How Distributors Help Security Dealers Delight Customers

Find out how wholesale distributors are helping security dealers keep pace with new technology trends and services (RMR) opportunities.

New Technologies Drive Demand

Totally integrated solutions that converge technologies are becoming more commonplace as is the adoption of more software solutions to facilitate increased analytical functions. Ongoing exponential advancements in technologies such as IP, high-definition (HD) video, wireless, mobile connectivity, apps, integrated solutions, PSIM/VMS, mass notification, GUI keypads and cloud-based interactive services continue to open up new markets for dealers and give distributors additional and higher-end products to sell.

“While the market is always going to dictate price, as technology continues to improve, it’s making these higher-end products more affordable,” Comunale says.

Meanwhile, pronounced growth in new sectors such as the connected home market are driving demand for new products and applications. A strong growth opportunity for dealers and integrators, connected homes connect smart thermostats, lighting, shades, appliances, media centers and more, link them together and control them with centralized interfaces. These devices can be connected via a LAN, WLAN or the Internet. Consumers are demanding the convenience of being able to access their devices while away from home via their mobile phones.

These types of new technology trends and services and recurring revenue opportunities are impacting wholesale distribution and, by extension, dealer/integrator customers. “Technology trends have a very positive impact on all distributors,” Comunale says. “If you look at the growing connected home market, we’re selling more product routers, switches, door locking hardware, thermostats and cameras for the home. End users are taking advantage of the technology and life enhancement offerings and that, in turn, translates into more revenue for dealers.

While not all consumers, by any stretch, are willing or able to invest too heavily in a fully connected home, sales show that many are willing to pay for some of the conveniences, particularly lighting control. Dealers and integrators can transition into this growing market by educating themselves on these opportunities and product applications.

The Value of a Good Education

Offering an extensive line card of products and delivering business-enhancing, value-added services such as free ship-ping, technical support, online ordering, personalized branch-based customer service, warranty assistance and purchasing rewards are important. But as Comunale points out, as technologies continue to grow more complex the need for distributor-based training is every bit as important.

More than a convenient products depot, installing security contractors can leverage a wholesale distributor partnership to gain a competitive edge in a fast-evolving marketplace. Long a venue for training on legacy equipment and related systems, many dealers and integrators can thank their distributor for helping them transition to IP-based solutions.

James Rothstein, Tri-Ed’s senior vice president of global marketing, explains as technologies become more sophisticated, the role of distribution becomes more critical in providing education and technical expertise to the security dealer.

“We pride ourselves on not only being distributors of products and solutions but also of information,” he says. “Training is an essential part of successfully embracing any new technology. We strive to be the focal point of delivering insight on new technologies and products with multiple touch points to our customers.”

Mixing the Old With the New

For today’s installing security contractor, the demand for more sophisticated systems also translates into the need for more specialized, time-consuming programming and systems integration. Many of today’s distribution partners stand ready to help with that. Tri-Ed, for instance, offers dealers and integrators an array of services from its free “IP EZ” camera programming and project integration services to highly efficient kitting and interoperability testing for more sophisticated installations.

“Our IP EZ service has become very popular and saves integrators consider-able dollars on their implementations,” Rothstein says. “From preprogramming IP cameras, to loading VMS software on a box and configuring storage, etc., Tri-Ed’s v
alue-added services can create tremendous efficiencies for our customers, which is especially important now, given all the new technologies they’re being called upon to master.”

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