Pelco Major Rep Shakeup

Author: John Honovich, Published on Jun 02, 2014

Pelco has ended their relationship with 5 of 8 Noth American manufacturer representatives while bringing on 2 new firms.

These moves have caused significant concern and discussion amongst dealers. In this note, we examine them, including feedback from Pelco.

Pelco ***********

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Comments (50)

In my opinion, Pelco will never "come back" as long as Schneider owns them. They lost most of their best engineers and customer support employees during the acquisition and the corporate mindset changed dramatically from customer-centric to profit-centric. Eliminating or changing factory reps will not change their underlying problems.

They can replace all of the rep firms they want to. I still will not actively promote a product that is manufactured and/or sold by Schneider. Firms that have the Schneider Electric logo get the leads and the best prices. I can't beat the house. Not to mention, they still don't lead in product develpement the way they used to.

I am not sure why the industry wants to continue to dance around this issue. Schneider dug this whole all by themselves.

I have been in the manufacturers rep field for over 15 years and have started 2 different firms. It is a very competitive model and one of the most difficult entities to successfully run. With that said, most all of the Pelco firms had been with Pelco for quite some time and had seen tremendous success during the increasing demand for security products over the 1990's and 2000's. However, I believe that success came with a very harsh price, the industry changed very quickly to IP and both Pelco and it's firms could not address this change. The staff's at both companies struggled to manage this drastic shift and 3rd party VMS products and camera technologies took this opportunity to take significant share away from Pelco. Pelco was king, and the likes of Axis, Milestone, Genetec, Sony, Exacq, and Avigilon ate their lunch. It is somewhat understandable however that after being acquired by Schneider the shareholders would not have liked offloading a significant part of their revenue in hardware to Dell, HP, Iomnis, EMC, IBM, etc. I can only speculate that a large percentage of their revenue was directly tied to these hardware recording platforms.

Times change, technology changes, and it all changes faster than it has ever in the past. It doesn't matter if it's Pelco, other mfrs, integration, consulting, or reps. Embrace the change or someone else will eat your lunch.

Very well said. Don't be afraid of change. Embrace it, or someone will eat your lunch!

Very well said indeed.

I just received an email that Pelco is also terminating their relationship with Crockett Sales. Crockett's territory is: TX, OK, AR, LA, MS, West TN

I have to wonder if Ken Massrey is still a rep?

Yes, Ken Massrey is still a Pelco rep.

The closing of the Canadian Service Center in Quebec, and the Manufacturer rep they dumped on us is what drove me and the company I used to work for away from Pelco. And they haven't dumped them, still using Video Experts who will charge you $600 to replace a hard drive that will fail in 6 months, which they won't cover under warranty.

Daniel, we apologize for what appears to be an unsatisfactory experience with our repair center as well as with our manufacturer’s representative at that time. To set the record straight, we have three service centers in Canada: Richmond (British Columbia), Mississauga (Ontario) and Montreal (Quebec), which are operated by RBE and Video Experts. We regularly evaluate our service center providers and are confident that both are providing competitive pricing and levels of service.

In fact, we have actually received great feedback about Video Experts since they came on board. So it is important for us to hear more from you, if you are willing to spend a few minutes talking to us. Can I have Clark Northcott, our National Sales Manager, contact you offline?

Chris Haun / Senior Technical Account Manager / Pelco by Schneider Electric

Apart from the sales numbers, the effect of Acquisition, and the time taken for PELCO to embrace IP, as a product how do the latest Pelco Sarix cameras (which are IP) fare when compared to the likes to Sony, Bosch, Avigilon, Samsung? Also on the video management side, is PELCO more of an NVR-friendly solution than the VMS based approach by Milestone, Genetec and Exacq?

The latest Pelco cameras are similar in overall image quality / performance to other major manufacturers, an improvement from earlier generations of Sarix. See Testing Pelco SureVision 2.0. That said, they also are at the end high of the price range, especially compared to Avigilon and Samsung who are much more aggressive on price.

Pelco has 2 recorder lines - Digital Sentry and Endura. Endura, their enterprise appliance offering has generated consistently negative feedback even from Pelco partners and dealers. Digital Sentry, which we have not tested in a long time, is positioned at the mid-market but from what we have seen is like a rough / limited version of Exacq (which it kind of literally is as DS was acquired from Integral, prior to the Integral team starting Exacq).

Pelco also has the DX line John, not sure if makes any impact on your point?

DX, to me, is even less competitive :) And it strikes me as even more of a legacy / analog platform. Like Pelco's version of Intellex...

To Carl's point...Remember Vicon? Very similar situation and they have never recovered.

