OneAV are thrilled to announce another amazing addition to our team. Having previously worked in senior roles at high-end audio brands Naim, Focal and Lode Audio, Andy Oattes joins to head up sales and customer relationships. Andy has taken the time to have a chat with our copywriter Kirsty, and here’s how that went down.
How did you come to join OneAV?
I identified OneAV and one of the distributors when I was working at Focal/Naim to distribute the products. I had a chat with James and then Chris and through that process, we had a chat about me joining the team. It was around the end of summer last year that I picked them and during the whole process, they picked me!
What are your plans?
I want to concentrate on the sales side of OneAV in its entirety. So initially, getting to know the people and what we’ve done so far. How we take our products to market (there’s a lot of products that we supply), and what are the opportunities there. We’ve got a huge range of customers, and I want to learn who they are, where they are, and what we sell to them. Going through that process helps structure the sales team. It’d also be great to get out there and talk to the customers so that we can understand them better. After being in the industry for 20 years, I’ve learned that people will order when required, but when you know them better that will increase.
What does a typical day for you look like?
Currently, I’ve been working a lot with James on brand acquisition, I’ve also been looking at database segmentation with the guys in finance. There’s a huge allocation of my time that is spent on learning. Also I’ve been talking to installers, liaising with CEDIA who is our trade body, keeping that continuity with Naim/Focal because as you know, we currently distribute Focal. So yeah, getting involved with quite a few things!
Any advice for new customers?
From an installer prospective, I’ve noticed that we have a lot of installers that are electricians stemming out and trying to get into the industry, and I welcome any new interest to come and learn from us. Come to trade shows or come and speak to us! We’re quite active on LinkedIn and CEDIA tech forums. We’re totally open to helping you out if you’re unsure about anything.
From a customer point of view, it’s important for customers who are unsure about the products they’re after to get in touch with us too as we can put them in touch with installers in their area. Some of them have demonstration videos and I’d advise our customers to get hold of a demo to help better understand the products. Alternatively, speak to a technology specialist so they can walk you through the whole process.
5 years down the line, what do you see for OneAV?
I would say that the strategy for us is winning from second and at this stage in time, the business has grown pretty rapidly over the last few years. I would say we’re in a great position with the product portfolio that we have, the people we’re working alongside, and also the customers on our books. I would say in the next 5 years OneAV in the UK will become one of the best and prominent distributors. That would certainly be my personal ambition. With the attitude and value system of the company, and how we approach our customers, the business will grow.
What is your motto/personal mantra
That’s a good question! A few things really, I always say treat people the way you want to be treated, always be open, don’t ever stop learning. I utterly believe the moment you stop learning you stand still. I see learning a bit like a javelin. You pick it up and throw it! That javelin should be everything you want to do in life, whether it be having children, having a bigger house. As you grow through life and reach that javelin, you should give it another big old throw!
What are your biggest professional challenges?
I think when you start a new job you have plenty of challenges that come in phases: You learn the new building – where do you go to get things, all that kind of information. You learn the people. Who do you go to get certain things, for example. Then you look at things like data, systems and try and learn it. Overall I think my biggest challenge coming to OneAv is learning fast enough. I think for me, once I understand the environment and the people, I can accelerate in other areas.
Describe your job role in 3 words
‘Lead the team’
Finally, so our customers (and our staff members) can get to know you better, name your favourite:
Music – I’m into lots of different things. My friend is in a band called Mogwai. They’re a quite famous post rock band. They’re really good!
Film – I have a lot of favourite films, and I don’t believe in one particular favourite film, but I’d have to go with Scarface. It’s a bit cliché, but it’s a great film.
Food – I used to work as a chef a long time ago and I love cooking. It’s quite a hard question, but I think I’ll have to go with a good glass of chianti with some good Italian pasta. Notice how I led with the wine first? I’m a Scotsman! But honestly, I love all kinds of food! Thai, Indian, you name it!
Thank you for taking the time out to chat with me, Andy!