Video Mount Products, a provider of mounting products for the AV, communications, and security markets, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Since its founding in 1994, VMP has evolved along with an ever expanding AV industry from a CRT TV mounts supplier to an innovator of flat-panel TV mounting solutions, for installations in educational, institutional, and religious applications to lodging, sports venues, residential, health care, and restaurants. To learn more about the Stevensville, MD, company, Residential Systems reached out to company president Keith Fulmer, a 28-year industry veteran who joined VMP in 1996 after serving as a sales rep for the company in the New York/New Jersey metro area.
As you reflect on VMP’s 20 years in business, what are the most notable ways that the company has adapted to the ever-changing AV integration channel?
When we started in 1994, it was to address a local need that some Maryland distributors had for sports bars and schools. With only six part numbers for TVs from 12 to 27 inches, it was a pretty simple business. Technology has exploded since then and accordingly so has our company, our customers, and our product offering. We are a “cross-platform” provider and have added products to our mix that can serve many industries with similar and complementary products. CEDIA guys, for example, aren’t just working in the residential space any more. They have become active in commercial AV and have even dipped into the security market to provide a more well-rounded offering to their customers. We’re helping all of them to do that with a product mix as diverse as anyone’s.
Not every company makes it to 20. What has been VMP’s key to survival?
As cliché as it might sound, we owe a lot of our success and sustainability to our customers. They have helped us build our line with their recommendations, they understand that value includes customer service, reliable products, and affordable price points, and they have been very loyal over the years. We are also very fortunate to have a very dedicated team at VMP, which is the backbone to any successful 20-year-old organization. When customers remind us before they get off the phone that we are “the easy ones,” we must be doing something right!
Obviously VMP stands for Video Mount Products, but your company has evolved beyond its original product mix into other areas. What are some of the challenges of entering a new category like AV racks and enclosures and competing with established brands?
A big part of it comes back to our keys to survival that we discussed earlier. Our loyal customers are a big reason we have pressed into new categories. As we continue to meet with dealers and integrators they help us keep our finger on the pulse of the industry. We obviously recognize the difficulties associated with competing with and displacing suppliers that have long been entrenched in the market and their category, but we also understand that often these same industry stalwarts have complicated things with an overabundance of part numbers and replicated solutions. We have reduced or removed a lot of the redundancy in our line so that customers have a clearer and more streamlined approach to addressing all of their mounting challenges finite mounting solutions.
These photos of VMP’s wall mount and a rack mount show the company’s product diversity.
What is VMP’s value proposition to dealers and how does the company stand out from others in the AV accessories category with is products, dealer programs, and approach to business?
For 20 years VMP has provided flexible, reliable, and affordable products backed by a forever warranty. We have eliminated redundancy in our product offering and provide unmatched customer service without a voice prompt. We work closely with our distributors to best serve our mutual customers and support them all across a diverse technology platform.
Looking ahead, what types of products are your customers asking for that you’re looking to help supply?
We’re listening, like we always do, but you really don’t expect me to show our hand to those established brands we talked about earlier, do you?