Harman Professional Solutions is to lay off 650 employees, a significant proportion of its professional audiovisual workforce, as part of a major workforce transformation.
Installation's sister title SCN has reported that the manufacturer of professional audio, video, lighting and control systems is to close several facilities over the next nine months. These include Elkhart, Indiana and South Jordan, Utah in the United States, as well as several offices throughout Europe.
Following these transitions, Harman, which was acquired by Samsung in 2016, has stated it will enter a “rebuilding” mode and form three 'Centres of Competency': Northridge, Carolina for acoustics; Richardson, Texas for electronics, DSP, and video and control; and Aarhus, Denmark for lighting. "These centres will allow the company's engineers to focus on critical product differentiations instead of requiring them to develop motors, mechanical structures, and other supporting elements. The job of converting these technologies into competitive products will be for our newly formed New Product Innovation (NPI) teams," said the company.
David Glaubke, director of public relations, global professional solutions, Harman International, said that these changes were "the culmination of a transformation that the Professional Solutions Division has been undergoing for the last two years to better serve our customers, increase our competitiveness, and accelerate new product innovations."
Harman is redirecting its investments to IT tools and platforms, giving its employees, distributors and representatives the tools they need to easily transact business. According to Glaubke, Harman is also creating additional 'Experience Centers' in the US and Europe. The combination of Centers of Competency and Experience Centers will create new roles and positions within the company.
“We have given our employees advance notification of the changes we will make over the next year to assist with the transition and will do our best to mitigate the impact to our employees and their families,” Glaubke said. “Importantly, we also will ensure that the process is completely seamless for our customers.”