Joining a program

There are many shapes and sizes when it comes to Authorized Dealer Programs available today. There are dealers who do more contract monitoring, those who do a lot of service and look for that Recurring Monthly Revenue (RMR). There are also the ones that offer more of a premium product line with added benefits to the dealer. This month, we’re giving you a glimpse of some of the dealer programs available today and what they have to offer. We also spoke to the sources themselves; see what dealers had to say to the following questions we asked: What dealer program are you with and why did you choose to go with it? What key benefits are you getting from this dealer program? How do you see dealer programs changing for the future?

“Monitronics has a proven track record of putting their dealers first. Rather than spending their resources to compete against their dealers, they use those same resources to give dealers the support they need to be successful in all aspects of their business. Monitronics offers dealers other benefits, from a very strong multiple schedule, to accurate and fast funding and allows us to minimize attrition. Dealers are going for quality accounts, not just for quantity. Those companies that only go for quantity close their doors year after year. The companies that will succeed are those with slow, steady, managed growth.” —Danielle Paletz, president of American Alarm Partners of Florida Inc. (Monitronics dealer)

“Ultimately, it boils down to support. We were getting the ball rolling on the Security Division of our organization and we needed a company that really stood behind their products and stood behind us. Supercircuits treated us as though we were their largest customer. They made sure we were priced competitively, helped us on-site, fully trained our team and took the extra steps to assure we were successful. The products are priced very well and the support is tremendous. Yet, the biggest factor may be that they help us grow our business. They market to end-users, not to dealers and while that led to a bit of trepidation at first, we quickly realized that it was much more advantageous for us than many other companies out there. These guys actually talk to the folks in the channel we are interested in talking to, and they help us generate new opportunities. I think dealer programs need to focus on what is important – that is support and helping us grow as we help you grow. There are a lot of programs out there but mainly it is just a thin wrapper around a goal to move as much product through as many people as possible. You really just become another number in the whole process.” —Daniel Simons: president of Innovative Communication Systems, San Antonio, Texas (Supercircuits dealer)

“We became dealers of Smith & Wesson Security Services less than a year ago. We were drawn to the brand, the reputation and the people. The folks who are running the program were really upfront about what the program was and what it wasn’t. The opportunity for us was to start something very unique that could be successful in the long run with a lot of hard work. I foresee that funding options for dealerships will change a lot. Many of the companies buying contracts from dealers have been badly hurt in this economic downturn and dealers will have to bear more of the financial burden of obtaining customers, paying for equipment and installation. Door-knocking crews have received increasing scrutiny and regulation and will see reductions opening the door for new and innovative marketing methods.”—Rusty Openshaw, president, Smith & Wesson Security Services of Texas (Smith & Wesson dealer)

“AES has unique wireless mesh technology for alarm signal communication which doesn’t require monthly service fees paid to telephone carriers. Municipalities are moving away from mechanical masterboxes. There is a trend for municipalities adopting the technology which AES-Intellinet offers. As municipalities start getting into the business of charging for monitoring services and if they start to reduce options for end-users, it can create issues. Perhaps consignment of inventory will be available in the future to dealers and ever closer cooperation on development and testing of product enhancements.”—Wells Sampson, American Alarm (AES-Intellinet dealer)



Monitronics Authorized Dealer Program
Length in Business: Since 1994
What We Look For: A proven, successful business record and/or approved business model; federal and state compliance; and completion of the Monitronics training program.
Markets Served: U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico
Key Benefits Offered:
Stability: We’ve been around for 15 years and offer experience, as well as consistent, stable funding.
Flexibility: Our billings, collections and account ownership are sized to fit each dealer’s needs.
Branding: With Monitronics, a dealer chooses their own brands, whether it’s under our name or as their own.
Training: Our national training program allows businesses of all sizes to grow, learn and succeed.
Alliance: We are an advocate for our dealers and they’re never in competition with us—they can keep or sell their accounts.

Supercircuits SC Black Program
Length in Business: Since April 2008
What We Look For: I wouldn’t say that we’ve got a hard, fast set of criteria,” explained Mike Compton, vice president of Sales, Supercircuits. “Products and technology are very important for us to stay on the cutting edge but they are not a means to grow your business. It’s not the only piece and the only focus of our program. When we bring a partner into the program, we put a lot of time and energy into assuring that that company can be successful and we can be successful with them. That is something valuable we bring to the table.”
Markets Served: Currently in the central U.S.
Key Benefits Offered: Sales engineering resources; e-mail blasts; priority pricing; co-op marketing materials. SC Black dealers have exclusive access to line of security products, including video surveillance, alarm and access control solutions.

Smith & Wesson Security Services
Length in Business: Since January 2009
What We Look For: Existing licensed alarm company; E&O insurance required as part of the vetting process. Dealers keep the accounts they install, bill and collect those accounts and build the relationship. Dealers also have various funding options.
Markets Served: Primary and Secondary population markets across the United States for both dommercial and residential; Canada in late 2010
Key Benefits Offered: Dealers are licensed to use and display the Smith & Wesson Security brand and logo and can market freely in their assigned market areas. Private-labeled equipment and a full array of marketing materials including TV commercials, display booths and Web site for dealers are provided. Smith & Wesson has a referral program through the 3,000 + Smith & Wesson gun dealers across the U.S. Sales and marketing training is also offered. Products are all trained by the manufacturers, Digital Monitoring Products (DMP) and Visonic.

AES-IntelliNet Master Dealer Program
Length in Business: Since 2001
What We Look For: The AES-Intellinet Master Dealer Program is intended for alarm and monitoring companies that intend to build out a network of AES IntelliNet units beyond the initial purchase. Required criteria include: own/operate AES-IntelliNet receiving system; approved credit record to qualify for net-30 day terms.
Markets Served: U.S. and Canada
Key Benefits Offered: Product discounts, scheduled delivery of equipment
Other: AES-IntelliNet is continuing the Economic Stimulus Program to both new and existing dealer customers that want to expand benefits of the Master Dealer Program. The Economic Stimulus Program has been in place since early 2009 and is in response to the events surrounding the worldwide economic situation.

This report of dealer programs is not all-inclusive of the market and is based on original research by SD&I magazine.