Christie opens Johannesburg office
SOUTH AFRICA: Christie has opened a new office in South Africa, its first in the Southern hemisphere. The office will provide facilities for demonstrations, customer and partner training, as well as inventory management.
‘Over the last three years we have been working to develop the right relationships to grow our business. As an organisation we invest heavily in training and believe this lies at the heart of quality service and support. So we look to the same commitments from our partners,’ said Dale Miller, Christie EMEA vice president. ‘Just over a year ago Stage Audio Works put their service team through our advanced level service training to become Christie’s first Certified Partner in South Africa. In addition to their investment in a significant spares and product inventory, Stage Audio Works went and took the Christie training they had received to their own customers both in South Africa and in Africa. That’s when we knew we were ready to make additional investments. And we are looking forward to developing further programmes with Stage Audio Works and other like minded partners.’
Heading the operation as territory manager, Africa, will be Phil Lord. ‘Christie is committed and dedicated to supporting the African market. And with the help of our partners we have been growing the business for some time,’ noted Mr Lord. ‘We all felt there were additional commercial opportunities that could be realised by further Christie investment and now is the time to add extra resources.’
The new operation will be based at Fourways, Johannesburg. Alongside office and service facilities, it will provide larger space for product demonstrations, training and storage of critical spares. Christie Africa will offer an open door policy to partners and customers who can use the facilities for their own customer meetings.
‘We will be able to offer local technical and customer support as well as quick response times to our trusted partners and end users – with more efficient service,’ said Mr Lord, who will be supported by office manager Annalise Hodgson, as well as a local technical engineering resource.
Christie, through its existing partner network will sell, service and support the African continent as far as Egypt including the Indian Ocean, the only exceptions being the French-speaking North African countries, which will be managed by the Christie office in France.
‘Our position as a distributor of professional A/V equipment is key within South Africa and the African continent,’ said Gustav Barnard, Stage Audio Works technical and education manager. ‘We have contributed to develop the Christie brand in the region to a diverse range of customers by providing them the technical support they need, holding product stock and offering real value-added solutions including financing and Stage Plus flightcases for a gig-ready package. We are looking forward to having Christie on board locally to support us and strengthen our position further.’