At their peaks, Pelco was 5 to 10x larger than Vicon, meaning they have far more resources and reach. Also, Vicon remained independent while Pelco was acquired.

That said, I do agree that the risk / downside is a similar fate to Vicon.

While no official list of reps impacted is available, we have confirmation that Langbaumin the Northeast and Keith Parker in the Midwest.

Confirmed what (incomplete senstence)? They are in or out?

My apologies. They are out. Clarified sentence. Thanks.

Is it Langbaum and Parker that are out or being confirmed as retained?

They are out.

John, love the "shaky" Pelco logo graphic you used in this article. Very cool.

Expensive products? Outdated tech? Falling revenue? We could either increase our R&D spending and thereby admit we were wrong to have slashed it in, or we can blame the sales force and fire the manufacturers reps who helped us climb to the top in the first place. Yeah, let's do the second thing.

What about 1 Volt and Kunz? Did they get cut?

I was told 1 Volt and Kunz were cut, but only be one source. If anyone has direct response / mail / interaction, please share.

Milsk Company was the other rep firm fired in the Mid-West. Monfort dropped Panasonic and Exacq to rep Pelco for the Mid-West.

dropped Exacq and Panasonic for Pelco? Are they high?

Why? Is Panasonic really in that much better shape than Pelco? :)

I agree about Exacq mostly, though they might be equally afraid of Tyco/Exacq dropping them.

I do not know the specifics of their circumstances, so I cannot fathom a guess if they made a good or bad decision. But there are some structural issues that might make the move more reasonable.

It's been a year since the Exacq acquisition. How many rep firms have been fired?

Panasonic has name recognition which in some cases is a factor. Pelco has gone nowhere but down the last 5 years.

In my opinion going from Exacq and Panasonic to Pelco is a downgrade and a move made out of panic.

I heard there were some issues with Panasonic and they felt it was only a matter of time before the AD/Tyco rep firm was going to get Exacq anyway. I don’t blame them for making a preemptive move. Exacq/Tyco wants more American Dynamics/Illustra cameras sold so they wouldn't want a rep-firm pushing Panasonic or whomever over AD.

Tyco has a big push to have the AD Illustra cameras sold with every exacqVision systems. For example, you get $250 off an exacqVision system if you buy 4 AD Illustra cameras with an exacqVision server. (See Tri-Ed monthly sales flyer) From what I'm told, Exacq RSMs have to quote $1million in Illustra cameras a year now.

John,

While I have consistently monitored your sight for valualbe industry insight this will be my first reply to a specific topic since it involves my company. To quickly address the question above relative to whether or not "WE WERE HIGH"when we elected to make the transition from Panasonic and Exacq to Pelco the answer is quite simple; NO!! Keep in mind we represented Panasonic for the last 31 years so this was not an easy decision!! However, over the course of the last 3+ years Panasonic has clearly shown a pattern of moving toward a more Direct Model with Panasonic badged employees known as ASM's (Area Sales Managers) supposedly owning the relationships with End-Users promoting the breadth of the Panasonic branded B2B products; Toughbooks, Displays, Office Automation, Projectors and last but not least Security. That being said the latter category of products held the least importance to Panasonic North America since it was the least valuable from a revenue perspective and that had become more and more apparent to our organization over the course of time. Please note there is a NAMED/HOUSE ACCOUNT component to this model where Reps would not be compensated on sales to those Named Accounts, (9,000+ End-Users in our Geographic area).

With respect to Exacq we felt much of the speculation included in this thread would ultimately come to fruition and therefore felt this was basically a non issue over the course of the coming weeks or months.

Rest assured we did our due diligence with Pelco not to mention a number of other product lines who had reached out to our organization over the course of the last 12-18 months. In Pelco we witnessed an awesome pipeline of new products, a company with over 5 Million PTZ's deployed (each one representing an opportunity for upgrades), an end-user base who has for the most part remained very loyal and a large number of integrators who Pelco helped build their businesess in the "Analog Days" who will once again consider doing business with Pelco as their line evolves. We are quite confident that our organizations can mutually be quite successful and regain the market position Pelco once held in our geographic area.

Regards,

Mark Clemens

CEO Monfort Electronics Marketing

Mark,

Thanks for the frank and direct comments.

My experience / observations have been similar to yours about Panasonic's commitment to the security / surveillance market.

Pelco has its challenges, but they are clearly trying. Panasonic, in surveillance, not so much...

1 Volt is definitely terminated - letter in hand dated May 29 - signed by Mike Prysock - Regional Sales Director - says effective June 30 - Letter also provides 6 "factory" names and phone numbers to contact for field support, customer visits, demos, etc...

