With a new brand identity and a strong focus on the installation sector, Max Lindsay-Johnson talks globalisation at Community Professional Loudspeakers.
With experience at Harman, but more recently at a pre-Harman Duran Audio, Max Lindsay-Johnson is now leading the charge to “globalise” the Community Professional brand by prioritising the time zone defined by Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). “We’ve set up a warehouse and fulfilment centre in the Netherlands, so we now hold stock within Europe,” he reveals, “and I’m now making the most of my network of consultants and other decision-makers, plus my knowledge of the whole infrastructure. Manufacturing is divided between the US and China, depending on the status of the product. Our facility in China is majority owned by Bruce, who is regularly there ensuring it operates to the same standards as the US.”
European partners need to know their stuff, Lindsay-Johnson insists. “You’ve got to back the right horse,” he says, “and they have to be technically very adept. More than half of what they have to do is project-based, rather than simply reselling boxes, so there has to be a degree of expertise that, actually, isn’t very common. Our choices of distributor tend to be made around that ability, rather than size, turnover or anything else. It’s about being able to offer extended support.”
This is a prized value at Community. In 2003, recently retired VP John Wiggins and director of technical services Dave Howden established the company’s technical applications group – known as the TAG Team – to follow through each sale with assiduous care. Now, that ministry needs to extend into Europe effectively, and Lindsay-Johnson, for one, is relishing the prospect. “It’s a serious technical resource,” he says, “and extremely efficient. This region will get to know them a lot better.”