It’s been something of an eventful 12 months for Monacor UK managing director Neil Clayton.
Having taken the reins of the company almost a year ago, he has managed to steer the pro audio and MI distributor through the treacherous economic climate that continues to blight both sectors, while also managing to notch up substantial profits along the way. And what’s more, at the age of 31, he is officially the youngest managing director in the firm’s history.
However, in spite of the seemingly sudden nature of the company’s success following Clayton’s appointment, he believes that it’s his holistic approach to the brand’s development that has yielded such results, as opposed to any magic formula.
“The way I see it is that everything is a little piece of the jigsaw – so increasing our marketing and advertising, having a sales presence on the road and bringing in key members of staff all adds to the bigger picture, which is why we are now seeing a 25-30 per cent increase on last year’s turnover,” he says. “I think if you take away any of those individual pieces we wouldn’t achieve the results we are currently yielding.”
Since joining the company as marketing manager back in 2006, Clayton has been able to continually assess the state of the company’s affairs, and is now in a position to implement the changes he believed were necessary to drive the company in the direction he always felt that it should be heading in.
“I very much felt that since I joined the company we had been underachieving,” he explains. “There was always a gap in the market for us to take on but we needed to invest in the right areas. One of which was our sales force. We never had any reps on the road, which I always thought we needed to have and we needed to vocalise and promote ourselves a lot more in order to inform people of the level of service that we can provide.”
It is this philosophy of engaging with the customer that Clayton believes has led them through the global recession. “It’s a difficult time out there,” he states. “You have to evolve and listen to what your customers are saying to you, and I think that’s been a key factor in the success we’ve had over the past 12 months.”
With 5,500 products to its name, the company’s itinerary of recording units, monitors, mixers and amplifiers, as well as the array of products and accessories from the IMG Stage Line range, have played a significant role in Monacor’s recent success. And with such a plethora of items on offer, Clayton is keen to extoll the virtues of the company’s approach to providing the highest standards of customer service.
“I believe that we offer the best customer service in the industry," he comments. “I’m regularly told by customers who deal with us that we offer the very best level of service.”
Clayton sees the next 12 months as a crucial period for the company, particularly with regards to social media. However, he is quick to point out that the company has thus far shied away from rushing into the world of Twitter and Facebook, opting to explore the medium thoroughly first.
“We’ve had discussions on how to tackle social media and how we can make sure that we bring something new to the table. We don’t just want to have a Facebook page for the sake of it – we want it to be informative and we want it to provide a way for our dealers and end-users to learn about our products and what’s going on in the industry. Ultimately, we want to utilise it to the best of its capabilities.”
So, when taking into account Clayton’s continued efforts to embrace new methods of interaction between dealers, customers and end users, combined with a number of new products expected to be announced shortly, the following 12 months look poised to become another milestone period in the company’s history.