Azione Unlimited Operations Key Leader Meeting Empowers Middle Management
Chester Springs, PA – Entering the third year of successful meetings, Azione Unlimited has once again hosted its thriving Operations Key Leader Meeting in Chicago, Illinois. Pointed at evolving operational responsibilities and acumen, the Operations Key Leader meeting is two-days of engaging roundtable discussions, encouraged collaboration, and distinguished keynotes from vendor-members and Brad Whitehead of VX Strategy.
By engaging with operational managers, COO’s, service managers, and production managers, Azione Unlimited is uniquely positioned to help influence business decisions from a new aspect. The carefully constructed meetings address multiple issues including compensation, procedure handoffs, and comparable labor rates.
“What excites me the most is that we are reaching a deeper level inside these organizations that motivates, inspires, and instills long-lasting ideas and concepts in a way that doesn’t happen if just the owners attend a meeting,” said Richard Glikes, President of Azione Unlimited. “The educational and peer-sharing nature of these meetings enables middle-management to leave with a host of inspired ideas. It really makes us feel like we are making an impact inside the organizations not just on top.”
The Operations Key Leader Meeting precedes a counterpart Sales Key Leader Meeting, hosting more than 100 Azione Unlimited members for free during the four-day colloquium.
Accelerated Presentations, Powerful Messages
Because the Operations Key Leader Meeting perfectly balances excellence and efficiency, the subject matter was carefully crafted to drive home the most important topics. Whitehead returns as the principal speaker, building on his success from last year’s meeting.
This year, his presentations on “People and Process: Who Does What and Are the Right People on the Bus” and “Compensation and Bonus Plans That Increase Morale and Build Successful Teams” build on reflection of how a team operates. Whitehead’s unique insight and extensive experience as a business coach and consultant in the A/V industry promotes growth in the areas of strategic planning and execution, organizational development, operations management, finance strategy, and business process improvements.
Moving from point-specific solutions to top-level implementation, Whitehead has found that many of the operational managers are empowered to find their own solutions by taking his advice and crafting it to their specific needs.
“This business is all about execution – the more efficiently you execute, the faster you improve your business,” said Whitehead. “However, a commonplace mistake is to attack everything at once. To move the needle in your business, you need to accomplish one initiative at a time and that’s where my focus remains. My function with Azione is to identify these issues and craft better practices that can be instituted from the top down and that’s what resonates within the group.”
Vendor-members from Sony, Savant, Liberty A.V., Sonance, AudioControl, and OneVision also sponsored presentations that touch on a multitude of informative points to further continue discussions among dealers. Topics covered reducing truck rolls, consolidating P.O.’s, addressing tariffs, consumer technology adoption rate, and other key themes that help operations managers excel. These fundamental points not only build an efficient procedure for middle-management but also expands into every aspect of the business to create a more productive atmosphere.
“This meeting has really given me a deeper appreciation for Azione Unlimited and the group that Richard has built. It demonstrates that he cares deeply about the success of every person in an organization, not just the owners,” said Yani Rivera, Operations Manager for Electronic Lifestyles in Long Island City, New York. “I’ve been in the industry for 25 years and the topics covered reflect the same trials and tribulations I face every day in my office. It’s comforting knowing that I’m not alone in these issues and that I can trust the people in Azione to help solve it as a group.”
Building on Group Inertia
In hosting the Operations Key Leader Meeting for the second year in a row, Azione Unlimited vendors- and dealer-members have recognized the success of the gatherings.
Operations Key Leader Meetings also provided a chance for dealers to give presentations on the different operational tactics they implemented this year. Dealers noted different decisions they made from defining moments with the employees they manage, covering ideas such as updating programs, not removing them, the effectiveness of deeper benefits, and how to implement them on a company-wide level.
“Having a focused meeting on processes and operations is so important to us, it addresses one of our biggest pain points,” said Blaine Christensen of AIS in Garland, Utah. “I’ve learned so much from the people here about managing roles, creating programs, and how to follow-through – which has always been tough for our company. It’s refreshing to have strategies that I can take back and start implementing today.”
The open forum style discussions from last year created an overwhelming interest for dealers to once again attend the two-day conference so that operations managers, COOs, and other high-level managers can continue to learn new strategies in a non-competitive environment with their peers.
“The intangible value of these events happens two or three days after the meetings when dealers return to work with a brand new set of strategies and perspectives,” said Glikes. “In just two days, a dealer can fundamentally change the way an entire business operates. It’s become a potent opportunity that our top-performing dealers naturally gravitate towards, which in turn produces an extraordinarily high-level learning environment. At the end of the day, it’s a huge win for both the individual and the group.”
About Azione Unlimited
Azione Unlimited, the education and buying group for integrators, is a consortium of like-minded custom installers, home technology professionals, and vendors. The organization helps its members achieve greater levels of prosperity, technical acumen, and sophistication in running their businesses and serving customers. Founded by industry veteran Richard Glikes and headquartered in Chester Springs, PA, the organization hosts two high-energy, information-packed conferences per year, Azione provides its members with a host of benefits, from product discounts to educational middle management meetings and marketing tools.