NETHERLANDS: In a move that reflects "growing crossover between Digidesign and M-Audio customers", the sister companies' operations in the Benelux region have been brought together at Digidesign's existing offices in Hilversum. The change in set-up sees M-Audio selling directly to resellers and customers, meaning that its previous distributor in the region, Mafico, has left the picture as of September 1st, writes David Davies.
The new arrangements also include Digidesign territory manager Sander Van der Reijken assuming overall responsibility for both M-Audio and Digidesign sales operations in the Benelux region. Working alongside him is former Synthax Benelux managing director Roger Bisschops, now occupying the role of M-Audio Benelux sales manager.
According to der Reijken (pictured here with Bisschops), the new format is a logical response to changing patterns of purchase. "We were having customers and resellers having to buy or get information from two different channels, in this case the distributor and Digidesign. It was confusing the channel," he tells PSN-e.
With Mafico ("they have done great business for us") out of the picture, part of M-Audio's stock will now be located at Digidesign's European distribution centre near Amsterdam. "Resellers will be able to place one order with one office and one invoice," explains der Reijken.
Pooling operations in this way is also set to result in more coordinated marketing campaigns, joint appearances at seminars and exhibitions, and an enhanced effort on behalf of M-Audio product ranges such as the DJ-oriented Torq performance/production line. The annual end-of-year Digidesign event in Amsterdam will also be held under the two company names, enabling guests to sample - among other products - the new M-Audio Sputnik multi-pattern large diaphragm vacuum tube condenser microphone.
But while the relationship between Digidesign and M-Audio is going to be made more explicit, there will be no all-consuming Pro Tools message. "Some people were scared that it was going to be 'the Pro Tools corporation'. That is not the idea."
Nor is there any specific intention to apply this unified approach to other regions. "In some territories, it might not make sense - but it did here."
In moving forward, der Reijken will be aided and abetted by former Synthax Belgium MD Roger Bisschops, who was actually recommended to the company by several resellers. "He knows the channel and a lot of resellers that we don't historically know as Digi."