We have a number of overseas customers, and it is always a great story to share how we get our instruments to the far corners of the world safely.
I particularly enjoyed working with St Andrew’s Church in Nairobi who ordered a large 3 manual organ. In this modern world that we live in, we managed to help the customer to fully plan which instrument would best fit their space without having to visit the building first.
We have a detailed specification process which we could work with them on in identifying all the needs for the instrument itself as well as for the audio set-up.
While ordinarily we would always do a site visit, it wasn’t possible to do this time for a church based many miles away on a different continent. Luckily for St Andrews – we are becoming well known for our international church organ installation projects – so this wasn’t something we were too worried about.
St Andrew’s Church – the layout and configuration
As you see in the picture, St Andrew’s is a substantial space, and far from a conventional UK church layout.
Working from photographs sent by the customer we were able to see and confirm an ideal location for the speaker array high up above the preacher’s platform. We could suggest and agree wiring routes from the console location to the speakers that was both practical and discrete.
A church member decided to visit the UK and come to Bicester to play the actual instrument we would ship. Unfortunately this visit was timed when I was in Australia opening up our activities there based in Perth. So I did not get to meet the musician flown over especially for this trip.
This was our first sale into Kenya. We have made many earlier sales into Ghana and Nigeria. Quite often in those situations a London based member of the church community will visit Bicester, view the various instruments and confirm the details.
Trust in our market is key
Clearly it is better to meet the people concerned with whom you are doing business, especially when large sums of money have to be paid before goods are shipped overseas. Trust in our market is key to winning business.
Thereafter quality delivery, communication and liaison is crucial to building reputation and retaining it. We are enormously proud of the overseas customer base we have managed to grow and service, something we hope will continue in these challenged times.
Installation of the organ managed by partner from Nigeria
The St Andrew’s installation was managed by our colleague based in Nigeria. He flew there and spent a week working with church members to complete wiring and installation.
Installation of the organ went to plan and a very happy church community heard their instrument in just in time for the Christmas celebrations.
In our business completion a few days either side of December 25th is the difference between success and failure! This organ installation, some 4000 miles from base crossed the finish line just in time.
I have had a passion for church organs since the tender age of 12. I own and run Viscount Organs with a close attention to the detail that musicians appreciate; and a clear understanding of the benefits of digital technology and keeping to the traditional and emotional elements of organ playing.