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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Behringer Companies To Cut Staff

Behringer owns companies imageThrough the years Behringer has developed from a small company that copied successful products then pioneered making them China, to a powerhouse global brand.

In fact, the company has grown into a holding company known as MUSIC, that controls not only Behringer, but well-respected brands like Midas, Klark Teknik, Turbosound and the TC Group (which itself controlled TC Electronic, Tannoy, Lab Gruppen and Lake).

The company has grown so powerful that it even has what amounts to its own manufacturing city in China.

One of the problem with so called "roll-ups" of companies is that as much of the work as possible is consolidated under one roof, and as a result, sooner or later, redundant staff is let go, and that's exactly what's about to happen now.

The first to feel the burn is Tannoy, where 70 staff members at its manufacturing plant in Scotland (which had been there for 35 years) and its office in Cambridge will be eliminated. That great English imprint will now be made in Zhongshan, China instead.

MUSIC is now one of the largest, if not the largest, conglomerates in the musical instrument/audio business, for better or worse. On one hand, the prices of its products (even the high end products by Midas) are very reasonable considering the performance. On the other, there's a group of talented craftsman that will soon be looking for work while Chinese robots take their places.

Here's a video that shows Behringer City in China.



3 comments:

Chris Hill said...

Watching that video made me feel like I was seeing a bootleg video of a factory farm. Really sad to hear about Tannoy and other long established craftsman jobs going away.

For my p.a., I just ditched my Behringer mixer for an Rme Ufx...wish I had done that 2 years ago! Most of the "smear" and harshness i had went away.

NotUliBehringer said...

Bobby, you actually make the MUSIC Group factory in Zhongshan sound a lot better than it actually is in reality.

The site and manufacturing buildings are in a location in Zhongshan, China, which really isn't reputed for world class electronics manufacturing - that would be places like Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Ningbo and Tianjin, definitely not Zhongshan. Not even Chinese want to go live and work in Zhongshan if they had a choice or alternative option. The buildings themselves are in an extremely dilapidated state and the location is in former swamp land in the middle of no-mans-land Zhongshan - it's oozes cheap from the outside and it gets worse as you get further in.

In the entire factory, there's nothing that would be considered cutting edge manufacturing or processes, let alone current high-tech manufacturing technology. There's also nowhere in the entire factory that has pressurised, dust free, temperature controlled manufacturing floors with an air-lock. Many areas don't even have air-conditioning or even cooling fans - you can only imagine what it's like for the workers during the sweltering humid Pearl River Delta summers.

Now about the workers, they've had several disputes with local Chinese workers which have escalated into protests and riots at the factory over issues such as living conditions, provision of poor quality food meals (they all live on site and there is no shops, restaurants or anything in this location), poor working conditions and pay disputes. They've also had many problems over the last 15 years with staff stealing technology and designs by "taking their work home" in the form of files, photos, documents and then going to work for a Chinese company or on-selling it. This was and still is a regular event due to the fact MUSIC Group (actually known in China as Zhongshan Eurotec Electronics or ZEE) is a cheap tight-ass employer - hence the 3rd world factory in it's Zhongshan location.

MUSIC Group also has a reputation in the industry as being a revolving door for employees and has got to the stage when they can't actually find people to actually work for them. The average tenure at MUSIC Group doing a quick look around LinkedIn seems to be around 12-18 months. You only have to see the reviews on Glassdoor.com to see this company is in constant internal crisis - one has to feel sorry for the Tannoy employees along with the rest of the TC Group people who've been all caught up in this so called "transition". From all reports, TC Group was a fine company to work with a huge pool of talented individuals - apparently this is the polar opposite over at MUSIC Group where it's a conglomerate of washed up and ineffectual individuals from the pro audio industry who spend most of their day watching their back and covering their asses to fly underneath the Uli Behringer Radar.

Citing the example of the once famous and reputable brand, Turbosound, once synonymous with concert sound, the future looks bleak for Tannoy and the wider TC Group of companies. One can only hope they get into financial difficulties and have to sell off Tannoy in order to cut their loses - here's hoping...

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a disgruntled employee? I have no dog in this race but I'm always skeptical when reading these "horror" stories. The internet is full of this crap of angry employees who want to get back at their employer. Music Group seems very successful (how else could they buy all these companies) and with the monster X32 and the impressive turnaround they have achieved with Midas and Turbosound, I am curious what they can do with the TC Group.
I am hearing that they are actually hiring 100 new engineers for the TC companies and the new US$100 mil factory in Zhongshan seems very modern.
A quick google search about Zhongshan: Currently, Zhognshan is proving to be an attractive city for investors from both home and abroad. The world Fortune Top 500 has set up more than 20 enterprises in the city. At the same time, the local Hi-Tech industry is developing rapidly and occupies an important place in the national market. Economic development has been accompanied by strong growth of the tourist industry which is becoming a highlight of the city. Maybe not so bad after all?

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