InfoComm 2012: INTERVIEW: Robert Hesse, vice president, Bosch

This week Audio Pro International editor Daniel Gumble caught up with vice president sales / managing director of EVI Audio at Bosch Communications Systems Robert Hesse, to discuss the formation of the company’s ProSound division and its plans for the next 12 months…

What can you tell us about the origins of the company’s ProSound division?

In mid 2011 we ceased the legal entity ‘Shuttlesound’ and integrated the ProSound sales team into Bosch Security Systems, Denham, UK. The sales team enjoy the benefits of the shared services from Bosch such as HR, purchasing and legal. The steering of the business and its back office support, such as the order desk, financial services, tech support, after sales service and logistics, are handled by the EMEA HQ in Straubing, Germany. Our product deliveries are handled by our Centralised Distribution Centre in the Netherlands.

Integrating the ProSound sales team into Bosch Security Systems in Denham has enabled the two sales teams (ProSound and Public Address / Conference Systems) to work closer on projects, offering one of the most sophisticated portfolios (Bosch, Electro-Voice and Dynacord) in the industry.

What do you consider to be the ProSound divison’s main goals going forward?

Our main goal is to offer tailor-made pro audio solutions to all three of the industry’s vertical markets; retail, rental and installation. Since April 2012, our ProSound sales team has added Dynacord to its portfolio.

This enables us to offer a wider portfolio to the market, ultimately increasing our opportunities to provide the best possible solutions. Besides Sean Maxwell, sales director at ProSound UK, we have five dedicated sales mangers operating in the UK; all experts on their dedicated vertical market.

Is there anything you can tell us regarding the release of new products this year?

Over the past few months we have launched a host of new products, which have all been very well accepted by the market. We are enjoying huge success with the LiveX speakers and the new active ZXA1 sub, both from Electro-Voice.

Last year we launched the third generation PowerMate and CMS, both from Dynacord, with fantastic market acceptance and increasing sales volumes, and on June 4th we launched the new Powermate 600 third Generation. We were able to further reduce the weight down to just 9kg, yet at the same time drastically increase the power output (2 x 1000 Watt / RMS !)

In the second half of the year we will be launching further very interesting products from Dynacord, as well as from Electro-Voice, which we are all very excited about. Of course, we will continue to extend our Install range (EV-Innovations); already the first choice when it comes to sports arenas and multifunctional halls. 

Will you be showcasing your brands at the InfoComm 2012 show?

For decades our American colleagues display our brands at both InfoComm and NAMM. On a global scale, we display our brands at the most important trade shows.

How have your brands coped over the past 12 months, in light of the current economic climate?

Our brands have coped very well. We were able to grow our business in EMEA by 15 per cent in 2011. Also, YTD May, 2012, is showing double digit growth against 2011. We are very satisfied.

Have you employed a particular strategy to tackle these economic issues?

Our biggest strength is our broad portfolio and, therefore, our ability to cater for all three vertical markets. When retail is down we can compensate with install; if install is down we can compensate with rental. Certainly launching many innovative products has helped us to achieve our growth.

On the other side, we have become more professional in the fields of production, quality, marketing and R&D. Our partners have experienced these positive changes and have supported us tremendously. The requests from distributors and dealers to carry and support our brands are on a record high.

What does the organisation aim to achieve over the next 12 months?

Our biggest goal is to get Dynacord positioned in the UK where it belongs – right at the top ! That’s why we just hosted our Big Day Out at Aston Villa’s Stadium. We wanted to re-launch Dynacord to show all our partners the strength of this brand. The event was a huge success and we received a lot of positive feedback from our British partners.

The next project is to get our new training and demo room in Peterborough, UK, up and running. We plan to host a customer event after the summer break by inviting all our partners to visit our new location. BPM 2012 is also on the agenda. With all these investments, our overall goal is to grow our common business with our partners in the UK.

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