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Tuning in to success.

North Little Rock Company Helps Revolutionize Audio And Video Equipment For Corporate Aircraft

What do the chief executive officer of Taco Bell, the CEO of the Dun & Bradstreet Corp. and the president of Chile have in common?

All use products manufactured by Audio International Inc., a North Little Rock company that specializes in audio, video and cabin-control electronic equipment for corporate aircraft and helicopters.

According to Wayne Richie, chairman and vice president, Audio International has helped revolutionize aircraft audio and video systems.

In 1986, Richie, then a development engineer in the Air Force, and Rick Marsh, an avionics technician for Arkansas Modification Center Inc. (now Arkansas Aerospace Inc.), decided there was a need for such a design company.

Audio International now has more than 40 regular clients, the largest of which is Cessna Aircraft Co.

Audio International, which has 17 employees, went international in 1988. The company now does business in Israel, France, Great Britain and elsewhere.

"Although most of our products are bought in the United States, more than one-third end up in foreign countries," Richie says. "Our territory is worldwide."

Quality Control

He says Audio International seeks repeat customers rather than providing "hit-or-miss" services such as some large profit-seeking companies.

Even though the company has experienced at least 50 percent growth each year, Marsh, the president, and Richie purposely limited and planned Audio International's growth.

"Quality would have suffered, and our reputation would have deteriorated" if growth had come too quickly, Richie says. "In the beginning, we didn't have money for plane tickets. Our first big client was Warner Brothers studios ... We made car trips to California in order to maintain a close relationship with our client.

"|While~ most business is done by fax or phone, we still make a lot of personal visits ... That's one of the reasons we're successful."

Several new aircraft are featuring Audio International products as standard equipment.

As the aviation industry expands, Audio International revenues continue to increase.
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:Arkansas Business of the Year: Category I; Audio International Inc., an aircraft electronics company
Author:Harper, Kim
Publication:Arkansas Business
Article Type:Company Profile
Date:Jan 13, 1992
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