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Atlantic Churns With Change

6/09/2003 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Organizational changes at Atlantic Technology will expand customer support, improve training and accelerate product development, according to majority owner OAC Group.

The changes will help improve the potential for the company's first distributed-audio system, which will be announced in late June.

Portsmouth, N.H.-based OAC, a management and consulting firm, recently purchased a majority share of Atlantic. Former Russound executive Oscar Ciornei heads OAC. Peter Tribeman, Atlantic's co-owner and president, became Atlantic chairman and now owns a minority share.

Atlantic's changes include the creation of two new full-time positions to replace part-time posts. One position is customer-support specialist for dealers and consumers. "By spring 2004, we will have perhaps three to five [customer-support people]," Ciornei said. Another new full-time position, filled in May, is sales and product training manager.

In another organizational shift, the company's engineering/product-development, assembly and quality-control departments will share a direct report for the first time, Ciornei said. The improvement in communications among the departments will help cut down the product-design cycle because products will be designed from the outset with cost and practicality of assembly in mind, Ciornei said.

In other changes, Atlantic will do the following:

  • move assembly of less-than-$2,500 home theater speakers systems offshore to become more price competitive;

  • revise the message in its consumer ads. "Our speaker ads have been lifestyle-oriented, but we need to get back to basics," Ciornei said. Future ads will focus on the performance of Atlantic speakers. "We need to remind people what speakers can offer," he said.

To improve profitability, the company recently renegotiated parts buying to buy better, Ciornei added.

The shipment of the delayed 8200 and 6200 speaker series will also help boost profits.

In April, the company began limited shipments of the 8200 series and is now producing "at full steam," Ciornei said. It was due last December. In June, the 6200 series will ship after missing its original January ship date. The two custom-oriented series are part of the company's effort to move further upmarket and increase penetration in the custom market. (See TWICE, Nov. 4, 2002, p. 20.)

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