Manufacturer's New AV Mounts Take Environment into Consideration
Several years ago, OmniMount took a clear look at its impact on the environment. Senior VP of sales, Alex Robertson, says OmniMount started with the basics, like recycling and energy conservation, then added creative incentives programs such as employee carpooling. He
“As a company, we know it’s our responsibility to do our part in the conservation of our planet’s resources.” —Alex Robertson, Senior VP of Sales, OmniMount explained that the logical progression for their corporate consciousness was to make product manufacturing and packaging more eco-friendly. While keeping safety the primary focus, OmniMount wanted to reduce the impact of the manufacturing by using more environmentally conscious materials, as well as eliminating manuals and template production. That’s how OmniLite was born. Robertson took a moment to explain his company’s new line and more about their greenfriendly attitude.
How does OmniLite fit into the grander mission of OmniMount?
OmniLite fits in much the same way as any of our product lines do. It addresses a need in the marketplace; it gives customers what they are asking for, and it is driving the mount category forward. As a company, we know it’s our responsibility to do our part in the conservation of our planet’s resources. OmniMount is now re-thinking the manufacturing process in a manner beyond typical levels to try and minimize the negative impact our product and packaging has on the environment. This philosophy is now in place on all of our new product designs. While we won’t always be able to get to the same level as we have with OmniLite, we are paying close attention to the type of materials we use, the amount of materials we use, and how we can minimize the negative impact that OmniMount, as a company, has on the planet.
What are the challenges, advantages, and fun aspects about rolling out a new product line during a recession?
Ha! Only one challenge? When times become challenging, the natural instinct is to tighten
OmniLite will appeal to both the traditional OmniMount customer as well as the active green-conscious customer. up resources and batten down the hatches. This includes trying to do more with what you have and limiting “experimental” purchases. These are all very sound concepts. However, we are fortunate in the sense that our product attaches to a still-hot category: flat panels. It has a good story with its “eco” angle and, in all reality, it is still a traditional mount; not much experimentation is required. The advantage here is that if we can truly show a benefit that will help our dealer customers sell more product, then you have a very attentive audience, probably more so than in an healthier economy. The fun lies in being able to have a sense of accomplishment that the product line looks and works great. We are taking a leadership position by addressing a very serious problem, and we are being well-received.
How do you qualify the ROI for a product like OmniLite?
As much as I’d like to say that we measure it in how good we feel, it is actually measured just like any other product line. Do we make money, does it make sense, how do we and
our customers benefit?
Are your residential dealers feeling any effects of the market contraction, and if so, how do you assist them?
Of course our customers are feeling the effects. However, with the burst of the housing bubble, and even though new home construction has been reduced, those that remain in their current homes are still buying new televisions. This translates into mount sales and installation opportunities. To best serve our customers, we are making sure that we have a broad array of pricing options, a broad array of application solutions, and a just-in-time delivery process that helps them manage reduced inventory levels.
What are the most pressing concerns for OmniMount for the next fiscal quarter?
The biggest concern is obviously the economy. With the retail storefront reduction that has taken place, our potential customer base has been greatly diminished. We need to do more with less. In addition, the influx of cheap offshore knock-off mounts is eating into the mount category as a whole. It's a dangerous situation not only from a financial standpoint but also from a safety standpoint. Most of these unknown companies have questionable safety standards at best, and no U.S. entity. The resulting liability for the retailer/installer is unhealthy for the industry as a whole.
What differentiates OmniMount from the many competitors in this product category
We are a U.S. entity. We have been in business for over 30 years. We do business in over 60 countries around the world and we have an impeccable safety record. This, in conjunction with the relationship we have created with our retail/installer partners, makes us the most recognized brand of mounts in the world. The addition of the OmniLite series and our quest to deliver environmentally conscious products sets us apart from our competition as well.