GE Interlogix Brass Stress Support for Dealer Network at Event

LAKE TAHOE, Nev.—A strong commitment to the dealer channel, acquisitive growing pains, new products and Elvis were all in abundance at GE Interlogix’s 2003 Security Pro Conference at the Horizon Hotel and Casino in Lake Tahoe. Several hundred dealers attended the event to find out what’s to come from the Security Pro program (less than two years after it was acquired by GE as part of its Interlogix acquisition).

In his opening speech, GE Interlogix President/CEO Ken Boyda reasserted the company’s stance that it has no interest in entering the installation or monitoring business despite its acquisition of Monitoring Automation Systems (MAS) just days before the conference.

“We believe if you are going to be an innovator, you must have control of the software. That’s why we acquire companies like MAS,” Boyda said. “GE is not interested in becoming a dealer; we value our channel partners. That’s why we had no interest in purchasing [the recently sold] Chubb Security, for example.”

The event enabled security dealers that are part of the Security Pro program to ask Boyda, Security & Life Safety Group President Charles Durant and other GE Interlogix executives questions regarding distribution and warranty issues that have yet to be sorted out in the wake of GE’s entrance into the electronic security industry.

Durant admitted, “We recognize that we have a customer service issue and that is our major focus right now.  We have to bring it up to the level of our unrivaled technology and innovation.” They conceded that distribution is indeed the company’s biggest concern and that it is expected to improve before the end of this year.

The event included presentations updating dealers on the latest product offerings from the GE Interlogix family of brands as well as a four-hour block of hands-on demonstrations. The conference was also packed with social events, including an outing to the Ponderosa Ranch of TV’s “Bonanza” fame, a hypnotist exhibition and an Elvis karaoke contest featuring a $300 grand prize.

The Security Pro program is comprised of several hundred dealers nationwide ranging in size from five employees to more than 100 with annual revenues between $2 million and $15 million. “Most of our dealers have a 50/50 residential-commercial mix,”
said Michael Benedict, program director and conference host. “Although there is not much turnover, the program is only about 50 percent saturated.”

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