CEDIA publishes report with findings from Covid-19 business impact survey

CEDIA and The Farnsworth Group have published its findings in a report from a recent survey in order to better understand the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on professionals from the residential technology industry.

Open from 13-28 April, the survey invited professionals in the systems integration and construction industries to take part. 

As perhaps expected, the survey found that around 90% of system integrators are currently doing less work due to lockdown regulations and are expecting project delays to last for up to three months. The published findings found that the top reasons were homeowners not wanting contractors in their homes, government mandates, homeowner finances, and person discomfort being in close contact with others. 

Around 72% of system integrators experienced fewer bids throughout March, while 62% said they are seeing lower project closure rates. Around half of integrators are also experiencing lower monetary value in their bids, while the other half say they have been about the same. 

The majority of companies that took part in the survey said they have experienced or plan to lay off staff or furlough them. This figure is much higher in the US and Canada than in the UK with 71% of companies in the UK having to lay off or furlough staff, against just 46% of companies in the US and Canada. Again, 69% of companies in the UK have had to lay off or furlough 76% or more of their staff, compared to just 30% of US and Canadian integrators.

Understandably, most integrators have said they are worried for the future of their business, with about half stating extreme concern primarily due to the ability to pay bills, the health of their staff, and the ability to get project requests.

With around half of participating integrators expecting revenue to drop considerably, most are expecting to be able to operate their business at these lower revenue levels for a maximum of three to six months. 

Integrators from the US and Canada are slightly more optimistic than UK integrators, with 54% of US and Canadian integrators stating the pandemic has had a big negative impact on their business, compared to 64% of UK integrators. Again, just 56% of integrators in the US and Canada are doing less work or projects, compared to a much higher figure of 79% of UK integrators. 

Interestingly, more system integrators in the US and Canada have applied for help from their government, with 75% saying they have in the US and Canada, and 69% saying they have in the UK. 

Something we have seen grow during this lockdown period is online training and webinars. The survey also finds this to be true with 77% of UK integrators 62% of US and Canadian integrators saying they are spending more time on technical training. 

It is also a good time for companies to develop new services and research new products to sell with 46% of US and Canadian professionals and 43% of UK professionals saying they have done this. Similarly, the report also states that 47% UK professionals have spent time re-tooling their marketing presence and website, while just 37% of US and Canadians have done this. 

The report also found that 32% of US and Canadian professionals and 17% of UK professionals have re-configured their showroom and/or warehouse facilities. Around the same percentage in the US/Canada and the UK have done more direct marketing with their clients and prospect list, with 29% in the US and Canada and 28% in the UK. 

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