Anixter Sales People Selling To End Users

Author: John Honovich, Published on Nov 03, 2016

Anixter's most frequently heard defense of selling to end users is that they used to do it, but not anymore. However, this was undermined by Anixter's own CEO proclamation recently.

And, now, here are specific Anixter sales people that specialize in selling to end users.

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Vote - ****

Comments (35)

What Mr. Leatherwood states he's doing in NC is HIGHLY illegal. Unless he is registered by the NC Alarm Board and has a security alarm license - he is overtly breaking the law. (see NCGS-74D). If an integrator (or anyone) cares to file a grievance the Alarm Boards Phone # is 919 788-5320

depends some other states reciprocate licenses, also if their "business is registered or gets a pass then as long as its on the behalf of Anixter he can.

I am thinking all the "Bad business move" votes are saying it is bad for their business and not bad for Anixter's? As one of the large end users mentioned above, we have bought directly from Anixter for 20+ years, but they are more expensive than other options so we rarely use them any longer.

I am thinking all the "Bad business move" votes are saying it is bad for their business and not bad for Anixter's?

Surely some are.

For it to be truly a bad business move, there would need to be a sufficient number of 'NeverAnixter' integrators out there. Are there?

If anyone who isn't a licensee or a registrant of a licensee - physically goes on to a site, reviews plans and specs, recommends cameras for a specific application, or at a specific location in the State of NC. They are in violation of NCGS 74.

74C-2. Licenses required.

(a) No private person, firm, association, or corporation shall engage in, perform any services as, or in any way represent or hold itself out as engaging in a private protective services profession or activity in this State without having first complied with the provisions of this Chapter. Compliance with the licensing requirements of this Chapter shall not relieve any person, firm, association or corporation from compliance with any other licensing law.

74C-17. Enforcement.

(a) The Board is authorized to apply in its own name to any judge of the superior court of the General Court of Justice for an injunction in order to prevent any violation or threatened violation of the provisions of this Chapter.

(b) Any person, firm, association, or corporation or their agents and employees violating any of the provisions of this Chapter or knowingly violating any rule promulgated to implement this Chapter shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The Attorney General, or his representative, shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the district attorneys of this State to prosecute violations of this Chapter.

(c) In lieu of revocation or suspension of a license or permit under G.S. 74C-12, a civil penalty of not more than two thousand dollars ($2,000) may be assessed by the Board against any person or business who violates any provision of this Chapter or any rule of the Board adopted pursuant to this Chapter. In determining the amount of any penalty, the Board shall consider the degree and extent of harm caused by the violation. The clear proceeds of civil penalties provided for in this subsection shall be remitted to the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund in accordance with G.S. 115C-457.2.

(d) Proceedings for the assessment of civil penalties under this section shall be governed by Chapter 150B of the General Statutes. If the person assessed a civil penalty fails to pay the penalty to the Board, the Board may institute an action in the superior court of the county in which the person resides or has his principal place of business to recover the unpaid amount of the penalty. An action to recover a civil penalty under this section shall not relieve any party from any other penalty prescribed by law. (1979, c. 818, s. 2; 1983, c. 794, s. 6; 1989, c. 759, s. 14; 1993, c. 539, s. 557; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1998-215, s. 98.)

Due to Legal nature of this topic, and catching my ire the Mods my edit this post

Dear undisclosed butthurt integrator #1

As a multiple holder licensed contractor in the State of North Carolina, and having been apart of the process for making rules and suggestions to NC law in regards to contractor law, I have dealt with these situations before.

That being Said you sir ,are full crap and knowingly or unknowingly lying NCGS74C is regards to security personnel, guards, private protective services not security installers or designers.

http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/enactedlegislation/statutes/html/bychapter/chapter_74c.html

What applies to security is the NC Alarm licensing board and NCGS-74"D"

http://www.ncdps.gov/DPS-Services/Permits-Licenses/Alarm-System-Licensing-Board

NCGS 74D

http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/HTML/ByChapter/Chapter_74D.html

this line I think will inflame you posterior even more

"74D-3. Exemptions.

