For at least two names in tech distribution, D&H Distributing and the 11-member Catalyst AV group, 2017 will go down in their ledgers as a standout year.
For Harrisburg, Pa.-based D&H, sales are up 7.4 percent year-to-date from May, and ahead by double digits for the holiday season. Leading the charge for its U.S. and Canadian operations was video gaming hardware, up 56 percent for the September through November period, while sales of digital signage solutions rose 51 percent; connected-home fare was up 42 percent; wearables were ahead 17 percent; TVs rose 13 percent; and notebook PCs were up 11 percent for the three months.
D&H reports that its bottom line is rosy as well, as aggressive recruiting, accelerated vendor programs and expanding service and support efforts are driving online and in-store sales and will foment a projected 5-percent increase in its customer base over the next 18 months.
“This has been an exceptional year for D&H, and we have dynamic plans to develop our business customers in the retail sector,” said sales senior VP Jeff Davis. “We will continue to advocate robust solutions that address urgent trends, from smart-home automation [and] mesh computing, to virtual reality and digital assistant technologies and the apps that go with them. When our customers are more competitive, we succeed as well.”
The company, which turns 100 next year, also attributes its gains to “a critical evolution” in its trade show strategy, moving from a selling to an educational focus. This was reflected in the shows’ revamped center hub aisles that spotlight key trends, such as its Gaming Experience booth and new Connected Home/Digital Office exhibit.
D&H has also seen a nearly 30 percent increase in customer attendance in training activities, including trade show exhibits, live workshop-based sessions by vendor partners, and streaming media Solutions Lab sessions on new technologies such as AR/VR, digital signage and storage.
For five-year-old Catalyst AV, 2017 saw a 20 percent growth rate and the addition of four warehouses, bringing the integration specialty group’s total to 27 distribution centers. As Catalyst board member and AHA Distributing sales and operations VP Chris Gentile noted, “The Catalyst AV marketing arm reaches 17,000 integrators on a weekly basis, through webinars, trainings in the warehouse locations, a constant stream of educational and promotional HTML’s and much more.”
Added fellow board member and Allnet Distributing principal Wally Whinna, “Catalyst AV is about to start our sixth year in business, and the development has been incredible.”