Skurla’s recently attended RSPA’s RetailNOW 2022 in Orlando this past month. For us, it’s the “super bowl” of trade shows that gives us a golden opportunity to connect and network with both vendors and other VARs like us. RSPA has been an integral part of our business, helping us become and retain our industry expert status in the verticals we serve. With the pandemic, optimistically in the rearview (or so we hope), we’ve seen the industry change in several ways, as well as the ways VARs like Skurla’s are providing value to their customers. ￼
In the world of hardware, we’ve seen prices continually drop until the past year when chip shortages and manufacturers have struggled to keep product in the market. Similar to what most folks are seeing in the car market, our industry has been impacted by it heavily. Without diving too deep into the conditions - shutdowns, labor shortages, and lack of raw materials have all had contributed into one way or another to a lot of the issues we and our customers face.
Some hardware we’ve seen has taken almost a year to ship! In response to this, we’ve all taken to looking in non-standard places with distributors and buying options. Obeying the maxim: adapt, overcome, and improvise. We weren’t alone in this approach, as VARs have adopted this new method, even our vendors have to a certain degree. A few of our popular POS products are developing software clients that will operate on Android-based hardware. For several years, Apple has fueled a tablet-based charge into the future but like many things, it's had far too many changes. ￼
I’ve heard more times than I can count that customers are frustrated with how often things change. We share in that frustration as well. All too often, both VAR and customer hit a sweet spot of the right product and solution, but then something changes in the hardware or software that complicates the process. We are all thankful for the changes that helped businesses survive and even thrive during the pandemic, but one could argue that maybe we’ve had too much change recently. Indeed, even in our business, we took the tack this year of having “our ship” get back to what we do best and focus on that, instead of striving to bring too much change to ourselves and our customers.
It’s too optimistic to think that all of these changes will help bring more stability right away but I’m hopeful that in the next couple of years, we’ll see the benefits of these lessons we’ve all learned.
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