This Integrator Only Sells Axis and Milestone

By John Honovich, Published Dec 03, 2012, 07:00pm EST

With so many lines and such Internet pressure, many integrators fret about finding the right business model. One US integrator's [link no longer available] solution is to only sell one line for each product. For them, it is Axis for cameras and Milestone for VMS, that's it. In this note, we examine the pros and cons of such an approach.

The first and most direct benefits are:

  • Greater discounts as they can reach higher dealer discount levels
  • Lower training costs and less mistakes as their techs can become experts in the nuances of the limited lines they carry

Manufacturer Sales Advantages

A more interesting one cited in the case study is :

"Our partners’ reps are an extension of our business. If they have an opportunity, they pass it along. They know if they bring Stone Security into the deal, they know exactly what they’re getting. It’s an ecosystem that’s really tight and really loyal."

Perhaps more valuable than getting a few more points is incenting manufacturer regional sales people to bring one's company into a deal. For smaller integrators, marketing is expensive and it is not feasible to come close to the leads that manufacturers receive.

The big question is: How much do Milestone and Axis sales people reward this integrator with leads and other advantages that the standard integrator would not get?

Overall, choosing Axis and Milestone is a fairly safe strategy as both companies offer a wide array of modern, competitive products. We have heard similar tactics over the years offering second or third tier lines with the upside of greater product restriction but the downside of potentially lower quality products.

Concerns

The main concern is how this impacts customers. Lots of integrators market themselves as consultants or at least a consultative approach, emphasizing how they pick the right product for the job. By contrast, with this approach, it is limited to picking the right model from the specific vendor.

All in all, given that they are open about it, it seems like an interesting approach for integrators trying to find their way in the more competitive business model of the 2010s.

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