“Everyone wants every device to interact seamlessly with every other device, every app to work on every platform. The industry has made great strides toward this through standards like ONVIF, but interoperability still isn’t a guarantee,” says Sean Freeman, solutions engineer for WYNIT Distribution. “We help our integrators find pieces that are fully compatible. In that same vein, to help our dealers become more comfortable with IP technology, we have dedicated resources to understanding the technology ourselves so we can teach IP concepts to integrators making the transition.”
Distributors concur that dealers and integrators that educate themselves on and embrace newer technologies — particularly interactive and integrated systems and services — will prosper the most and best ensure the health of their companies. “Everybody is moving toward IP and interactive services, and those integrators that are able to keep up with these technologies will win out in the long run,” says Tri-Ed Distribution President and CEO Pat Comunale.
Smarter Stocking Strategies
Technical expertise only goes so far without strategic management to guide it. True success comes when business acumen goes hand-in-hand with the sexy and exciting product offerings. Fortunately, today’s wholesale security distributors are standing by ready to assist on that side of the equation as well as fully invested partners. A big part of that is providing tools that deliver operational efficiencies, such as electronic-based product ordering and management.
“ADI completed a multimillion-dollar e-commerce Web site project that offers complete product information, real-time product availability, inventory levels, pricing and more,” says ADI Americas President Michael Flink. “The site also offers a unique set of value-added resources to help dealers easily shop online including frequently purchased products, standardized kits, express order for fast online purchases, and customized lists that save order histories for quick purchases in the future.”
Distributors are also adapting to the mobility craze by offering customers the ability to access their accounts whenever and wherever they are through smartphones and tablets via customized apps. ScanSource Security’s Sorrentino says the company’s SNAP app is a comprehensive Web-based product selection tool that helps dealers more easily choose the best product to fit their customers’ needs.
“With SNAP, dealers are able to quickly narrow their search for products by searching by manufacturer, part number or even product specifications,” he says. “The search then provides the dealer with a comprehensive datasheet on the product, as well as suggested pricing. The free SNAP app allows dealers to login to the app on their iPhone, iPad and Android devices. In addition, the app offers a calculator to determine bandwidth and storage needed, field and degree of view required, and maximum cable distance allowed.”
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