You are returning to the American DJ Group in Los Angeles after working at Martin Professional in Florida for the last 12 years. This is really a homecoming for you. How did the transition come about, and how has it been so far?
To start with a cliché, timing is everything, and it all happened very fast. It was an easy decision in many aspects, but the hard part of the decision was leaving all my colleagues and the success we had generated together during my time at Martin. What made my decision easier was learning of the success Elation has enjoyed while hearing about the growth and the desire to take Elation into new segments of the market, which it had not focused on before and where my expertise would be of benefit. Plus, learning about the Acclaim Lighting product line, which features LED products and the possibilities there, provided me the opportunity to be at the forefront of developing the market strategy and sales channels for these products. Now, I just need to get moved back West and get my family situated, so I can fully focus on the new tasks at hand.
What development in the industry has really impressed you in the last year or so? In the last ten years?
Can you say LED? It is everywhere. The use of solid-state lighting fixtures has exponentially grown in entertainment and architectural lighting, and as the technology continues to improve and the prices come down on the raw LEDs, more and more manufacturers will implement the technology in more products. The advantages of using LED are so great, and the prices are coming more in line now to make it more feasible in all types of applications. Last, but certainly not least, with LED technology being used extensively and growing within the ADJ, Elation, and Acclaim product portfolios, we want to have a solution for all of our customers‘ requests.
What challenges and opportunities do you see for the company in the next few years?
Education of our products and the applications for them is vital. Customers need to be exposed to all the possibilities, so they can grow their businesses. We are starting to work on this with the launch of our Elation Training & Product Road Show, with the first leg of the tour running for six weeks through March and April. We will continue the tour through the summer and fall to hit the other key market areas. Unfortunately, not all of our customers can come to LDI or other key tradeshows at which we exhibit each year, so we are bringing a small part of that to them now by offering this road show concept. Being out there, listening to the customers, and working closer with them to provide the right product solutions is going to give the best opportunity for growth in the company going forward.
Where do you see the industry headed as a whole?
Well, as different lighting technologies transform from specialty products to commodities, at the end of the day what it will come down to is branding, profitability, and customer service. Let's face it: most moving heads out there are pretty close to each other in performance, features, and reliability. What will separate a company's success is the ability to create the best value and service while still being profitable. It may seem remedial, but let me remind everyone that you must make a profit to grow and properly support your customers. LEDs will continue to improve and be used in more and more applications, and companies will look to manufacturers to provide a solid consistent product, price, and service.
What's next for Elation, Acclaim, and the American DJ Group?
Our next product development plan is to start working on a time machine, so we can make more of it. The problem is there are so many opportunities for all the companies in the group that it is now more about focus and providing more value to our customers. Expect to see a lot of new products and some more focus on the incredible products we already have.