No doubt similar to your own experience, throughout the year we receive numerous invites to attend vendor-related daylong events held across the nation. As if time (a lack thereof) wasn’t enough of a deal killer, geography puts the kibosh on taking advantage of these facility tours and assorted open houses.
So it was with some satisfaction to have received an invite to attend the unveiling of AMAG Technology‘s “innovation center” where the firm’s integrated access control and video security solutions are demoed for customers. Not only did this afford me the opportunity to see up close the real-world application and considerable gee-whiz factor of these latest technologies, but I only had to drive a couple miles to do it. AMAG’s headquarters and SSI share the same hometown, Torrance, Calif., near Los Angeles.
AMAG has been headquartered here for about 10 years. To keep pace with its growth, the company has expanded the facility from 23,000 to 36,000 square feet in the past three years. A featured piece in that expansion is the innovation center, which attracted about 100 invitees on Dec. 7.
“We wanted to have a world-class technology center to showcase not only our products but the other ancillary products [including from technology partners such as HID Global, Hawkeye Technologies and NEC] that are needed to make a full-fledged security management system,” explained Matt Barnette, the firm’s senior vice president of sales and marketing. “We wanted to have [a venue] so people can come in — even on a moment’s notice — and be able to see what it is they are looking for, from video to access control to alarm monitoring, all in one place.”
Getting a chance to be onsite to witness the one-on-one exchanges between AMAG reps and their integrator, specifier and consultant clientele also proved informative. How better to build rapport with your key vendor partners (or end-user customers for that matter) than to do it in person? Just ask Mike Bradley, president and general manager of Safeguard Security & Communications. He thought enough of the chance to attend AMAG’s open house that he flew in from Scottsdale, Ariz., for a few hours along with an operations manager, product manager, three lead technicians and a systems designer.
Why commit the time and resources to fly in the Safeguard team?
“I want them to get to know the people here. Some of them have been here for training but they need to get to know some of the technicians, the support side, and see the new products. Getting to know the office personnel a little better helps build the relationship. This is a great opportunity for us to do just that,” Bradley said.
To indulge this a bit further, the gist of what Bradley is suggesting is that phones calls, video conferencing, texting, E-mail or any other electronic exchange can’t come anywhere close to building and nourishing a business relationship than communicating with each other in person. Maybe there is a problematic relationship you’re experiencing that could use similar attending to? Take it from Bradley; it works.
“We have key vendors, and AMAG is one of them, that we depend on pretty heavily. The more you get to know them personally and close up, and show support for them as well, it can solve a lot of problems later,” Bradley said. “When you pick up the phone you get better service and you can get things done faster. We do this on the fire side, on the CCTV side, for all of our featured products.”
Rodney Bosch | Managing Editor