Azione’s acceleration program aims to empower members

Like most custom onboarding companies nationwide, members of the Azione Unlimited buying group are riding the crest of a wave of high demand. The group, which now has 253 member dealers, saw a 41% cumulative increase in revenue in 2021, earning more than $1 billion in equipment and labor last year. The first three months of 2022 are no different, with Azione members up 37% above the inflated revenue figures of 2021.

“It’s Christmas every day,” joked Richard Glikes, president and CEO of Azione as he addressed members gathered in New Orleans for the group’s in-person spring 2022 reunion. its first meeting since announcing its merger with the huge national marketing group. . The New Orleans event was attended by around 45% of Azione members, down from the group’s normal 60% attendance percentage.

“They’re just too busy to go,” Glikes says, noting that one member replied when asked why he wasn’t able to attend, “You should live in my place. during a day.” This frenetic pace in 2022 is what keeps many integrators from thinking about the possible slowdown that could occur. Glikes thinks it will start next year.

“2023 will not be a pleasant experience,” he predicts. “I think next year will be difficult. Many dealers are still busy this year because they are filling orders with late equipment. Many dealers are very stressed. When the economy dips, there will be a jolt On a positive note, this will solve the employee labor issue.

To help its members look to the future, the group unveiled its four-pronged Azione Accelerator program designed to strengthen the foundations of the business in terms of mentorship, marketing, partnerships and experiences. The four parts of Azione Accelerator are:

Clusters connected to the cube — Working with a professional facilitator, groups of 10-12 non-competitive dealers will attend monthly two-hour meetings for a fee of $1,200 every 6 months. These sessions will aim to provide feedback, broaden perspectives and empower the business to thrive.

Discussion topics will include maximizing vendor relationships, recurring revenue, hiring and best practices, software and process mapping, measuring your business with key performance indicators, evaluating brands and selecting the right customers. Cubed connected clusters will be monitored by Jason Sayen of LK & Associates, Stacey McKibbin of Consilio and Chris Smith of The Co-team.

Marketing made easy – Using PriMetrix, Nationwide Marketing Group’s web analytics system, this program will identify specific postcodes with ad campaigns using social, search and display ads that will drive customers to landing pages personalized on their websites. Dealers are charged $1,000 per month for these campaigns.

Influential introductions — This program will formally connect Azione members with local National Market Group members, who are major appliance retailers, over lunch. The idea behind the connection will be to help businesses establish partnerships that can mutually benefit both. Azione is aiming for 170 connections.

Electrifying experiences — Azione will take 11-12 members to Napa in June for strategy meetings and Porsche driving. The program will reward top sellers, top growth and next wave and two board members.

The event was also an opportunity for dealers to network with each other. Group Board — Nick Declemente of Elevated Integration; Ryan McDaniel of One-Touch Automation; Paul Ostrin of Unlimited Integration; and Kyle Steele of Global Wave Integration – had an informative panel discussion on key topics such as labor rates and the future of video distribution.

According to Steele, the days of wired home video distribution systems are numbered. He thinks that this category will no longer exist in 3 years. regarding rates, the group advised dealers to immediately raise their labor rates. Ostrin has an hourly rate of $237.50 and Declemente is at $250 an hour. Both said they had received no response from customers.

Ryan H. Bowman