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McIntosh Reorganizes To Boost Training, Accelerate Sell-Through

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — McIntosh has reorganized its sales and marketing programs and reshuffled management to focus more on the sell-through of its home and car audio products, not just their sell in, said global sales and marketing VP Ed Brown.

As part of that effort, the company will step up its education and training activities, in part by hiring personnel who can sell products to retailers, as well as educate a dealer base to help them sell products through.

Dealer training and education are needed, Brown said, because home and car audio products of the caliber and price of McIntosh products are push products, not pull products, and thus require “complete expositions at the point of sale.” In addition, because dealers are increasingly targeting the custom installation market, they need information on integrating McIntosh products in a custom installation, he said.

To broaden its home audio customer base beyond baby boomers, the company will educate its traditional home dealer base and custom installers to sell to “younger people who spend a lot of money on their home but aren’t necessarily hi-fi hobbyists,” Brown said. Similarly, the company will relaunch its website in June to talk to “a generation that has not grown up as audio hobbyists but wants performance and quality.”

Management changes include the recent hiring of Brown, formerly with Sonance, and the appointment of engineering VP Charles Randall as president, replacing Graham Hallett, McIntosh president since August 1999.

McIntosh co-founder and board member Sidney Corderman said Randall’s appointment reflects the brand’s roots, which include engineering-oriented presidents from 1949 to 1991. Randall said he will continue to play an engineering role at the company.

Other new hires include Jeff Caminiti as Eastern regional sales manager, Alan Scott as educational development manager and two new overseas sales directors. Scott performed similar educational duties as a consultant for the company. Caminiti owned a custom business.

In other changes, the company has:

  • replaced some independent reps.
  • begun to restructure its car audio dealer base while relaunching its car audio line, which replaces a line whose models are four- to five-years-old. Under a new Gold program, the company will focus resources on signing up 50 dealers “for special attention in merchandising and training,” Brown said.

As part of McIntosh’s education focus, the company plans:

  • a fall relaunch of a national certification test for salespeople. The test will be conducted online and McIntosh will provide incentives for salespeople to recertify themselves annually.
  • step-up training support for reps’ training managers and dealers.

McIntosh declined to reveal details about its sales and profit goals in 2001 or its 2000 performance.