outside of just the day to day that might impact wives and and help people and and <hes> it's been a great thing for us it. It's such a fun event at such a <hes> Anita experience for all of our people to be able to go out and <hes> participate integrator bill. I think that's a wonderful thing it's it seems to me that business people know oh how to solve problems in that is so important today we have so many issues out there and when business people take their skills and their heart in put it into solving got so many of them get salt so accommodations to you guys for doing that now when when you hit a ceiling have you do ever hit ceilings in your growth that you're you're not something's gotTa Change Yeah you know. I think we're we're kind <unk>. We've we've Kinda hit that ceiling here as of late we we <hes> you know we've hit a ceiling of about fifty fifty one million dollars <hes> in in revenues and it seems to be kind of hurdle that we we can't seem to climb over and and I think both myself and my partner feel that it is important for us to be able to grow revenues and become a bigger player in this. In this increasingly bigger bigger pond to be able to be competitive and to be able to you know leverage resources to invest in new services and and technologies and and all that we can provide that will differentiate us and provide greater value to the customer so it's not just getting bigger because you know you're supposed to get bigger. It's really about being able to get bigger to reinvest and be able to kind of keep up with the the bigger boys and girls in this industry and and <hes> but I feel like we've kind of we peaked a little bit and <hes> we're now really trying to go through some strategic conversations to go back and revisit mission envision values and then re-address strategy <hes> based upon <hes> you know some of the tactical things that we're going to need to do to be able to exponentially grow this organization in that could be could be through acquisitions wins. It could be a merging it could be through you know of opening up offices in new markets. I mean we feel like we've got kind of a repetitive model that that can be duplicated over and over and over again so going to other markets <hes> might be appropriate. No there are other other you know baby boomers in our industry that are looking for liquidity event. <hes> maybe going out in acquiring some some smaller players and other markets where we could you know leverage jar know-how pouted deploy and go to market and <hes> so there's a there's a lot of options there and we're right now. It's interesting that you ask going through those strategic conversations stations if figure out how we really grow this organization in this growing this now you've gone through these hitting the ceiling experiences before yeah we did. I mean we were we were stuck around the <hes> probably thirty to thirty five million for years and years nears all of a sudden in nineteen or in two thousand sixteen. We had a huge hop of business. <hes> we grew <hes> about seventy eighty six percent top line revenues <hes> and had a Niba that was very very solid. The interesting thing is last year in two thousand seventeen on the heels of an exceptional year. We really had a bellyflop year. We performed poorly <hes> we it was kind of a hangover if you will from a an exceptional year of growth <hes> and performance and we really spent kind of the first part of two thousand seventeen cleaning leaning up some of the mess that we created through all of the growth in two thousand sixteen so it was a little bit of a peak in valley good news as two thousand eighteen is is very strong were certainly headed in the right direction Shen and <hes> performances way up good well. There's a tendency to people have when they hit that ceiling to try quick fixes right as that worked for you well yeah. I don't think there isn't any quick fix and I think it's I. I think it like what we're trying to do. Now is kind of you know take take pause get out of the the activity trap step outside of the box and look back in the box and assess what's going well and how do we exploit those is things what's not going well and what adjustments in tweaks we'd need to make so having you know this strategic planning conversation that were in the midst of <hes> and then obviously on the heels of that will be a tactical response adds to the strategic plan and then we go back into the box and perform data thing I think pausing every once in a while to step out of the box look back into the suspect performance is so critical but it's so hard to do will because when you're involved in the day-to-day battle it's it's. It's tough to say a timeout. Everybody put down their weapons. Let's assess what's going on before we pick up the weapon again in continue the battle and it's it's tough to do because when you're in the heat of the battle you WanNa just stay in the game so <hes> doing that. What are you? What are you doing to make that happen well? I mean like I said right now. We're going through our leadership. Team is <hes> going through a strategic planning conversation to try to kind of assess where we are now <hes> and what changes we need to make in terms of you know mission vision values and then <hes> understand and we'll get a line in terms of what what the goal is. I mean you know if the goal is in the next you know three years we want to progress from being a fifty million dollar company to a hundred million dollar company. We all need to Kinda hold hands I and agreed that that's what we WANNA do and that's that's where we wanna be and then understand and identify. What are the big rocks the big things that we can do what's the twenty percent of the stuff that are the the things that we can do that are going represent eighty percent of the impact towards