The provisions of this Chapter shall not apply to:

(1) A person, firm, association or corporation that sells or manufactures alarm systems, unless the person, firm, association or corporation makes personal solicitations at a residence or business to advise, design, or consult on specific types and specific locations of alarm system devices, installs, services, monitors, or responds to alarm systems at or from a protected premises or a premises to be protected and thereby obtains knowledge of specific application or location of the alarm system. A person licensed under this Chapter may hire a consultant to troubleshoot a location or installation for a period of time not to exceed 48 hours in a one-month period if the licensee submits a report to the Board within 30 days from the date of the consultation designating the consultant as a temporary consultant; "

Now I know UBI#1 that Anixter is selling to end users and cutting you out and that is bad as well.. and extremely sore backend. and you can down vote me all you want but you are wrong...

not only are you wrong if you are licensed by NC you just violated this part of the Law

74D-10. Suspension or revocation of licenses and registrations; appeal.

(a) The Board may, after notice and an opportunity for hearing, suspend or revoke a license or registration issued under this Chapter if it is determined that the licensee or registrant has:

(1) Made any false statement or given any false information in connection with any application for a license or registration, or for the renewal or reinstatement of a license or registration. ( they are exempt so they count as licensed provided they are not violating any other part of the Law)

(19) Engaged in conduct that constitutes dereliction of duty or otherwise deceives, defrauds, or harms the public in the course of professional activities or services.4

But hey I will tell you what if you print a apology I wont send him and email with a screenshot of you said so he can file a form to force john to disclose who you are so he get your license revoked.

I am condoning what they are doing but you are no better doing this crap.

Eddie, I think you are way off base here. At most, U#1 is guilty of cutting and pasting the Enforcement section from C instead of D. But they are very similar:

74C-17. Enforcement.

(a) The Board is authorized to apply in its own name to any judge of the superior court of the General Court of Justice for an injunction in order to prevent any violation or threatened violation of the provisions of this Chapter.... the rest here

74D-11. Enforcement.

(a) The Board is authorized to apply in its own name to any judge of the Superior Court of the General Court of Justice for an injunction in order to prevent any violation or threatened violation of the provisions of this Chapter.... the rest here

As for the exemption, there is an exception to the exemption (starting with "unless")

74D-3. Exemptions.

The provisions of this Chapter shall not apply to:

(1) A person, firm, association or corporation that sells or manufactures alarm systems, unless the person, firm, association or corporation makes personal solicitations at a residence or business to advise, design, or consult on specific types and specific locations of alarm system devices, installs, services, monitors, or responds to alarm systems at or from a protected premises or a premises to be protected and thereby obtains knowledge of specific application or location of the alarm system.

Which sounds to me like what U1 is referring to when he posted:

If anyone who isn't a licensee or a registrant of a licensee - physically goes on to a site, reviews plans and specs, recommends cameras for a specific application, or at a specific location in the State of NC. They are in violation of NCGS 74.

no you are wrong

(1) A person, firm, association or corporation that sells or manufactures alarm systems, unless the person, firm, association or corporation makes personal solicitations at a residence or business to advise, design, or consult on specific types and specific locations of alarm system devices, installs, services, monitors, or responds to alarm systems at or from a protected premises or a premises to be protected and thereby obtains knowledge of specific application or location of the alarm system.

what that means is that is that they are not advertising as installers. they can help,sell, and consult, design as long as the customer walks though the door asks "like an end user" . even if he ( the "consultant" shows up some where and says "hey I am from anixster", stop talking and they ask "the consultant" what is that and what he does, he could legally consult them on a system and sell it to them since they inquired what he could do for them. (its a sick world that lawyers made for us isnt it)

A person licensed under this Chapter may hire a consultant to troubleshoot a location or installation for a period of time not to exceed 48 hours in a one-month period if the licensee submits a report to the Board within 30 days from the date of the consultation designating the consultant as a temporary consultant; "

as long as the end user is installing the system he can "advise" the end user up to 48 hours per month.

they are exempt like it or not.

"Eddie, I think you are way off base here. At most, U#1 is guilty of cutting and pasting the Enforcement section from C instead of D. But they are very similar:"

guess that depends on UBI#1 response but no I am not off base. it is required to get a contractors license of any kind (alarm included) to know this stuff in and out and be held to it. calling for mass false reporting where someone is exempt is a serious offense. unless he made a mistake and owns up to it.

the law is pretty clear as long as the consultant does not install the system he can sell and advise End users 48 hours per month.

what that means is that is that they are not advertising as installers. they can help,sell, and consult, design as long as the customer walks though the door asks "like an end user"... . even if he ( the "consultant" shows up some where and says "hey I am from anixster", stop talking and they ask "the consultant" what is that and what he does, he could legally consult them on a system...

