EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT – Behind Boardroom Doors With Industry’s Mightiest Manufacturers
Ribinski Wants End Users to Think Bosch When They Think Security
Name: Peter Ribinski
Division: Security Systems
Title: President and CEO
Ribinski: Business is great! I am very happy with the 2004 results. In all product categories, business is up; nothing is down. That said, there is definitely one area that has outgrown the others, and that is CCTV.
CCTV has experienced a far higher growth than the other segments. I think the reasons are the high market demand from end users and the fact that Bosch had a couple of very successful CCTV product launches in 2004, such as the DinionXF Day/Night cameras, FlexiDomeXT cameras and our whole family of DVRs.
What are you primarily focused on accomplishing at the moment?
Ribinski: Enhancing our profile from a component supplier to the electronic security industry to becoming a solutions- oriented systems provider. We are offering a new set of products and services to the market via new enterprise solutions software, which includes communications and control capabilities.
We need to be better prepared to provide consulting services and put together deals during longer sales cycles. It is about putting the right resources in place to support the U.S. marketplace.
Which technologies are you concentrating on and why?
Ribinski:We are investing in just about every type of security and fire technology. For example, in video, we are focused on intelligent algorithms and compression algorithms. In fire and intrusion, we are focused on new sensor technologies. In access control, it is new biometrics technologies. One of the big developments from us this year will be the new fire and intrusion sensors we will be bringing to market.
How are you bringing new products and solutions to market?
Ribinski:We have a mix of our own sales force and several manufacturer reps. In addition, that is all supported with a strong footprint in security distribution.
It sounds complicated and, to be honest, I would not do it this way if I had it on a drawing board, but the commitment has proved to be successful and we will stick with it. If I were starting from scratch, I would probably find a cleaner structure.
We also deal directly with installation companies, but only when they are a certain size and are committed. However, it is not limited to volume as we also look at their commitment to training since they represent the Bosch name in the market. They must stand for quality.
How do you build customer loyalty?
Ribinski: We have established the Bosch Certified Security Dealer, or BCSD, program, which includes about 700 member companies. We also recently rolled out a new Bosch Distribution program in which members benefit from preferred pricing. We are working with distributors that are willing to commit to Bosch and provide us with valuable customer information.
What is Bosch doing to educate and assist dealers and integrators?
Ribinski: We offer a wide variety of training methods, including 15 faceto- face trainers, a series of Web and CDROM- based training materials. We recently invested in a new training facility in Fairport, N.Y., and have just opened another one in San Jose, Calif.
What has been your most recent acquisition?
Ribinski: Video Control Systems [VCS] was a critical acquisition for our network video solutions business. With this acquisition, we have completed our portfolio in the digital area and are ready to participate in the fastest growing segment of the CCTV industry.
How acquisitive do you expect to be?
Ribinski: There are certainly areas where we will enhance our technology offerings and our access to distribution channels through acquisitions. You might find other companies that are much more aggressive than us.
We will not acquire just for sheer size; an acquisition has to make strategic sense. It must either add technology to our existing portfolio or open up new sales channels, either in new countries or access to market areas in existing countries.
What are you doing to outperform and differentiate yourself?
Ribinski: Products, quality and service. In products, we concentrate on innovation and quality. We are spending 11 percent on R&D and also get additional contributions from the large corporate Bosch research teams. In addition to some of the groundbreaking products I have already mentioned, we recently released the FCP-500 smoke detector in Europe. We call it an invisible detector and it is quite revolutionary. We will be presenting it at this year’s NFPA show in Las Vegas.
Our customers enjoy the highest rates of quality. Our out-of the- box quality is unsurpassed. We also offer three- to five-year warranties. That is what the Bosch brand stands for – quality.
As for service, our logistics and product availability are superior. We do statistics about our availability and shipments, and 95 percent of orders ship the same day. I don’t think anybody can beat us on that!
We also receive great feedback on our training as well as the availability of tech support.
What are your major marketing initiatives?
Ribinski: In 2005, we have the goal to create more brand awareness at the end-user level. It was just four years ago Bosch entered the U.S. security industry. People in the industry now know Bosch, but end users do not. They usually think of Bosch as spark plugs and dishwashers.
What do you believe are the greatest technology opportunities?
Ribinski: In technology, it’s CCTV and fully networked, integ
rated video solutions, which have opened up completely new markets for the efficient use of existing and new networks. The available bandwidth already installed, or being installed as we speak, demands use of it and video will play a large role in corporate networks.
I also see big things for biometrics. People have talked about it for 10 to 15 years, but I think we are finally at the point where these solutions are mature enough to find their way into the mass market.
What do you believe have been the most significant changes in the industry the past five years?
Ribinski: One thing is the amount of consolidation as big companies have gotten bigger and many smaller suppliers just disappeared. As for product offerings, proprietary to open platforms has been the greatest change. End users do not want to be dependent on single sources and manufacturers have been responding to that wish.
What do you believe will be the most significant changes in the industry during the next five years?
Ribinski: The industry has to change in order to find the answer to the pressing point of false alarms. What can we do in order to limit them? How can we create new trust with municipalities and end users to use the systems for what they are intended for – peace of mind? I am confident the industry will make strides in this area.
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