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Jands exit Harman as CMI steps up

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Pro audio brands move in February. By Julius Grafton.

HARMAN partner’s AV Technology Pty Ltd (avt) and CMI Music & Audio Pty Ltd (CMI) will take over distribution of JBL Professional, AKG, BSS, Crown, dbx, Lexicon and Soundcraft solutions in Australia from February 1st.

Jands have represented JBL since 1984, and most of the rest of the Harman lines ever since – except for Harman’s AKG, Digitech, Axys Tunnel Solutions and AMX.

Martin Professional (Lighting) is not part of these changes, it remains with long time distributor Show Technology.

CMI took over the AKG distribution along with Digitech and Axys Tunnel Solutions some years ago and now dramatically shift their brand portfolio – dropping HK Audio and Mackie.

Paul Mulholland, Managing Director of Jands said “my association with Harman commenced in 1971 when I purchased my first JBL loudspeaker for use in the Jands rental business. This association continued through the appointment of Jands as the Australian JBL Distributor in 1984 and onto the representation of the entire Harman audio portfolio. In the past year or more it has become apparent that Jands business philosophy and product strategy is no longer aligned with Harman and out of respect to the long and successful relationship I determined it is best for both parties that we part.”

Harman say: HARMAN Professional Solutions, the global leader in audio, video, lighting and control systems, including networked AV, today announced it has consolidated distribution of AKG, BSS, Crown, dbx, Lexicon, JBL and Soundcraft solutions in Australia by strengthening ties with longtime distribution partners AV Technology Pty Ltd (avt) and CMI Music & Audio Pty Ltd (CMI).

Scott Pyle general manager AVT; Ramesh Jayaraman Harman APAC VP general manager; Peter Troykovic CMI CEO

Jands undertook a strategic review of their business early this year,to arrive at a company structure and product strategy that would see them best positioned for the future.

CX noted that at the launch function for lighting brand Robe recently, Paul Mulholland said that Jands were preferring to work with privately controlled firms ‘like ETC, Shure and Robe’ where ‘I can pick up the phone and talk to the top person’. It was a precursor to their Harman exit.

As to their review, it was a “company wide review of both Jands’ business strengths and the strengths of its key suppliers. As a result of this review, in July Jands began an internal restructure designed to better align the organisation to the strategies and product roadmaps of its key suppliers. Numerous new roles have been created, with many having already been filled, to further strengthen Jands’ reputation for education, training, product support and to improve the customer experience in key markets. As part of this process Jands also undertook a strategic review of its key supplier relationships to ensure that Jands is truly aligning with partners who have similar strengths and strategic vision. “

“As a result of this review, and due to diverging priorities and strategic direction between both parties, Jands determined it will no longer represent HARMAN Professional Solutions in the Australia territory. By mutual agreement with Harman this will take effect on 1st February 2018. “

Harman said: Strengthening its 35-year relation with HARMAN,CMI will represent the Retail, Recording and Prosumer audio in addition to current HARMAN portfolio including AKG, Digitech and Axys Tunnel Solutions.

Building on 25 years of experience representing AMX audio video control systems, avt will expand its portfolio to include the complete HARMAN integration and installation audio product suite.

All other HARMAN distribution in Australia and New Zealand remains unchanged.

Harman said: The new distribution model leverages over 60 years of collective experience between avt and CMI in the Australian market, and will provide customers greater clarity through simplified sales and support structures. Delivering on this strategy also creates the opportunity for further investment and expansion by HARMAN Professional Solutions in the Australian market, as avt and CMI extend their capabilities and support across the entire Harman Professional audio range.

With all the rumours about more lines moving, it’s fairly apparent there is still more to come, but no one is on-record.

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