Sorry, I don't see anything like this in the statute. Do you?

you say that

as long as the end user is installing the system he can "advise" the end user up to 48 hours per month.

and are apparently giving this as evidence

a person licensed under this Chapter may hire a consultant to troubleshoot a location or installation for a period of time not to exceed 48 hours in a one-month period if the licensee submits a report to the Board within 30 days from the date of the consultation designating the consultant as a temporary consultant; "

So you think by "the person licensed under this Chapter" they mean the end-user?

Exempt from licensing is not the same as licensed. Licensed means you get a license document.

Does this only apply to alarms or is CCTV included in that provision?

Mark Jones?

Yes, we are a "NeverAnixter" integrator for the exact reasons covered in this article. We have lost millions in sales to Anixter actively selling to our large customers. Putting aside the legal arguments in this conversation, it is just bad business for a distributor that claims to be there to help you grow your business, to then go around you and sell to your customers. I wish more would follow suit and keep their business with distributors that will truly be a business partner, not competition.

Yes, we are a "NeverAnixter" integrator...

A 'nixter'.

Could they not be end-user BDM's who create/capture demand and drag it back through the installer partner channel?

They do not list themselves as being in business development and one of them lists explicitly account manager.

We have tried to get feedback from Anixter in the past but with no response ever. If Anixter would like to comment, we would be happy to share their feedback.

Integrators regularly oppose distributors selling to end user...

Do they oppose this?

We have tried to get feedback from Anixter in the past but with no response ever. If Anixter would like to comment, we would be happy to share their feedback.

Des Plaines supports one-way traffic only :)

To the best of my understanding, unless Mr. Leatherwood is doing business which qualifies for the exemptions, eddie Perry ( fake name) refers to in his entire diatribe is BS.

The last point is, Ignorantia juris non excusat[1] or ignorantia legis neminem excusat[2] (Latin for "ignorance of the law excuses not"[1] and "ignorance of law excuses no one"[2]respectively) is a legal principle holding that a person who is unaware of a law may not escape liability for violating that law merely because he or she was unaware of its content.

Hope Leatherwood is following the law. As its his personal responsibility. Its not my position to advise Leatherwood on the law, Its his responsibility to follow it.

With all this legal jargon I think someone needs to go look at what is defined as a "security" device.

In a nut shell, In my state a security device is defined as a piece of equipment that is designed to automatically invoke a law enforcement response.

Which is pretty much nothing until you add a dialer into an intrusion or other device.

I have not posted often lately an even when I do, I have tried to me a bit more civil. We have been very busy on our end and I while I have a very hectic day ahead, I will make time for this topic.

I have to be honest here. Technically, I don't see anything wrong with the add. It is a matter of interpretation. Mr. Leatherwood's add (and I have not had the pleasure) says he "supports" end users. Legally "support" can be defined a lot of different ways. Just as equally, so can "Business Development". I am quite sure that if he were questioned by the SBI (they actually investigate a complaint) he would not go so far as to incriminate himself.

Axis, Genetec, Sony, Honeywell and tons of others also have sales reps all over that "consult"; Anixter is not unique. They try to sell their products. They are everywhere, all day hawking their products. That is what they are supposed to do. As long as they are demonstrating their products or lines, giving general advice, I don't see a violation of the law (I am not a lawyer, but I have been doing this for 32 years).

I am a proponent of the alarm board. I am a strong advocate. It was created to protect the consumer (not integrators); not just residential but commercial as well. Slammers give us all a bad name. I want them licensed and I would appreciate it if they all acted professionally. But they don't so we need some sort of governance. We need somewhere we can go that can offer a legal remedy to make them stop. I don't appreciate my chosen profession being dragged through the mud any more than anyone else. I applaud the board and its efforts.

One interesting observation I can make is in NC, the Alarm Board has no jurisdiction until someone actually files a complaint. They are not out across the state seeking out lawbreakers like the police seek out someone who is speeding. There actually has to be a complaint filed by a license holder or an end user before they can or will get involved.

Manufacturers made a decision long ago it was to their advantage to have a personal relationship with the end user. Fine by me. I can't stop it. I am not even sure I should. Once upon a time I saw it as taking food off of my table and money out of the pockets of my employees. I saw it as hurting my business. I adjusted my vision; I now see them as an extension of my sales force and it is free to me. I have learned to make it work for me.

