CIE Group - celebrating a half-century in business
UK - In 2014, UK audio visual and electronics distributor CIE-Group is celebrating 50 years in business. This significant milestone is also an opportunity to look forward to new business goals and aspirations that will provide the impetus for future CIE-Group developments.

CIE-Group was established back in 1964 as Canadian Instruments and Electronics, a UK subsidiary of Toronto-based Radio Components. At this time the company specialised in the distribution of electronic testing equipment, components and connectors.

Based in the East Midlands from where it still operates today, the company has a firm foundation in the professional audio market, in particular the public address and professional audio sector. More recently however, product portfolio has been further enhanced with a number of key new distribution appointments resulting in the addition of latest AV signal distribution technologies such as HDBaseT and AV/Access Control-over-IP.

"While 50 years in business is a cause for celebration in anyone's book, for us we are also looking to the future - new challenges, new markets and new solutions," says Chris Edwards, marketing director of CIE-Group. "We have firmly established ourselves as one of the UK's key distributors in the audio visual sector through the brands we represent, investment in our sales & technical support teams, as well as the high standard of training we offer. These initiatives have certainly paid dividends in terms of existing customer and new business wins, as well as putting us in a great position to service a new generation of buyers, integrators and AV professionals now entering the market."

In 2009, the CIE-Group management team completed an MBO which has allowed the company to focus on new markets and digital technology solutions. In tandem with this, CIE-Group has been committed to adding greater value to the supply chain by offering an on-going, UK-wide programme of free technology training seminars to integrators, specifiers and end-users. This initiative has grown out of its hugely successful and growing distribution partnership with CYP Europe, pioneers in AV distribution and connectivity products for systems integrators / installers.

Relationships have always been important to CIE-Group. Among its many distribution partnerships, CIE has been the exclusive UK distributor to Inter-M (formerly Inkel) for almost 30 years, and continues to bring new products to the market including the latest generation of IP-connected PMU amplifiers. CIE has also represented Switchcraft since 1987 and continues to be one of the main UK resellers for the brand's professional audio connectors.

Alongside its focus on business and technology, CIE-Group is also an active participant in corporate social responsibility and charity support. For the past eight years, the company has undertaken a series of fundraising challenges that have raised almost £15,000 for their three adopted charities - Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundation and local children's charity Derby Kids' Camp.

In September of this year CIE-Group directors and members of the AV sales and technical support staff cycled from St Malo in the North of France to Bordeaux in the South, covering more than 550 miles in the saddle. As Chris Edwards concludes: "The last 50 years have been quite a ride and we are excited to move forward - here's to the next 50!"

(Jim Evans)

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