Allen & Heath’s managing director Glenn Rogers catches up with API editor Daniel Gumble to offer a unique insight into the company’s recent Queen’s Award success, new products and its vision for the remainder of 2012…
Allen & Heath was recently recognised with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade. What do you think it is that set you apart from the competition in this respect, and what does the award win mean to you?
To be nominated for a Queen’s Award you need to submit an application that shows the company meets a number of criteria, and one of the key factors they are looking for is good sustained performance, which is something that we have been able to achieve consistently over the past few years, so we thought we stood a chance.
I guess there's an element of good fortune involved, particularly good timing regarding the release of new products. Several years ago, we really wanted to offer digital mixing opportunities to a wider audience and we launched the iLive-T Series at just the right time. However, it wasn't just iLive that drove business, as we have continued to develop analogue within our product range. Hopefully this is something we can keep doing, as it's been the cornerstone of our business for many years.
With regards to what the Queen’s Award means to our company, it is one of those awards that has a great deal of respect all over the world. It also recognises the fantastic achievements and hard work of all of our dedicated staff. Their commitment has led to constant growth over a sustained period and this has been deservedly recognised by the industry. When a team has been together for a long time it's great to see these kinds of results. I'm extremely proud of what they have achieved.
On top of the company's award success, Allen & heath has also garnered some impressive sales figures of late - a notable achievement given the current state of the global economy. How did the company achieve this?
Essentially, it comes down to the same principles and focus that earned us the award. We want to keep delivering successful new products by targeting our technological development with customer expectations. We keep abreast of where technology is going so that we can stay ahead of the market, and you can only do that by working closely with the customer. The company then combines this approach with great customer service and assistance. It's a real international team effort.
Has the company had to adapt its approach to business in order to tackle these economic challenges?
The strategy has largely remained the same; you can only be successful if the customers support you, so we try to balance innovation with an understanding of what our customers want. We have taken feedback onboard all the way through the company's history, so we haven't needed to change our business strategy too much. There has really been no need to make any sudden changes or knee jerk reactions. Things may get tougher from time to time, but if you still have products that people want then they should sell well.
What have been your best selling products over the past 12 months?
The iLive T Series has been great for us and the analogue ZED range has also performed particularly well but the balance appears to be swinging more towards digital and that is likely to continue with the introduction of the GLD digital mixer.
The recent InfoComm 2012 show saw the company offer training sessions for the new GLD mixer. What did you make of the immediate response to this launch at the event?
Following GLD's launch at the NAMM 2012 show in January there was a great deal of interest in it. As with all digital products, customers want to get hands on training, which is what we offered on our stand at InfoComm. Every session during the show was full.
Will you be exhibiting at any of the upcoming trade shows throughout 2012?
We will be maintaining our presence at all of the major trade events as usual throughout the year. It's an excellent platform for meeting existing and potential customers, and an opportunity to showcase our diverse product base, which ranges from DJ controllers and USB analogue mixers to studio recording mixers and digital touring systems.
Can we expect any more product launches from the company throughout 2012?
I can't give too much away at the moment, but we do have a steady flow of new products in development, which we hope to bring to the market over the next 12 months. The ZED60 mixers are soon to be released, and we have a number of new products on the way that will be making appearances across many of the trade shows soon.
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