Security Manufacturer Representative Roles Examined

By John Honovich, Published Jun 05, 2010, 08:00pm EDT

In this update, we survey key roles, benefits and issues in using manufacturer representatives within the security and video surveillance market space. This updates references and summarizes a good discussion on the IP Video Market Info LinkedIn group [link no longer available].

Manufacturer reps are independent organizations that provide sales and support to a group of manufacturers in a specific physical area. Reps usually 'represent' one manufacturer for each product category (e.g., cameras, VMS, wireless, housings, access control, etc.). Reps are generally paid on performance only.

Key considerations for using/interactions with manufacturer reps raised in the discussion include:

  • Broad range of performance for manufacturer reps - while a few reps were considered great, many reps were disliked or viewed as problematic
  • Questions on the role of reps providing information and how the Internet reduces the value of reps as an information source
  • Benefits of reps finding or developing projects that a manufacturer could not reach directly
  • The ability of reps to provide/design solutions rather than offer single products
  • Questions on the ability of reps to be independent given their representing a single line for each product category
  • The importance of reps for logistical coordination, most importantly to ensure that products are shipped on time and meet the installation schedule of the buyer
  • The use of manufacturer reps vs a manufacturer building their own direct sales force
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