UPDATED: Convoy International announces new hires and appointments and go-to-market restructure

Convoy International, distributor of Bluesound, Bowers & Wilkins, Harman/Kardon, JBL, Monster Products and Sol Republic, amongst others, has today confirmed a restructure of its sales team and strategy as it looks to support retailers on the ground.

This announcement is just the latest in a series of supplier restructures that refocus strategy on in-store merchandising and training: ‘the last three feet’.

“Responding to changes in the retail landscape, the restructure will enable Convoy International to enhance customer service to all of their retail partners. The restructure will see the company implement a new business strategy, with a focus on providing retailers with better ongoing in-store service and retail solutions.”

The company said these changes, which include new hires and promotions, will impact a “small number of existing positions”. This is increasingly common managementspeak for making staff redundant and we have asked Convoy International to confirm the exact nature of this impact.

UPDATE: Convoy International has contacted me to say that 10 staff have left the company as a result of this change.

“We have taken the decision to streamline our structure, impacting some existing roles within the business, whilst ensuring we continue to deliver on our commitment to serving customers and retailers with the best products, services and experiences,” managing director Geoff Matthews told me.

Joining the Convoy International team is Michael Thornton-Smith as Bluesound brand manager. Thornton-Smith has plenty of experience in audio distribution, having worked at QualiFi since November 2013 and for International Dynamics Australasia for 16 years before that.

Clinton Russell has been appointed marketing manager. Russell has been at Convoy since April 2009, working as a brand manager. Harry Haralambou, who joined Convoy from Audio Products Group in December 2014, is the new service manager.

Gary Tye has been appointed to a newly created role: general manager of specialty audio; while Cameron Greig is the new general manager of mass market.

Tye has experience on both sides of the aisle, having been Harvey Norman Chadstone employee and a general manager at International Dynamics, before originally joining Convoy in late 2010.

Greig is a veteran of Convoy International, having joined from Crest Electronics in January 2002.

In addition to these senior appointment, Convoy is adding 30 on-the-ground staff to manage merchandising, product displays, demonstrations and to generally be the eyes and ears for the distributor in storeland.

“This will allow Convoy International’s experienced in-house audio sell-though specialists to focus on specialty audio within their independent retailer and custom integrator networks.”

Meanwhile, Convoy International reports that it has implemented new IT projects at its head office to improve shipping times and customer support software to better manage its field sales force and to coordinate in-store activity. The company is also investing in new websites for its stable of brands and for Convoy International as well.

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