Mixer Sponsor Profiles: Chief/Milestone AV
February 17, 2013 by Dave Haynes
If there is connective tissue in this goofy little sector, it’s the mount and rack companies with the gear that puts displays in place and makes deployments work, and who provide a lot of overall support for the industry. Companies like Chief are always investing directly in the trade shows, in educational work, and in trade publication advertising.
Laurie Englert from Milestone AV Technologies (which owns the Chief brand), who miraculously came out uninjured and more or less sober from 18 holes of golf with me once, was quick to step up and offer her company’s support for the Mixer this year. In return for that kindness, I got out the e=mail lamp with the 100-watt bulb and mercilessly grilled her with questions.
Q – I sometimes get a Rodney Dangerfield-sense about the hardware mount companies, like they don’t get the respect they deserve. Do you ever feel like that?
I have to say we don’t! We focus more on helping our dealer and distributor customers get the right solution which involves a lot more than just selling product. We consider them our partners, many whom we know personally. The most important thing is knowing that we make products and provide services that they find valuable. Plus we sell a lot more than mounts! Have you seen our Racks? They are amazing! And our interactive solutions are an industry favorite. But the important part is we spend a lot of time asking our customers what we can do better and then we do it!
Q – What will Chief be showing at DSE this year that’s new and different?
Our FUSION series has grown over the past year to include video wall carts, bolt down stands, and ceiling mounts. And these new mounts include features that make installation and alignment a dream. We have video wall and menu board solutions for virtually any situation, and we’ll have them on hand at DSE.
Q – How much of what Chief does is custom, or do you steer clear of that?
We do custom work for large projects all the time and welcome the challenge, but the bulk of Chief’s business is solving installation problems with standard product.
Q – How do you stay ahead of or compete with low-cost gear coming out of Asia-Pacific?
Chief maintains a quality of product through extensive testing to obtain UL listings, which means our products have met UL’s safety requirements. Beyond that, Chief talks to installers and dealers to learn what their biggest problems are in mounting solutions, and we work to design products with features that eliminate those problems. Our products are truly installer-inspired.
Q – What sectors are best for Chief right now?
Currently there is high growth potential in Digital Signage so we focus here, as well as in the Corporate (video conferencing), and Education Sectors. But, ultimately, our goal is to service our dealer and distributor partners, so we also focus in sectors important to them.
Chief will have a big presence at Digital Signage Expo, so they will likely be well-behaved at the Mixer. Make a point of dropping by Booth 119.