Canadian Music Trade - April / May 2018 - Page 25

“The people in our industry are what makes it special. If you take a good look at any manufacturer, distributor, or retailer that has lasted 25 years or more in our industry, they all have one thing in common: good people. Richard and Eric Lasnier are good people – honest people that make their customers partners in what they do. They are the keys to ADI’s success. I’m proud to say that we here at Steve’s Music have contrib- uted to that success as they have to ours. Happy 25 th anniversary Richard, Eric, and everyone at ADI from everyone at Steve’s Music. Here’s hoping for another 25 years of continued success!” -Matthew Chafe, Purchaser, Steve’s Music Stores RICHARD LASNIER, LOUIS-PHILIPPE BOITEAU & ERIC LASNIER low man on a three-person team, I’ve pretty much done it all, which is actually a great ad- vantage,” continues Eric, listing his responsi- bilities over the years, including shipping, re- ceiving, deliveries, price lists, inventory, web development, product specialist, service, order desk, inventory management, market- ing, and sales. “Having this broad experience under my belt is a great asset because I can clearly understand each position and the relationship that exists between them.” This has also positioned him well for the future as the multi-year transition has begun that will see Eric eventually take over for his father as CEO. The first exclusive line that ADI picked up – and one that remains a key part of its port- folio today – was Rode Microphones. Led by Peter Freedman, Rode, of course, has become a major global player in the studio, home, and mobile recording market, but in the early 1990s, it was a little-known Australian company with just one serious product to its name, the NT2 studio micro- phone, and little-to-no market penetration in North America. “The infamous Hall E of The NAMM Show! That’s where it all began. That’s when I met the guys from Rode – Peter Freedman and Colin Hill, may he rest in peace,” says Richard. “We got off to a great start and we’ve been like family ever since. Rode is in our blood.” The feeling is certainly mutual. When CMT spoke to Freedman last year for his company’s own 50 th anniversary, the Rode founder was eager to speak about his love for Canada and his Canadian distributor. “Richard and Eric at ADI, they’re repre- sentatives of us but they’re also our friends and have been for a very long time and we’re very, very loyal to people … They’re part of the family and I love them. It’s great and you can’t beat having known somebody for 20 years or more. It’s pretty special,” Freedman shared over the phone from Australia. “The other thing is, and [Canada is] bigger than us, but you’re still not like the U.S.; you’re smaller so it’s harder. If you make it in Canada, you’re good, because it’s tough. It’s fewer people and you’re sitting on the doorstep of an abso- lute monster. The retailers or anybody in any industry that does well in Canada is spectacu- larly good at it.” While Rode has been in the ADI portfolio from the beginning and continues to be a valuable partner, both professionally and person- ally, for the Lasniers, other brands have come and gone for various reasons, as is the case with any dis- tributor. And through that process, Richard says he has learned a lot about the busi- ness of taking on lines. “There has definitely been a shift in our selection process. In the very beginning, when you are building a small company, you tend to be less ‘selective’ when taking on lines,” he explains. “As we’ve now reached a fair size and have built an infrastructure to accommodate further growth, we are definitely more careful with our choices. We gravitate towards long-term relationships with forward-thinking brands that we can grow with in the long run.” That lineup of partners on the audio side now includes, among others, studio monitor and recording equipment compa- nies Auratone, Blue Sky, Event Electronics, Palmer Audio, Mc2, Galaxy Audio, and Ry- cote, as well as mobile audio/video brands like Beachtek and iOgrapher. In 2013, Richard went back to his roots by creating ADI’s MI division. “I think the right answer is because I could,” he laughs, think- ing about the decision. “It’s a passion. I’ve always had a love affair with music and being a veteran musician myself, I’ve always felt the call to be part of this segment of the indus- try. With our pro division doing very well un- der the supervision of Eric and with the help of our sales manager, Louis-Philippe Boiteau, I had the opportunity to divert some of my attention to fuelling my passion for musical instruments while using my extensive expe- rience to select the right products and drive ADI’s further growth.” Richard says the move into MI was obvious because, even beyond his own love of guitars and his 25 years of experience in MI retail, ADI was already doing business with a lot of MI dealers who carry their audio brands, like Rode and Galaxy Audio, and who have pro audio departments for PAs and other gear. ERIC & RICHARD LASNIER IN THE LATE ‘90s CANADIAN MUSIC TRADE • 25