SALES & MARKETING – Manufacturer Muscle Powers Alliance Programs

Security contractors know a good deal when they see one, especially in this day and age of intense competition at the local and regional levels. That’s why hundreds of installing companies are directly involved with a specific equipment manufacturer by way of a well-organized and executed dealer program.

For those installing companies that agree to the terms of a select manufacturer’s program come the benefits of a large pool of marketing and technical resources. Typically, these are greater resources than would ordinarily be available to any single installing firm. To the manufacturer, having a family of installation companies hopefully will mean greater brand loyalty and, in many cases, a network of experts that can handle referrals that come directly to the manufacturer.

Manufacturer-Dealer Alliances Can Be Mutually Beneficial
Not all dealer programs are created equal, and neither would you want them to be. Where one low-voltage contractor desires a loose agreement without a monetary component, be it a yearly purchasing amount or an annual franchise fee, others look for quotas. This is usually because the latter brings with it additional perks, such as lower pricing and more technical support.

For example, where one manufacturer will require a signed agreement that contains an annual equipment-purchase quota, another might have a yearly administration or franchise fee. Some manufacturers require a certain level of knowledge — verifiable by way of official certificates, such as in the area of information technology (IT) — to participate. Others require the signer’s technicians to become certified on their own brand of equipment, usually through online or on-site training programs.

On the other hand, some manufacturers require very little in the area of dealer promises, other than attending factory- or distributor-sponsored training. In some cases, manufacturers require the firm requesting the program affiliation install a number of successful systems before they will sign them on.

Still, other manufacturers have geared their dealer programs toward required education alone. In such instances, the reason for the program’s existence pertains to the complexity of the product offerings. This is usually seen with producers of high-tech, computerized systems that require a good deal of computer hardware, logic and programming expertise, something system integrators are largely familiar with but some security dealers are still uncomfortable about.

Admittedly, it is not always easy for a security contractor to know which agreement is best for their situation. The best way to determine this, however, is through intense research and evaluation of the resulting collected information.

Analysis and a final decision can only occur in an environment of available facts, without which the wrong agreement could easily result with dire consequences. For this reason, Security Sales & Integration has performed some of the necessary research for you. The result is a list of dealer alliance programs for your review.


See the complete listing of dealer alliance programs in the May 2005 issue of SSI.




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