"Consolidation" has replaced "convergence" as the noun of the moment in all sectors of business. Connotations of the term include many scenarios in which brute economics compels corporate cohabitation. But the scenario that companies strive for is brought about by opportunity, as U.S. venture capital firm Ripplewood perceived when it created D&M Holdings in 2002, based on its acquisitions of key audio brands Denon and Marantz.
After additional acquisitions of other technology companies including digital audio player maker RIO, digital video recorder manufacturer Replay, home AV networking company Escient, and classic audiophile equipment maker Macintosh, the company formed D&M Professional in April, 2004, creating a muscular new entity offering portable and installed audio/video recording and playback solutions for the broadcast, corporate, commercial, DJ, education, entertainment, worship, government and institutional markets.
Peter Papageorge, director of sales & marketing for D&M Professional, said, "For the first time, the dealer base sees what had been competing products as an integrated whole. Everyone has been pleasantly surprised to see how well and how easily the fifty-four products we initially worked with have fit together into an integrated array. It gives them and their clients a very clear road map."
The benefits to this wider range of professionals and end users is significant, says Papageorge. D&M Professional has been able to enhance its warranty fulfillment capability: professional installation components can be delivered or replaced within 48 hours from a safety stock, and response to inquiries at its call centers is in 30 seconds or less. Plus, callers are connected with product specialists specific to their needs more directly. "The staff at the call centers has been cross-trained-they can answer questions immediately instead of having to send callers to another center in another city," he explains. There are also very specific adaptations for each market. For instance, Papageorge cites the DJ market. "It's a very different kind of community than the installation market," he explains. "The equipment gets worked harder, and the DJs regard their components as personal equipment, not as interchangeable pieces of gear."
The company has developed very distinct website solutions for customer support. Jodee Warwick, marketing manager for D&M Professional, notes that the professional applications website is heavily focused on specific applications and products.