Mr. Perry quotes a portion of the code that says, and I am paraphrasing "they can be registered by a license holder for a period of 48 hours". A license holder is clearly not an end user. You are legally entitled to install a new sink or dishwasher in your own home but that does not make you a licensed plumber. That to me is not even open for debate. End users are exempt, but they are not licensed. I would also enjoy seeing how many 48 hour reports are filed with the state. I would imagine not many and certainly not as many as the law requires. Everyone in this state would be in violation of that one.

The NC Alarm board is comprised of serious contractors and those law-abiding contractors of this state have done a good job cleaning up their industry. There are not near as many "slammers" as there used to be.

Look, slammers gotta eat folks. The Anixters of the world asked them to put on a suit and tie, give them a title and some polish, a business card, a LinkedIn profile, offer them a paycheck and an opportunity to succeed in life. Okay, so as it turns out, you can put lipstick on a pig. That one should earn me a free dinner at the next Anixter road show!

This is more about business than anything else. Is Anixter in violation of the law? As it stands, probably not. I seriously doubt they have any, and I mean ANY valuable expertise in the installation of anything they sell from any perspective. If an end user has a full technical grasp of what they are doing Anixter is probably providing a service to them. They can buy at below suggested retail - far below. That is the service they are really providing, and that separates them from the true manufacturers. If that end user buys it from Anixter I bear them no ill will. Buy it, install it and service it; just don't call me when things go wrong and don't bear me any ill will for saying no. Call Anixter.

Is Anixter a supplier of ours - No. I simply do not trust them to respect my relationship with my customers. Foxes are as much a part of God's creation as any other animal and I think they serve some value; they are at least fun to watch. But they are not welcome in my henhouse.

Now, back to work.

legal or not isn't important to me other than trying to get them fined. I've been clear with all 20 of our offices that we do NOT buy from them unless it is absolutely the last option.

Everyone,

Time to suck it up. Products are becoming more 'plug and play' and larger end users in most cases have their own qualified installation crews.

AXIS has been feeding fuel to the fire by selling through the IT channel which traditionally sells direct to the end user. Who do you think Ingram Micro and Synnex (to name a few) sell to??

I think what Anixter is doing is smart. They already 'touch' the end user so why not position key security product with the end user and bring in one of their faithful integrators?

Every distributor has sold product to an end user. Most have moral, legal and business reasons why they would not but when it's a school board that employs trained techs in Fire, Burg and Access why wouldn't a distributor sell to a school directly?

Let's not even begin to talk about Amazon/Alibaba/ and every other internet based resellers of security gear.

The landscape is changing. Time to adapt or die.

I agree with a lot of what you're saying, and have for years, even when I was an integrator. Except one thing:

Most have moral, legal and business reasons why they would not but when it's a school board that employs trained techs in Fire, Burg and Access why wouldn't a distributor sell to a school directly?

Because they say they don't. I don't care if a manufacturer sells to end users. I don't care if a distributor sells to end users. I don't care if a manufacturer uses straw purchasing. But if they say they do not do these things, and they do, they're deceptive. Changing landscape or not. And I don't want to deal with a deceptive organization.

I agree with you Ethan. If manufacturer/distributor says they don't sell to end users then they shouldn't - period. I think the one's that do it (and they shouldn't) are afraid of the backlash from dealers and integrators if they openly disclose it.

Times are changing, and every company should be evaluating their approach and make the necessary adjustments.

That. That right there.

It takes away business from companies and ultimately a decent paycheck from technicians that have dedicated years to learning this trade in the long run. I 1000% agree with Ethan if you say you dont and do then you are deceptive,and a crooked organization that cannot be trusted and I do not trust any of them, ADI does it, Anixter does it also.

Its a slap the face of the very people that keep their doors open, too bad soo sad for City's that have staff for that matter so does every apartment community, Hotel and even Professional Baseball fields, where does it stop?

I think many peoples responses here miss the mark. Forget the legal ramifications about Anixter selling direct they will work that out and comply when forced to. As a company owner who lost a 7 figure sale in December to Anixter, I can confirm that Anixter does sell direct and does so in a big way. Every single company on this forum has a voice. It is time for you to stand up and be heard. If you are continuing to do business with Anixter or their Tried you are an idiot. They will take sizable sales from your organization and run them direct. STOP doing business with them. We did and we are better for it today. Anixter's bread and butter business is with us not end users. If they are going compete with us then show them that you won't stand for it. They may have snaked that sale from me then, but the money they lost by us moving our business to another supplier costs them every single year.

