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MI Industry Advisory Board: What we'd like to see in 2017

Laura  Barnes
MI Industry Advisory Board: What we'd like to see in 2017

MI Pro’s Advisory Board is back and this month we’re asking our panel what it wants from the industry in 2017.

We decided it was time to revive our popular Advisory Board feature to insure the industry has a platform to voice its opinions on important issues.

It will now be known as the MI Industry Advisory Board and will feature industry figures from across retail, distribution, manufacturing and more.

Each month we will be asking our extensive advisory board their opinions on pressing issues in the industry, how they’d like to see the market evolve, and how certain outside factors are shaping the MI world.
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This month we asked the board what they want from the MI industry in 2017, including changes they think need to be made as well as anything great that happened in 2016 that they’d like to see more of in the new year.

Here’s what they had to say:


Ian Young, Business Development Manager, SCV Distribution

“I think it is extremely encouraging to see UK-based MI resellers stepping up their game with regards to their online visibility but also importantly still investing heavily into the bricks and mortar format. We have seen a number of brand new stores open their doors in 2016 as well as some fairly aggressive expansion activity from existing reseller partners.

It would be marvellous to see more positivity of this kind in 2017. One thing is fairly sure, the uncertain political climate is going to filter down and contribute to making it another fascinating year for MI business in 2017.”


Reinhard Fuchs, Owner, Active Music Stick

“I think the musical industry has not really taken in the possibilities available with today’s computer technology. America’s programming research is far ahead of Europe and we should try to follow in 2017.”


Craig Fenney, Owner, The Music Shipping Company

“I would like to see the MI Industry take a long hard look at itself in 2017 and face some realities.

A conversation I have had often with retailers this year is answering their question: what’s the cause of the downturn in sales for MI retail? I think most of us would come up with 10 individual reasons without even drawing breath. The main variation is what order of priority these are placed in. This continued analysis of ‘what went wrong’ is only relevant if it causes us to change business models to meet the current trading conditions. In a way that works for ourselves, works commercially and above all works financially.

For example, you can price-match or even under-cut Amazon for some impressive sales figures but remember, you are facing a multi-national company that has a turnover north of $100 billion a year and has 300 million active customers, served by a workforce approaching 250,000.

Who do you think is going to win in the long run? Amazon is also taking a healthy sales commission on all of the 3rd party sales, which is often greater than the retailer’s net profit, so Jeff Bezos probably isn’t going to be too worried how long you can last before you lose. Then again maybe you think it’s worth doing it for ‘the exposure’? Out of interest, musicians and the ‘playing free for the exposure’ issue usually comes in around number 5 or 6 in my downturn in sales answer…

One really constructive development for MI retailers, distributors and manufacturers in 2017 would be to work together on how we prove the value to end-users of buying from a specialist instrument retailer and therefore achieve growth in sales, whilst also making sure that we maintain sustainable and realistic margins for all.”


Kevin Harding, Director, Academy Of Music & Sound

“I would like to see an effort by all to support those who endeavour to provide services to the MI industry but are sadly let down by apathy.

In attending MI events over the past few years, I've seen efforts made by industry people who genuinely work their nuts off to help and support MI stores by organising trade events that everyone benefits from and should go to no matter how big or small their store is. Some may be difficult to get to, but unless these events are supported by MI stores, manufacturers, distributers and service providers, then the event organisers will just not bother anymore.

The result will be everyone missing out on opportunities to learn from guest speakers, find new suppliers/customers, network with industry professionals and benefit from on the day deals. I'm a firm believer that you only get out what you put in and supporting industry initiatives are essential and equally linked to business growth.

Unless you put yourself out there by networking with industry colleagues (even competitors) and learning from industry professionals, then who knows what your business is missing out on.

Please support those people and events that are trying their very best to support you and your business next year.”

If you’d like to be a part of our MI Industry Advisory Board or have a particular subject that you feel should be addressed, email MI Pro’s editor at

Tags: Opinion , advisory board , MI Industry Advisory Board

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