8 Jun 2022

Innovating and partnering to beat supply chain issues

by Jenny Barrett

Audio-visual suppliers across New Zealand are thinking outside the box to deliver to client deadlines. Viv Green , Sales & Marketing Manager for Australasian Audio Engineering (AAE) speaks for the sector when he describes the current situatio;, “Alongside recruitment, the biggest risk to project delivery at the moment is the global supply chain. Meticulous design and planning are required to ensure that hardware is not just fit for purpose, but is also readily available.”

AAE, an Auckland-based company with a nationwide reach in audio and audio-visual system installation and servicing, are meeting the challenge by broadening their own network of suppliers, partnering with manufacturers to source loan product, and by optioneering and factoring in design alternatives. “We are fortunate that we didn’t lose any of our experienced audio-visual engineers during COVID as their knowledge enables us to have a wider view and to do a complete re-design when a component cannot be supplied in time,” explains Viv.

A recent example where AAE’s approach has paid dividends is a new entertainment complex at Sylvia Park. AAE were approached by Fraser Brothers & Co to discuss an audio-visual system to cover the gaming area, eatery, bar, private party area and a four-lane bowling alley. AAE needed to design, deliver and install an AV system with less than six weeks to opening. AAE’s solution included four 55” Panasonic displays in groups of two, mounted back to back on a pole attached to the ceiling in the arcade, and two full HD Panasonic laser projectors pole-mounted from the ceiling and projecting on to a client-supplied fabric in the bowling alley, plus a high-quality background music system that included six discrete zones for guest performers. By factoring availability into the design process, all items and project hardware were delivered to site in time for the proposed fitout, apart from the laser projectors.

“The projector model selected for the project was due to arrive some weeks after the official opening date of the complex,” recalls Richard Wahl, Sales Consultant. “We approached Panasonic to come to the party and they supplied loan projectors to bridge the gap and ensure that everything was installed ahead of the opening night. The projectors were an older generation but with the same throw, keeping the swap out straightforward. We made the client aware of the situation at the design stages so there were no surprises.”

Hamish Fraser, Director of Fraser Brothers & Co Entertainment Ltd, was open to the interim solution, “AAE was only given a narrow window to design and deliver the AV system, but they stepped up to the challenge and worked around the clock to meet our launch date. They really took care to ensure that we had covered all our bases.”

Another project that achieved its opening date thanks to the AAE engineering team’s foresight and technical proficiency was the launch of StudioBox’s Newmarket and CBD/Princes St boxing gyms. A high end QSC audio system underwent a complete redesign when the header amplifier could not be sourced in time, and Viv managed to borrow a TV from Sharp’s demo room to make up the order for four. Dwayne Rowsell, StudioBox Director commented, “This was September and October 2021 in the middle of lockdown so a tough environment to work in. AAE just handled all the supply issues, were really flexible, and then worked around the clock to get the install finished.”

Viv reflects, “These are challenging times for the industry, but we are avoiding compromising the majority of projects thanks to the flexibility of our suppliers and our team’s sheer tenacity.”

AAE website –


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