It doesn't stop with just a distributor, but manufacturers as well. If you are selling a product and competing with the manufacturer, you probably need to look at your product offering and realign yourself with a product that supports you. If you sell to large corporations you should get an ingram micro or techdata account and look at all of the ip video products they sell direct to IT departments. If you haven't already lost a hardware sell to an IT department buying direct you will. Without the margin on the product sales your company is missing the boat. There is a difference between be busy and making money. Installing someone else's hardware is busy work. I'll keep my companies efforts focused on making money.

This purchasing decision is power you control.

This is going to sound harsh, but I'm just looking at it from a different angle.

And when I say "you," I don't mean specifically YOU, UI #8. More like a figurative "you" to a generic integrator.

That seven-figure project a distributor stole from you:

  • Who spent time with the customer, learning their needs and researching and presenting solutions?
  • Who designed the system?
  • Who installed the system?
  • Who configured the integration?
  • Who trained the end user in its operation?
  • Who will provide warranty support? (Even with advance replacement, somebody needs to configure the component and climb the ladder to replace it)
  • Who will change and expand the system as the customer's needs change?
  • Who will answer the phone during the weekend when the system goes down, and roll a truck after hours to fix it?

Yeah, the end user probably got a good price on the stuff, but who is going to provide them the service?

How "in" were you with the customer that Anixter was able to steal the sale away from you? Was the customer sold on stuff, or on you and your service? Your business should not be about selling stuff, but instead selling services that no distributor can do, and few customers can do for themselves.

Your business should not be about selling stuff, but instead selling services that no distributor can do, and few customers can do for themselves.

If the customer really could do those things themselves ("self-integrators" as described in this thread), did the customer ever really need you in the first place?

I'm not saying this is your (again, figurative "your") fault; certainly some dirtball distributors will sell direct whenever they can, and some dirtball customers will take your (usually free in this business) consultation design and shop it elsewhere. Scruples become scarce when six figures are involved.

I'm sure there are more ways to "distributor-proof" your projects than I can think of:

  • Consider not "registering" your opportunities if you have to reveal exactly who the customer is
  • Don't provide itemized breakdowns including part numbers and pricing on the "stuff" part of the project unless you absolutely have to
  • Never install/configure/service or provide warranty support on equipment not purchased through you, or only do so on a time and material basis

And finally:

Be really, REALLY "in" with your customer in a way no distributor will ever be. During your consultation, find out why they need a security system in the first place. In doing so, you learn their vulnerabilities, their threat matrix, and what keeps them up at night. Then, rather than just sell stuff, sell what the stuff can do to meet those threats.

As I've written elsewhere in this space, a colleague of mine once upsold a DVR system proposal from another integrator into an NVR system at nearly twice the price at a daycare facility. He did it by not only getting "in" with the customer who owned the daycare, he got into the heads of the customer's future customers, the parents of the children that would attend there.

As a parent himself, he knew the anxiety of leaving a child at a daycare. "She was crying when I left -- I hope she's okay now." So my colleague made a big deal out of how parents could view certain cameras within the facility from anywhere in the world via their phone or smart device. "Big deal," you might be thinking. "Most any DVR/NVR can do that nowadays." Yeah, but the other guy didn't think to mention it, or not in the same way. As such, my colleague differentiated himself by differentiating his customer in turn. Given a similar price, wouldn't you choose the daycare that lets you check in on little Johnny whenever you want? Better question: Would a distributor looking to steal a quick sale take the time to meet the customer's needs such as this?

Brand of camera, resolution, bullet/dome/minidome, camera placement, and individual component costs were never even part of the conversation or paperwork. I still wonder what that other integrator thinks made him lose that sale. And had a distributor swooped in, there would have been nothing for her to undercut without doing a full system design from scratch -- something I'm guessing a distributor "end user representative" wouldn't be eager and/or able to do.

If you refuse to do business with a distributor every time they screw you out of a 7 figure sale, you will soon run out of distributors. I'm pretty convinced that every distributor sells to end users on the down low, or would if the deal is tempting enough.

Not really harsh, but no the case in this scenario. That is because I didn't give you every single detail. So here are more details and even more reason why not to do business with Anixter specifically and to limit communication with manufacturers (although not always possible) as you metioned.