Letter continues with they are "...evaluating options for how to best support this important territory " BTW 1 Volt territory - Maryland, DC, Delaware, Eastern PA, Southern NJ, Virginia, North Carolina & South Carolina

Letter also provides 6 "factory" names and phone numbers to contact for field support, customer visits, demos, etc...

Well, that's classy. I'm more the bridge-burning type myself.

Seems a bit crude, but it is what it is. Langbaum is a top-notch rep. firm and deserves better treatment for, yes, helping build and grow the Pelco brand.

Agreed. If I was a manufacturer, I'd be wining and dining them and trying to convince them why they should rep my brand.

@ John. TYCO has the Illustra range of IP cameras. Have you done any tests with them or have a cue on the performance Vs Samsung, Avigilon, Bosch, Pelco Surevision?

We have not tested Illustra, little demand for covering AD, little demand for covering Illustra plus no strong technical or price differentiators.

The firms cut were: Milsk, Parker, Crockett, Langbaum and 1Volt. The last 3 all cut the same day. Take a look at the rep map again, that's a BIG part of the country. I was told the rumor is Pelco plans to go direct in those last 3 regions (Crockett, Langbaum and 1volt). Most of the West Coast and Rocky Mountains are direct already.

I've heard there's been a lot of attrition at Pelco, especially in the last 18 months. MR firms even putting money back into their business to keep it going and retain their people. Sad. The Vicon comparison is probably pretty accurate and I'll add, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. So it could even be worse than Vicon? I think the real question is how much patience Schneider has left for Pelco? Understand sales are way off where they used to be, and how can they compete with the current product offering?

I'm convinced the "Schneider to Sell Pelco" rumors are true, but after the last 7 years of pillaging and burning, who would buy it? That be a good betting pool to start.

Pelco is trying to sell their main building #1, and rumors of more buildings for sale. Take a look at this listing and see for yourself:

Wow! Them selling the building does not exactly instill confidence.

After a phone call or two and a little digging here is the scoop. Older building that was apparently leased by Pelco. They have been out of it for a while and are not actually the ones selling it. The building owner is selling it and it has been for sale for well over a year, possibly two years.

Why would Tyco keep Exacq reps and American Dynamics reps? Especially when AD already has an OEM version of ExacqVision. My feeling from talking to people in the know, is that by ISC West 2015, there will be no more ExacqVision reps, only AD reps.

I wanted to jump in and address some of the reader comments on this thread. It’s not always easy to read, especially those coming from former customers, but that is the great thing about this forum - we are able hear from the industry and when appropriate and necessary, jump in to set the record straight as we see it.

Part of putting that record straight is acknowledging some basic facts. And let’s be honest about it. Some continue to compare the current Pelco to the McDonald-era Pelco; some continue to have the same expectations. Admittedly, that is the price you pay when you set the bar as we did. But that business model was simply unsustainable as the industry transitioned to IP and the market went from few competitors to scores. Of course, that naturally leads to the question: did we handle the shift well? No.

That being said, while we admittedly faced challenges five years ago as we transitioned to an IP company, I would disagree that we have “gone nowhere but down the last five years.” But perception is reality so we have a lot of work to do to change it. I want to point out, however, that 67% of our sales are IP sales with double-digit growth each of the last four years. We have the 5th largest market share for IP cameras per IHS 2013 (formerly IMS) and strictly on a revenue basis for all IP sales, I would venture to say we are larger than the vast majority of the competition. Importantly, I think our IP cameras themselves have been on par with the competition under shootouts and reviews. (I’m sure John will let us know if he disagrees.) So while some may not see Pelco as a relevant IP company, it is my number-one goal to win these people over and show that we are indeed very relevant in today’s market.

And while we are nowhere close to where we want to be, we like our trajectory, our double-digit sales growth in EMEA and APAC and our ongoing efforts in the US to become the IP market leader.

I as much as anyone understand that these are just words. That’s why I challenge my organization on a daily basis to stop talking, to continue proving and most importantly, to focus on what matters most: our customers and what matters to them, on-time deliveries, field failure rates, customer satisfaction scores, repair time, on-hold wait time, etc. As a result, I am confident that the industry’s perception is changing. Obviously not as fast as I would like but I am proud of where we are, the obstacles (self inflicted though they may have been) we have overcome, and where we are headed.

We are an IP company. We are a customer service company. And I think that is a unique combination. As more and more products become commoditized (it’s a fact that no one in this industry can be blind to), we are very confident in our ability to offer what other companies simply cannot - customer support second to none.


