Outside of continuing to disrupt the industry, it also seems add risk for Integrators and End Users.
If end users catch wind of these crazy 'sales' and tactics it will cause a headache when trying to sell them reputable and proven solutions. Though it is part of the job to prove the value of your solution, sometimes the sticker shock itself is simply too much to overcome.
From an end user standpoint, they could end up getting 'ripped off' so to speak by paying a premium price for each camera when they may otherwise be able to afford more cameras, etc., or simply save a bit more on the entire system. It's up to the Integrator to make the right decision on behalf of the customer and make sure they're spending the customers money wisely.
I really wish they would stop selling W-box crap. This is why manufacturers look down upon ADI because they push this loss leader crap. They have such a great brick and mortar model and so many camera manufacturers to push. It is beyond me why they want to push the market to new lows and still have "partners" to push when its convenient for them.
ADI is a bunch of back stabbing, no knowledge but smiling counter people that could give two shits about the industry or the Integrator s they sell too. I visit the local branch (as little as possible) and they routinely sell to the same folks hard working"companies" sell too. Its a shame, and they lie about the devious practices. They are crooks, prices change with the weather, bait and switch is everyday business.
And another thing while Im on this, batteries for example, ask one of those kooks how often ADI checks batteries with actual battery checking devices (we use the ACT-612) and they will say never. Most reputable Battery manufacturers will tell you to charge them or junk them after 'x' time on a shelf. I checked the store last week, in a horrible pinch for a quick battery and over 50% were off the scale dead. They claim to be Wholesalers, they are not Wholesalers at all they are Retail and have a terrible record.
In case you dont know I am PO pissed off at ADI, Anixter and the whole load of "Wholesaler" security suppliers.
I think The whole industry business model is in a state of dysfunction ( a lot of silly people call it "embracing change"), primarily driven by the manufacturers, not the distributors. For example - take a look at your pricing on, say, Axis cameras - you will find, upon a quick google search, the same cameras available through large "drop-ship" internet companies at a lower price than at ADI or Anixter, supposedly wholesale distributors. Manufacturers of professional grade surveillance equipment have abandoned the "wholesale distribution" model and are peddling their gear through any venue they can.
It would be naive to assume that a large portion of the "alarm guys" and smaller integrators aren't themselves buying from the internet segment of distribution. ADI's W-Box line is an effort to counter that and keep those customers coming to ADI rather than "Provantage" , and, unfortunately, it is a race to the bottom, based solely on price.
ADI does offer value - an integrator can go to a brick-and-mortar establishment and source materials and electronics same day, without the hassle of FEDEX or shipping costs and the usual delays associated. If you need parts in a hurry, even obscure miscellaneous parts, they can get it for you from their large stocking system next day in most cases - you cant and wont get that from internet suppliers. so, the dopes in our industry who buy from the internet are helping to create the ADI W-Box situation and probably will ultimately kill off the only national counter-service distributor we have in our industry.
It would be naive to assume that a large portion of the "alarm guys" and smaller integrators aren't themselves buying from the internet segment of distribution.
I'd be curious to hear more data or evidence on this point, i.e., how much of the smaller installers / integrators buying super low cost products (like $20 or $50 cameras) off the Internet. For example, who is the average / prototypical Longse customer? There's few IPVM members but that does not mean non IPVM member integrators are buying it. On the online forums, the Longse / Chinese spam appear to be heavily DIY types. I am not sure, would like to hear more of what people see here.
ADI does offer value - an integrator can go to a brick-and-mortar establishment and source materials and electronics same day, without the hassle of FEDEX or shipping costs and the usual delays associated.
I agree with you about ADI's value vs the Internet. Also, ADI provides credit which is also a big help to smaller integrators that online stores are not going to do. Plus, since you pick it up same day, that further helps with cash management vs having to maintain inventory.
To that end, I do not see why ADI really needs or wants to be so centered on 'LOW COST'. The small integrator should see the ADI value proposition vs buying off Aliexpress, no?
Yes, one would think integrators would see the value that the industry-specific distributors like ADI, Anixter and Graybar offer, but from what I can gather the smaller integrator and alarm companies, and for that matter companies of all sizes, tend to focus more on just the raw price tag.
I see that as a big mistake. While cost is obviously always important and can never be ignored, many in Our industry should focus more on value, and the strategic benefits that partnering with a distributor can deliver. We have 20-year relationships with ADI, Graybar, Anixter, etc, and while it is true that they can be 2, 3, 5 points higher on equipment, you would be surprised at how they are more than willing to work for that extra cost - Graybar offers free warehouse space and "hold for release" on large projects so that you can still leverage volume pricing but dont have to take delivery until you need it. All three can and will get you meetings with manufacturer reps, consultants, architects, etc that are in their networking and supply chain sphere. They can fast-track the certification process on restricted products. Credit lines can be extended for larger products. They have leasing programs that the integrator can extend to the customer.
In my view integrators are being very short-sighted in buying gear from online distributors to save a couple of points up front.
I'm fairly small business with 3 techs and myself. I order from distributors and on the odd occasion, from ADI if I need to order something different from what I normally use. They serve a purpose for certain items... W-Box is not one of them. I see the audio/video tech guys buying them (which is who I see most in our local ADI store). I think they purchase because they are working outside their normal scope. It would be like us installing speakers... I know we can install them but I'm clueless about what brand would be best to use.