achieving those objectives so again? It's really taken some time out and making sure that were aligned. We understand what the goal line looks like and then we're doing all the things that can be most impactful to get upset. You're using a lot of language. That sounds very familiar to me. You're not working with an E._O._S. implementer. Are you know no. We're now. We're not we're. We're YOU KNOW WE WE I. I think we understand what it is that we need to do but I think again were were a victim of being much more tactical than we have been strategic in the past. We've had we've had strategic planning sessions in the past or whatever so we kind of understand the process that we need to go through <hes> but <hes> yeah I think you know we we need to Kinda. Take a a page out of the McDonald's playbook a little bit and and really identify the processes and how we can kind of lean out some of the waste within our organization some of the duplications some of the redundancy <hes> and <hes> we have to to figure out how we can be much more efficient is an organization in terms of how we sell how we deploy how we service and support our customer because businesses going to get tougher it never gets any easy and the world keeps spinning so you know it's it's tough to Kinda push. Stop Button. Stop the world from spinning it can step outside look in SAS in a re retool and then Chris the go button. Allow the world continue doing this bad. It's it's tough yeah yeah well now. If if we believed if you believed that the better that businesses run across the board the better the businesses run the better our culture works. If you believe that was true. What would you say to business owners about how to make it better well? I think I think culture is is keen. There are a lot of organizations out there that are a lot of a lot of lot of companies in our industry that have no private equity money from behind the men and they are <hes> <hes> much more manage with your your heads versus your hearts <hes> <hes> but I would say that while that is certainly an appropriate practice <hes> the heart still needs to be involved and and I think at the end of the day the the stronger the culture of the better the culture the the the stronger the engagement that we have from our employees and we that's one thing we do is we we excess employee engagement every year to have our people will people take an employee engagement survey so that we can assess our levels of engagement with other industry association members so that we can kind of benchmark how were doing as an organization from an engagement standpoint and I would argue again the better culture the better engagement better customer experience good words could words what would a company be feeling before they called you up what what did engage with Spin Atar. What kinds of issues would they have that they would find Spineta could help him saul? I think that audio video technology technology and the new you probably find this at home sometimes getting the T._v.. To work in the remote to function properly and that kind of thing av in and of itself is a standardless industry. We don't have a lot of standards standards in our industry unlike I._T.. That is very standard. Space Av is a industry that is right <hes> with pitfalls from the lack of standard so ultimately av doesn't work so oftentimes times people come to us because they're A._B.. Doesn't work <hes> also sometimes companies come to us because they they have maybe integrated technology in the past but it's not achieving desired hired outcome. They're not getting the performance that they would like to see <hes> <hes> the people within their their organizations <hes> the stakeholders believe. Maybe don't know how to use the technology properly willie ineffective. The interesting thing is av used to be kind of an afterthought <hes>. We were always kind of the last guys in especially if it was a company moving to a new facility they would think about I._T.. They would think about security they think about furniture in oops. We forgot av now. We're not as much of an after I think I think our industry is really kind of come of age and our customers now realize the importance of of them being able to better share and disseminate information to their internal customer their strategic customer and their external in user customer and they understand that the better communicators they are the better of they're going to perform whether they're a a government institution whether there are a <hes> corporate enterprise business whether they're a college or university or <hes> they understand the importance importance of being able to share disseminate information. We we become more vital to to our customers today and I think it's really more about them. Clearly there's more of an understanding of the need today than there was in the past good well. I I think that the approach you're taking that one of looking to solve problems. That's not gonNA fail. We hope not it's not yet. There's a hope we abandoned Oakland. Okay absolutely no doing or we don't have. We don't have hope is not a good strategy. That's right is not a good strategy so thank you so much jeff for taking time out of your your your vacation there in in <hes> in in Oregon is really a pleasure to be with you. Thanks well this is this been the pilgrim on the four zero five sharing with us some of the folks who are very successful in California and looking to help companies in in California help businesses thrive so look forward to being with you again next week on the pilgrim on the four five you've been listening to the pilgrim on the four zero five with will crist the and now an ad from dad all right save money on car insurance when you bundle home and auto with progressive got what is this.

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