Brexit does concern us, but we’ve overcome many challenges
Part of this article featured in The Irish Times
AVA Systems is an audio-visual and acoustic engineering services company based in Sligo, run by Odilon Hunt and her husband Brian. They started the company 24 years ago, after returning from more than a decade living in London.
The company provides audio-visual services, including setups for events across Ireland. “Our clients include hotels and people using conference, meeting and training rooms,” says Odilon. “It’s the kind of service where you don’t see us, but if we’re not there, events might not run smoothly. We’ve established a good client base over the years including multinational and public and private companies. We work throughout the county”
AVA Systems’ model is not just to supply staff and equipment but to modify and create bespoke systems, as well as to provide consultancy for companies. While the majority of its business is in Ireland, the company also deals with the UK and three years ago it won a contract to design and supply a sound system for a Ministry of Defense event in Devon. “We were really delighted to win that work, and we delivered it in conjunction with a UK company,” says Odilon. “This worked really well and, from the point of view of a smaller company in the west of Ireland, being able to tap into that UK market was great.”
Brexit has complicated matters for AVA working internationally, as it imports equipment from the US so the timeline for delivery is important. “I used to be a civil servant in my earlier life,” says Odilon, “so of course I’m used to working within the system and ticking the correct boxes, and it is very hard to do that now when we don’t have clear information. “I saw a lot of promotion from InterTradeIreland and I went to a seminar that they held here in Sligo last year,”says Odilon.
After applying for support from InterTradeIreland, AVA was able to avail of consultancy to prepare for Brexit. “I found this really useful because they gave us a lot of information on customs procedures, and it helped us plan for other areas of concern,” says Odilon. “September 11th, and the Foot and Mouth outbreak both impacted our business, but while these had an immediate impact , nothing so far has made such a fundamental change in how we do business until Brexit,” she says. “It’s important from our point of view that we now feel that we are able to move forward with confidence.”
If your business would like advice around the potential impact of Brexit, visit www.intertradeireland.com/Brexit