The June issue of SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION includes my rountable of several of the industry’s leading wholesale products distributors (“The Wholesale Truth”). One of those featured was Jim Annes, vice president and general manager for AVAD. The conversation with him is continued below as he addresses helpful services and technologies the distributor is bringing to the security dealer/integrator channel. Be sure to monitor Under Surveillance for more of my recent discussions with distributors.
How can security dealers/integrators combat margin squeeze and product commoditization?
Jim Annes: AVAD believes that an antidote for compressing margins is to expand product offerings. The value imparted to customers of a “one-stop shop” resource has been a differentiator in a lot of industries. AVAD offers dealers access to over 75 major brands and growing to help stay ahead of the curve.
What specific tools/methods does your company deploy, such as online ordering and electronic-based management, to better serve and enable your dealer and integrator customers?
Annes: AVAD products and services are accessible to customers online at www.avad.com or by phone at (866) FOR-AVAD, which enables dealers to place orders at any time.
Detail some of the value-adds your company offers the channel, such as training, consulting, etc.
Annes: The AVAD rewards program drives sales, grows business, and provides integrators with incentives that create a high-performance culture in the industry. AVAD events give dealers the chance to be a player instead of a spectator, thanks to popular events like Vendopalooza, our exclusive one-day trade show, and other commercial-focused events. AVAD tech support also offers customers unparalleled product knowledge from an in-house team of experts, aimed at helping you hone your competitive edge.
How do you cultivate and build long-lasting relationships built on trust, so customers do not have to worry about ulterior motives being behind product recommendations or their distributor selling direct to their end-user customers, etc.?
Annes: We build long-lasting relationships with value-added services such as the AVAD System Design Group, which assists customers with a full range of complementary design services to provide them with the best plan for their customers, including needs analysis and AutoCAD drawings. The trust that AVAD has built as a distributor thanks to beneficial product exchange policies, which allow flexible 30-day hassle-free exchanges and 90-day “good as new” return programs, allow integrators to count on our support through every step of a job from planning to testing and beyond.
Please describe how trends/technologies such as IP video, high definition video, open and interoperable devices, wireless technology, mobile connectivity, digital signage and the cloud/interactive services are impacting your business.
Annes: The development of these technologies is good for our business because it enables AVAD to offer more vast product offering. Our strategy of rebooting the industry into an era of “custom install 2.0” entails giving customers the means to think bigger and approach new methods of doing business.
Anything else you believe would be of interest to security dealers and integrators?
Annes: AVAD customers aren’t just given a catalog and left to go it alone. We have decades of industry expertise to share on how to grow businesses, questions to ask end users to improve sales techniques and target future leads. In other words, exploring unique markets and new product categories is not a road you have to travel alone with AVAD on your side.