It was back in 1954, the early days of television and radio broadcasts in the United Kingdom, when Roy Snelling spotted a big opportunity as television broadcasts started in his home county. With savings from his military service (with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers), help from his mother and by selling his motorbike, he purchased and converted a disused Victorian laundromat into a television rental and service shop, which paved the way for Snelling Business Systems.
In 2014, having outgrown their original space, Snelling Business Systems moved to a new purpose-built integrated facility that includes a state-of-the-art wireshop and testing facility.
In 2017, Snelling was again at the forefront of audiovisual trends, when the company joined the PSNI Global Alliance in the first wave of global affiliates.
And being at the forefront of change paid off both times.
“Joining PSNI contributed significantly to our market diversification and saw us achieve over 50 percent of our revenue from corporate markets for the first time. We have just finished fiscal year 2019 with record-breaking performance,” said Toby Wise, Managing Director at Snelling. “We can directly attribute £4.9 million in new business to our PSNI membership and the international reach it gives us as part of a vetted and trusted partner network.”
In just two years as a PSNI affiliate, Snelling has completed projects with BIS in the Netherlands, GBC in Romania, Lemanvisio in Switzerland, and Avidex, Delta AV, and HB Communications in the United States. Projects completed by Snelling have won numerous awards, including Best Healthcare Project at the InAVation Awards and Best Education Project at the AV Technology Europe Awards, both in 2019. In 2020, they have been shortlisted at the 2020 Global InAVation awards in the Retail category for Samsung KX and the Corporate category for ABCAM Global HQ.
Snelling Business Systems have won more AV industry awards in total, over the past 5 years, than any other UK integrator.
For Snelling, AV is More Than a Job—It’s a Passion
Roy Snelling was attracted to television because of the potential it represented for people to communicate with the world around them in a totally new way, and from their own homes. But selling and servicing television sets wasn’t just a job—it was a passion. Not even a serious electrocution during a repair job was enough to slow Roy down. While he was in the hospital recovering from a skin graft that was required to treat his injuries, he sold several TV sets to nurses and fellow patients.
Toby explains, “Roy was a great mentor. It was Roy’s belief in ‘putting the customer first’, which not only reflected in their experience buying or renting from Snellings but also in the after-sales experience. We continue to put the customer at the forefront of all we do each day”.
Despite early financial success with TV and radio sales and service, by the 1990s, the television business was changing and Roy knew his business needed to change too. He recruited Toby Wise, who had experience in early data projectors and satellite systems, to help move the company into the B2B market. In 2004, Toby and Roy registered their new venture as Snelling Business Systems, and within a short span of time secured their first contracts with the local hospital, university, and police service.
After great success expanding their presence in the higher education sector in the UK, Snelling’s next strategy was to enter the corporate market, bringing the customer first etic with a focus on service and support contracts.
Today the company Roy built does a lot more than selling and servicing television and radio sets. Snelling is a global supplier of integrated audiovisual systems and communication technology. Even as the company has grown to include more people and services, the mission has remained the same: to help people connect and communicate in a meaningful way.
Staying Relevant Is the Biggest Challenge Facing AV Integrators
One secret to Snelling’s success has been staying relevant as the market has changed around them, and that is more critical now than ever, Toby said.
“Audiovisual systems are becoming totally ubiquitous. Soon they will be present in nearly every area of our lives, and what was once special—even remarkable—will become commonplace,” he said. “Devices and systems have become increasingly connected and, in short order, will be intelligent enough to automate basic tasks and even system configuration for us. The challenge for the AV integration community is how to remain relevant in the face of multiple channels supplying intelligent systems that need little input from integrators. Aligning our sales activities and technical services to provide the best value to our customers will be a requirement to enjoy a bright future in a booming market.”
You can learn more about Snelling here.
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