Maybe I have been naive for the past 15 years but it seems to me that my major manufacturing partners have become much less concerned with integrator satisfaction than ever before. I have had several issues in the past six months that have been poorly handled from a customer satisfaction standpoint. Issues that in the end left me questioning the partnership with the manufacturer. And these are major manufacturers with a long track record in the industry and we would be considered one of their largest partners with regard to annual sales.
Back in the old days, my regional sales manager for any particular line was the one guy I went to in order solve any issues. I would voice my complaint or concern and he would run with it and tackle the issue inside of his or her organization to the best of his ability. If he had to, he would go several levels deep and be a voice for us inside of his organization. This is the way my company runs with respect to how we treat our clients, we are empowered to make decisions on behalf of our accounts in order to maintain a very high client satisfaction rate and ensure a positive customer experience.
It seems that the decision making power has moved up the chain with my current partners and this is making the experience for us as an integrator very challenging as we have to be the final stop for any issues with our clients. Now it seems I have to fight the fight on behalf of my clients through many levels of my manufacturers such as engineering, inside sales, tech support and so on. Obviously that chews up valuable resources on our end. It also takes valuable sales time away from our sales team who should be out selling the manufacturers product instead of navigating the minutia of a large organization.
I began to wonder what has changed. Has it been the fact that the security market has become commoditized forcing manufacturers to run on skeleton crews and cut costs at the expense of the partners? Is it that organizations have become too big so that the customer experience is now diluted? Either way, I don’t like it. What say you?