Inavate + Midwich: On with business

Hurrairah bin Sohail speaks with Sean Tobin, chief operating officer, Midwich APAC, about how Midwich is ready to build on its foundation in Asia Pacific and enter a new phase of growth as the region bounces back.

Even the best laid plans can go awry but that does not mean you cannot emerge from the turbulence stronger. Midwich made the decision to ramp up its operation in APAC in 2019 and immediately had to contend with the disruption of 2020. Having navigated the tricky waters of last year, the distributor is looking to get on with business.

“The timing of Covid-19 was obviously terrible for our journey in APAC,” comments Tobin. “We’re seeing a bounce back now, though, and vendors globally are seeing the value of a partner that has laid the initial foundations and set themselves up as a true distributor in the region, not as a system integrator slash distributor. Our conversations with vendors, and we’re fortunate to have a wide spectrum of them across the globe, are becoming more fruitful.”

The key value Midwich provides remains its commitment to the AV channel which brings positives for manufacturers and AV professionals. In particular, Tobin believes that the Midwich operating model can help mitigate the “risk of doing business”, something that would resonate with everyone in these disrupted times.

“There’s a completely different value proposition for vendors and AV professionals by having a true distribution partner that is willing to hold inventories in the region and not having to do ad hoc investments on the basis of when sales are made,” Tobin explains.

“Our vendor partners know we are willing to invest in inventory and that means their stock is closer to the customers with a fixed pricing where the freight has been included and the exchange rates have already been done. For a region as diverse as APAC, this is a huge bonus to doing business.”

For a world that continues to look forward to stability it is important for support systems to be in place wherever possible. “The AV professionals that engage with Midwich don’t have to pay cash up front because we offer great credit terms,” says Tobin.

“We can help them quote their project, we can assist with pre-sales design and most importantly, if things go wrong and the project gets into trouble, there’s someone to call instead of having to wait in a ticketing system for a vendor. Midwich is available to help them troubleshoot in a timely manner and facilitate business continuity.”

As Asia Pacific opens up and business across the region picks up, Midwich is already continuing its journey.

“We have fully operational warehousing and logistics in Singapore and are looking forward to getting our experience centre up and running,” Tobin enthuses.

“That project was delayed due to Covid-19, but we are still aiming to grow through challenging times. We’re growing our vendor portfolio, which is contributing to organic year-on-year growth and increasing the number of opportunities available. We are aware there is still a lot more we can do with regards to streamlining the Midwich and Blonde Robot brands and getting the word out there and this means opportunities to invest in the region and grow our team. It’s exciting and we’re actively hiring right now. We’re only just starting in Asia Pacific, and I am confident we will grow in-region as the market matures,” Tobin concludes.

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