I sat down recently with Dan and Alec Haight of PowerHouse Alliance Distributor Member, Pioneer Music Company.
Douglas Weinstein: When and why did you want to join the PowerHouse Alliance? How has the transition been?
Dan Haight, President & CEO of Pioneer Music Company: We have been with the PowerHouse Alliance for one year now and the transition has been surprisingly smooth.The PowerHouse Alliance’s national footprint has allowed us to expand our product lines and categories into industries outside of just residential AV; for example, commercial AV, security, and surveillance.
DW: What resonates with your customers today?
Dan: Pioneer Music Company’s (PMC) customer service resonates the most with our customers today. Our customers know we are in this with their long-term success in mind. We have been in business for 150 years and we are still standing strong because of our consistently strong customer service, and the fact that we have had the foresight to change our business model and adapt to the times. As our customers’ business models change, we adapt with them and help navigate them into the next phase. Working together with a parallel vision has resulted in decades of success. It is a very special thing to establish a relationship, build a business, and continue that relationship through multiple generations of ownership changes. Ultimately, nothing resonates more with our customer’s than knowing we celebrate the good times with them and do whatever we can to persevere the bad.
DW: As a distributor, how do you approach your business differently?
Alec Haight, Vice President of Pioneer Music Company: At its root, our business model is to take manufacturer lines and grow them to the best of our ability. We don’t manufacture product; our mission and, more importantly, our passion, is growing our vendors’ footprint in a territory we know better than any other entity. As a distributor, that never changes. What does change, however, is how to cater to the customer, which ultimately drives every market opportunity.
Today, distribution is all about convenience. We have to look at every market we cater to, each product category we offer, and decipher how to offer the right product mix and technology solutions in conjunction with superior customer service, education, logistics and efficiencies.
DW: How do you see the business changing in the future?
Alec: In the future, we will continue to adapt and change our business model to continue to be more and more convenient and accessible to our customers. Establishing four pick-up locations in every major market in our territory is just the beginning. Our goal is to put processes in place that make our customers more money while also being more efficient as a company.
All of us have been fortunate in this expanding economy. We know the expansion will not last forever, and that these periods of record-breaking growth won’t be there for our next 150 years. While those economic fluctuations will undoubtedly change the business landscape in the future, what will not change is our longstanding relationships with our customers. If there is a downturn, our customers know we plan to be here through it, offering the same customer service they’ve had for six generations. That trust, built on years of daily interactions, is something our customers value more than anything else.
DW: Are you going to CEDIA EXPO? What are you particularly interested in seeing at the show?
Alec: Yes! We’ll be exhibiting at CEDIA EXPO in the PowerHouse Alliance booth (#2137). Pioneer Music Company, along with all PowerHouse Alliance distributor members will have its own kiosk within the booth and we invite our customers and partners to come by to see everything new we have to offer.
Dan: Distribution is key in bringing new technology to the market, and the CEDIA EXPO is our opportunity to identify those products. Every year we look forward to meeting with our vendors to discuss new programs and products. It’s a great opportunity to find out what they have coming down the pipeline. One of my favorite sections of the show is the “Innovation Alley”, which features all the start-up exhibitors and directs our attention on what to look out for in coming years. There is always a diamond in the rough in terms of that innovative product we have to have.
Alec: The lighting and shade technology is what I am most looking forward to seeing at CEDIA EXPO this year. It is a hot topic in our industry, and expanding our offerings as a distributor is at the forefront of our mind. The times of automation and convergence are upon us, and there is no better place to be for that than in the PowerHouse Alliance.