Finally, let me clear up any confusion about our go-to-market strategy regarding our Reps. As of July 1, we will have 5 Rep firms (KMA, Milsk, Spec Point, Tech Sales & Marketing and Monfort) as well as 5 territories, which we will manage through a direct sales force. As noted, our preference is using reps whenever possible and we are confident and excited with the Sales organization we now have in place.

Herve Fages

Senior Vice President

Pelco

Herve,

"We are a customer service company." - Perhaps, but the level of customer service crashed after the acquisition and in my experience, never recovered.

Gone are the days when Level 1 support could answer many/most questions and if they could not, would refer the customer up the chain, even to an engineer if necessary.

Gone too are the days when Pelco's website contained valuable and useful information. Whatever happened to the Tech Knowledge Base that contained hints and tricks? What happened to the manuals? Exploded views and diagrams?

Despite the claims from some Pelco employees that things are getting better, I fail to see it. Pelco used to listen to its customers and actually respond positively to criticism. Now, they typically ignore critics, even their major customers, or at best just pay lip service without actually doing anything about the problem(s).

This is almost exactly what I predicted would happen when it was first announced that Pelco was being acquired by Schneider - a severe decline in product and support quality. What I missed was the associated decline in R&D. I expected Schneider would see the benefit of engineering and building high quality and unique products but it is readily apparent that was not the case.

I'll go out on a limb and make another prediction: within a couple of years, Schneider will sell Pelco; possibly to an Asian manufacturer looking for brand name recognition. This happened to consumer electronics in the 70's and 80's (Sanyo's purchase of Fisher, Funai's purchase of Symphonic and RCA's purchase by Thomson (not Asian but eerily similar to Schneider's purchase of Pelco since the buying companies are both based in France and both brands have become a shadow of their former selves)).

Hi Carl, I hope you will give us another opportunity to show you a level of customer service we are very proud of. We have worked hard to provide Tier 1 support that exceeds our customers expectations and are deploying services to meet the needs of our customers, including our KnowledgeBase (www.pelco.com/kb) and most recently online Chat.

With dedicated Technical Support (Josh Hill); Technical Account Management (led by Chris Haun); Escalation Engineering (Cory Fursman); and Expert Services (Fran Woller) teams, we believe we have an industry-leading Customer Support organization.

There will always be things we can work on and improve. And that is what we are doing - day in and day out.

As for ignoring critics/criticism, I am disappointed that is the perception. Every customer's feedback is valued and listened to.

----

One more point of clarification. As of July 1, our Reps will include:

  • Ken Massrey Associates
  • R.W. Kunz & Associates
  • SpecPoint
  • Tech Sales & Marketing
  • Monfort

I apologize for the earlier typo and confusion.

Herve

Herve,

OK. Pelco still sells DF5 back boxes and we have many in production. We were very happy with the CCC13xx series of cameras but the C10 series was a tremendous disappointment, to the point that we are replacing them despite their relatively young age.

Please tell me which Pelco camera, analog or IP, will fit inside a DF5?

Oh and by the way, thanks for the link to the KnowledgeBase. It has been sorely missed.

(on behalf of Todd Broderick, Southwest Region Sales Director)

Carl, I also wanted to jump in and introduce myself. I am the Southwest Region Sales Director and responsible for your part of the country for Pelco. I would welcome the opportunity to sit down with you and discuss your questions and concerns in person. As Herve has stated, Pelco has made significant strides in the past few years and I wanted to personally reach out to you, to see how I can be of assistance. No manufacturer is perfect, but I can assure you that every Pelco employee, including myself, does whatever it takes to make sure the customer experience is at the highest level possible.

-- Todd

@Mr.Herve. There has been so much of negative feedback on the Pelco products Sarix and Endura but the introduction of Surevision cameras and Digital Sentry could be seen as the first step towards trying to improve by Pelco. Having said that I have still seen integrators quoting with Sarix and Endura just to beat competition, while hiding the performance issues. Perhaps Pelco as a company should step in to see what integrators are quoting and make sure that they quote only the 'improved' products. Just a thought.

Hi Ameen,

Thanks for your input here, I will be glad to get in touch with you and go through any proposals that our Integration partners have quoted recently and suggest the best product for the job. You can reach me at fahad.mahboob@pelco.com for issues with Pelco prodcuts in the UAE/Oman market.

Carl,

I'm surprise about the C10 Serie since it was one of our top seller. What about you drop me an email at : hfages@pelco.com.

If you not happy with the product we will replace it free of charge. Just contact me and I can have someone in my team take care of this.

Herve

Pelco has updated their website with the list of the surviving manufacturer reps

Plus, here are the new contacts for direct Pelco sales in each non-rep region:

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