What Meyer Sound Did Next
AV catches up with Owen Ironside, Meyer Sound Sales Manager, Australia & New Zealand, for an update.
Meyer Sound has switched things up in this part of the world. After many years as Meyer Sound Australia and a short stint in the hands of traditional distribution, Meyer is going it alone and going direct. Meyer Sound product has had a reputation for its exceptional quality, high price and exclusivity. But (some of) that’s about to change… at least according to Meyer’s Sound Sales Manager for ANZ, Owen Ironside.
AV: Describe the new distribution arrangement in Australia/NZ? Are we the odd ones out in Aus/NZ or is this move to ‘going direct’ part of a more global strategy to homogenise Meyer’s approach?
Owen Ironside: Meyer Sound has been listening to our customers and with the impact of COVID-19 still affecting our industry in such a big way, I think it is fair to say that from manufacturers to production companies, and integrators to retailers, people are changing the way they are doing business.
Our customers want to be closer to the manufacturer, they want a higher level of service and support, they want training, they want demo gear to listen to, and they want to learn more about how to implement our wide and exciting range of products and solutions. But business has been impacted and budgets are being stretched more than we’ve ever seen, so on top of all this and everything they’ve come to know and demand of Meyer Sound’s high level of quality and durability, the price has to come down.
At the beginning of 2021 we launched a direct, non-exclusive reseller network for loudspeaker solutions in Australia and New Zealand to meet these needs head on.
This fantastic new reseller network already has industry leaders in their markets and have undertaken intensive factory training to be able to represent Meyer Sound at the highest level across Australia and New Zealand. Together, we now offer a vastly increased local presence of design services, sales, technical support, training, and servicing across all of the local territories and their markets. We’re now able to offer all this while significantly reducing the price to the end user.
The new approach in ANZ is not in any way new to us, however. Meyer Sound has always sold direct in the US and the same reseller network approach has already been in place in Mexico, Germany, and the UK for many years. But it’s far from a global strategy and doesn’t work just anywhere. These countries along with Australia, each have a unique set of circumstances that have allowed them to work.
AV: Who’s on the Meyer Sound team in this region?
Owen Ironside: The APAC Meyer Sound team has leapt up in size over the past few months. Not only do we now have a new team of local factory staff offering sales, design services, calibration, and technical support right here in Australia, we are about to formally announce what we consider to be the extended team of new, fully authorised, Meyer Sound resellers.
Each of our new resellers get to go through our extensive factory training and onboarding programme covering every detail of the company from our rich history, to our factory and product manufacturing as well as deep dives across our complete solutions range. Meyer Sound have a very strong belief in education and training and it’s really exciting to use this programme and work with our resellers to offer a much higher level of advice and support to our customers than ever before.
AV: Is Meyer Sound better positioned to participate in ‘on location’ demos or shootouts?
Owen Ironside: One of the great things about being a manufacturer is we can build any equipment we need ourselves. That’s really been great, as since making the change, we’ve been overwhelmed with enquiries.
One of the first things we did, was ship over a large volume of demo gear covering our full product range to live here permanently. It’s flightcased up and already getting out across the country into people’s hands and venues.
We even have a touring Spacemap Go spatial sound design and live mixing system. Getting this new technology into peoples’ hands has been amazing to see. Straight away people are flying helicopters around and creating their own immersive atmospheres and spatial mixes. The Spacemap Go kit has been so popular all across Australia that it hasn’t been back to the warehouse since we first built it back in February, in fact it’s booked solid until 2022!
This is where our new resellers have been amazing. They have been setting up their own facilities and demo systems to fulfil the increasing demand. We have Spacemap Go systems now in every state, and you can demo any box you like from an MM-4XP all the way up to a full LEO system.
AV: What’s the situation with repairs and support?
Owen Ironside: Servicing and support is a key focus of this new change. When you have some of the biggest names in the business relying on our products night after night, you have to be ready to go with solutions at a moment’s notice. Not only do we offer our full international team of technical support staff around the globe, we also have a team of dedicated technical services and support staff right here in the country and the right timezone, ready to help.
Our repairs process makes fault finding very quick and easy, so many end users can quickly diagnose and pinpoint issues themselves.
From there our locally stocked service agents can quickly turn around the replacement parts to get the product back in service as soon as possible. Many of our new resellers already offer servicing to their existing clients and venues, so we’ve been only too happy to build on that with our detailed factory training and service procedures.
We have also appointed dedicated warranty service agent. Not only do they offer technical servicing assistance, they can also offer full bench technician services where their team of factory trained staff pull down, diagnose, and repair complete products as needed.
AV: Is there a different setup for buying or enquiring about more ‘retail’-oriented Meyer Sound products?
Owen Ironside: Whether the enquiry is for a single speaker or a venue wide reconfigurable, multi-room system, we’ll always ensure we offer the best solution we can.
Each of the market verticals our products and solutions address require specialist knowledge as well as extensive experience and technical ability. We’ve carefully selected the best the country has to offer to form our reseller network, and we’re delighted with the enthusiasm and support we’ve received from everyone, including some very big names in the industry. It’s a very exciting time for all of us and we will be making lots of noise about them in the very near future.
AV: Meyer Sound sells a quality product, but is there an effort to provide some sort of price parity in this part of the world?
Owen Ironside: Meyer Sound cares, and that shows in each and every part of the business, as well as each and every detail of our products. Meyer Sound has always prided itself on the fact that all of our products are manufactured to the same exacting standards across the board. We do this so that wherever you are in the world, if you plug in a Meyer Sound product, it will perform exactly as you would expect. With so many of our customers working and trading all around the world, we don’t expect anyone to have to pay a premium to access our products. So why should a product purchased in ANZ cost more than it does in the US or Europe? Ensuring our pricing is as competitive and stable as possible is something that has become very important during COVID and will be for many years to come. I can honestly tell you we have listened and addressed this exact concern and we are now more price competitive here in ANZ then we have ever been in the past.
AV: What’s the future look like for Meyer in this part of the world?
Owen Ironside: Meyer Sound has been in business for over 40 years and is still a privately owned company. That has proved to be invaluable over the the last year or so. COVID has given the entire company time to focus, adapt, and realign, and we are now a more united and driven team than ever. It is important to say that with our new approach to the ANZ market, we are listening and we are learning. We are adapting and changing to support our customers’ evolving needs. We are seeing our customers planning for a post-COVID world and we are gearing up to support them more than we ever could before.
Here in Australia and New Zealand we’ve already seen a very strong response in terms of new business since the changes just a few months ago. Sales are already exceeding all expectations and we’re really only just getting started.
With all of our fantastic new resellers about to officially come online, as well as many exciting new products and technologies in the pipeline, all I can say is “watch this space”.
Meyer Sound: www.meyersound.com