This specific example was developed by our company exclusively. We worked tirelessly to ensure that we kept the competition at bay and worked to get the project in by the end of the year for financial purposes. Due to the size of the sale it was registered with the manufacturer and they had to be fully plugged in to fulfill the order prior to years end. Not only was it registered (for the volume discount), but the manufacturers rep was fully plugged in as well as numerous executives. This specific manufacturer had a separate business development division internally that focused on key vertical markets. This one crafty BD guy saw the opportunity and weaseled his way into purchasing and negotiated an additional discount and arranged the sale to be completed through Anixter direct. Thus their dealer (me), their rep firm, and others were denied the sale and all margins or commissions thereof.

As you quoted yeah they got their stuff but who is going to service it? This is where integrators miss the boat as I said. Margins on "stuff" are what make business in this industry successful. Other integrators can make a great living servicing other people's stuff. Thats great for them. However, I will focus our organization on making margin on "stuff", AND money installing it, AND money servicing them after the fact. Other industries that lose their ability to sell and make money on "stuff" typically have difficulty surviving. We all got a first hand look at this by watching the AV market when TVs became so commoditized and the margins shrunk to single digits. Now consumers buy their own stuff with the proliferation of the internet and big box stores and installers are offering $59 flat panel TV mounting.

There is no doubt that consultation, design, installation and service are key. No matter what, you have to protect margins on equipment. I have walked away on good terms from more than one noteworthy "key" client because they changed the rules of engagement. When they make the switch to buying their own hardware, licenses, and even having a data contractor to do cabling we politely bow out. I have remained friends with the executives of those companies and have watched them struggle with trying to find a national integrator to install their stuff. Even today they reminisce of the days when they had the service that our company provided without all the headaches of trying to do system design, purchasing, RMAs and managing multiple vendors to try and get a system across the finish line. Ironically enough in most cases the business comes back.

Just wanted to provide some context on a local level (obviously can't use anecdotal information to say whether this is the norm or not):

I work for a manufacturer and Anixter is one of our distributors. They have an "end-user rep" that I work with, and he is amazing. He goes out and works with all of their existing end-users who buy cable and other commodities from Anixter (if you think the biggest companies shouldn't buy 5000 RJ-45 connectors for their IT department from a distributor, fine, but I think that's crazy), and this is what he does:

He finds projects (for security, for networking, whatever), and then connects manufacturers and integrators with the end-user. He's driving business to integrators, which acts as one of the VERY few differentiators that exist between him and his competition.

I think that there are obviously examples of big projects going straight to distributors, but I don't think it is as often as everyone suggests, and I think those instances are the result of greedy, short-term thinking reps. As a whole, sales people in distribution with long-term growth in mind are working with their existing end-user relationships to drive business to their real customers -- the integrators.

Anyway, rumors get thrown out about distributors and manufacturers on a local level every month, saying "they sold direct" or "they cut us out," when in reality, EVERY single project being talked about goes through an integrator. Maybe instead of complaining and dreaming up conspiracies, you should take the time to partner with distributors and manufacturers to create an environment that benefits everyone.

$10, thanks for the feedback. Can you clarify these 2 statements you made because they seem to contradict each other?

I think that there are obviously examples of big projects going straight to distributors

when in reality, EVERY single project being talked about goes through an integrator.

Hi John,

Good question. I guess I assumed there are examples of big projects going direct because I hear it all the time from people complaining - mainly in the past tense (years ago), but at a local level I've never actually seen one.

As for the second statement, that applies to my dealings locally, in which I have never seen a single project go direct. And by project, I mean project. I have seen every big distributor sell 1 or 2 items to end-users, but never anything of substance.

Maybe I was just trying to hedge my statement, but now that I think about it, every single example I can think of in which a distributor "sold direct" was either a really small purchase or a complete rumor. I guess I wanted to leave room for the (probable) possibility that other markets do have (or used to have) distributors like Anixter selling direct.

Either way, I honestly feel like a lot of people demand that others act as a good partner, but never bother to realize that it's a two-way street.

All Distributors sell direct! They either do this openly (like Anixter), or they do this through shell companies to hide the fact that they are selling direct. These shell companies are also responsible for moving product to the websites we see selling security gear. If you are an integrator you have surely seen names show up on bids that you never heard of coming from places like NYC or Las Vegas. If you are smart, you should never place a job name on a PO or drop ship gear to an end user site. Your end user will open up the box and there will be a flyer with your distributors contact info and Special Pricing.

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