AutoPatch, a division of Cheney-based XN Technologies Inc. that makes audio, video, and digital signal switching and routing equipment, has opened a sales and customer support office in Osaka, Japan.
The two-person office opened last month, and will expand as the need for service there grows, division manager Phil Hale says. He says he expects that the office will add four more people next year.
Tim Bennett, who served for six years as AutoPatchs director of sales for Asia and the Pacific from the companys Cheney office, has been promoted to general manager of AutoPatch Asia, which serves that region, and is in charge of the Osaka office.
The new office will give AutoPatchs customers in Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and Southeast Asia the convenience of a company representative in the same or an adjacent time zone, Hale says. Sales quotes will be generated in 30 minutes rather than overnight, and with Osakas international airport nearby, company representatives at the new office will be able to travel to most locations in Asia within five hours to assist customers with problems, he says.
In a time of economic trouble in Asia, Hale admits that establishing a new office there is a bit of a gamble. The company, however, wanted to take advantage of currency fluctuations that allowed it to get in at a lower cost, he says.
As we get up and running, we will be in a position when the economy rebounds to ride that wave, Hale says.
AutoPatchs switching and routing equipment is used in video conferencing, security, home automation, and military or corporate command and control centers. Its products can receive audio, video, and computer video signals from many sources and send them to numerous outputs, employees say.
XN Technologies, which was founded in 1989, designs and manufactures advanced systems. Along with AutoPatch, it also has a medical products division that develops health care-related electronics. Company officials decline to talk about development work going on at the companys medical products and advanced systems divisions because of its proprietary nature.
XN Technologies employs a total of about 100 people and has been growing rapidly, adding about 25 employees last year, Hale says. He says workers often work across division lines.
XN Technologies owns a 30-acre site on Cheney-Spokane Road where it plans to develop a corporate campus. The site now has one 25,000-square-foot building, and Hale says the company plans to add a second building within two years to accommodate growth.
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