The rise of a ‘global distributor’?

michael broadbent use
Michael Broadbent, managing director at Midwich APAC

With Midwich APAC establishing an office in Singapore and expanding its distribution network to Asia Pacific, Hurrairah bin Sohail speaks with Michael Broadbent about the impetus behind the move.

The professional AV industry is going global. End users are driving an increase in demand for international rollouts. In turn, integrators are expanding to meet the needs of end users across borders and regions. Michael Broadbent, managing director at Midwich APAC, believes that the time is right for a global distributor to rise and provide true value-added service for these international rollouts.

Broadbent says: “As the AV industry matures, there is more opportunity and greater need for supply chain management.”

Midwich APAC is backing up these beliefs with action. The distributor is present in 15 countries worldwide, with the Singapore office being the latest addition to the list. Regarding the move, Broadbent says: “We’ve been planning this expansion for probably two years, since the acquisition of Blonde Robot which had presence in Melbourne, Sydney and New Zealand as well as presence in Singapore and Asia Pacific. It was great for us to have acquired a business which had knowledge of the region and that allowed us to bring our brands and our business model to the market.”

Midwich APAC is starting off with an impressive list of brands which include Legrand, Sony, Exterity and Mersive to name a few. The distributor will represent these brands across Asia Pacific with Singapore serving as home base.

Broadbent emphasises that Midwich APAC will be sticking to its core principles as it enters new markets and territories. He says: “Our philosophy is not about disruption. If we think there are gaps in the market, we believe there is an opportunity for us to come in and fill those gaps. When we spoke to the brands we represent, it was added value they were looking for. The question we always ask ourselves when we move to a new territory is ‘can we provide a solution with no conflict to the vendor and no conflict to our customers’, which are the channel partners. We do not sell direct, and we are 100% trade only.”

Establishing an office in Singapore was the first step. Broadbent sheds light on how Midwich APAC is in Asia Pacific for the long haul: “We are looking for more resources, and not just sales resources. We’re implementing our existing back end and that in itself should bring our standards across to Singapore in terms of logistics. The plan is also to hold an amount of original stock and also support stock. Singapore is definitely to serve as our central base in the region. We’ve established a showroom, and this is open to all our customers so that they can bring in their end user clients and show them how the technology works in person.”

The conversation returns to the topic of AV’s globalisation. Broadbent reiterates his belief that this provides an opportunity that Midwich APAC is in a unique position to avail. He says: “All vendors and customers, groups like GPA and integrators like Diversified, they expect consistency. They don’t want to have a really great experience in the UK and a terrible experience in Australia and an ordinary experience in Singapore. So, again, as global expectations continue to develop, consistency will become key. We think, as a specialist distributor, we can deliver that consistency across all our territories and across all our brands.”