PreSonus's Jim Boitnott

December 15, 2020 I Feature

Continuing Communication

By Katie Kailus

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way musicians record music. While many digital music product manufacturers have reported seeing a shift away from sales in live sound products, their studio products have thrived. PreSonus is no different.

“Most of the demand we’ve experienced has been an increase in creative solutions that can be used at home, such as audio interfaces, small studio monitors and our Studio One [DAW software],” said Jim Boitnott, PreSonus’ chief operations officer. “We know many of these products were selling to music creators, as they normally would, but we have also seen an increase in other markets, such as live streamers and people working or learning from home who wanted a better audio experience.”

PreSonus ensured that while face-to-face meetings were on hold, its communication with dealers would continue normally — something that retailers voting in this year’s Excellence Awards took notice of.

“We try hard and, honestly, this year has been one of the most difficult years to [respond to dealers’ needs] at the level we expect from ourselves,” Boitnott said. “I’m sure with every partner it’s a little different, but I feel strongly that responding to requests quickly, being accountable and simply listening and trying to understand their needs played a big role.”

Boitnott said that while some PreSonus dealers were having record years, others were unable to open their stores, making the requests they saw different from dealer to dealer.

“We saw great businesses take what had been working well for 30 years and change the way they were run in a week,” he explained. “So, for each of these partners, there could be big differences in what they needed. For one, [it could be] just trying to get them inventory. It could be helping someone while they set up new processes or ordering methods. Perhaps they were trying to do more digital sales with software and needed advice. Often, it’s just listening and then trying to help however we can. I don’t know if we did anything different since the pandemic began; this is what we always try to do. This year it was just more challenging.”

Good Communication — From the Inside Out
Boitnott said the focus on maintaining good communication extended to the PreSonus team internally, as well.

“We have managed to stay connected by any means necessary — whether that’s through Google Hangouts, Zoom, Skype, Slack or Microsoft Teams. I’m just spinning thinking of all the different platforms we’ve held meetings on,” Boitnott said, adding that as the time away from the office got longer and the team got busier, “update meetings” were put into place. “We just tried to check in often with each other to keep conversations happening, and we scheduled regular short update meetings for different departments.”

Boinott said that he believes the pandemic has made some things already happening in the MI market happen a lot quicker, including streaming and recording trade shows. “Not having a NAMM show this year is disappointing for many reasons,” Boinott reflected. “I do feel live shows will come back, NAMM and similar events will return, but I also feel the idea of streaming and recording shows and events will forever change those experiences.”

Despite a turbulent year and uncertain future, Boinott remains optimistic, emphasizing his belief in the creative spirit.

“This pandemic has exposed weaknesses for some and opportunities for others, but one thing stays true: Creative people will create. Our job is to create the solutions they need and support them. Who they are and how they create is still unfolding, and 2021 may continue to be a year of rediscovery for many of us.” MI

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