Dealer programs offered by manufacturers tend to give dealers incentives to sell a lot of their brand's products. In order to facilitate this goal, the manufacturer might provide sales training and discounts on their products for Authorized Dealers.
For example, Tyco's Software House Dealer Certification Program identifies and recognizes the highest performing Authorized Integrators of the Software House product line, says Chuck Hutzler, senior director of product management for Tyco Fire & Security's access control and video systems. â€œThe program was implemented to foster the highest level of product service in the access control and security management industry,â€ he explains.
Dealer integrators are rewarded for their investment in Software House. Among the benefits are product training, information technology certification, and a long-standing history of customer satisfaction. â€œParticipants are awarded a Software House certification seal to use on project bids, clerical work, website, and/or trade show material,â€ says Hutzler.
â€œBy design, the credentials of the Software House Dealer Certifications have stayed consistent from year to year,â€ he adds. â€œHowever, using critical feedback from our consultant community, we are currently evaluating the addition of project management pieces, as well as additional ASIS recognized training and certifications.â€
Over at Bosch, a dealer program has been around since 2002. â€œBy signing up for the Bosch Certified Security Dealer (BCSD) Program, dealers have access to the full line of Bosch's comprehensive security solutions,â€ says Nicole Herz, manager of channel programs, Bosch Security Systems. â€œWe also offer a variety of benefits that make business for our dealers more efficient and cost effective. Benefits include the Co-op Advertising Program where BCSDs have the opportunity to earn co-op funds that can be applied to promotions of their company in correlation with Bosch using the Bosch Certified Security Dealer logo.â€
At the end of 2005, Bosch added the Promotional Items Program to the BCSD, says Herz. This was done as a direct result of feedback from dealers who wanted help promoting their companies and partnerships with Bosch.
GE Security's dealer program, Security Pro, has been around since the mid-1980s and has grown to about 300 dealers, says Jeff Johnson, Security Pro program director, GE Security. Due to its growth over the years, the program is in the process of transitioning into smaller, more specialized programs to better meet everyone's needs.
â€œWhen we do focus groups with the dealers, the dealers have told us consistently that the thing that really, really endears them to [Security Pro] is the ongoing education and training, sharing of best practices and ideas that dealers do share when we get together on dealer trips,â€ says Kirk MacDowell, residential marketing leader, GE Security. Throughout the year, GE Security hosts conferences around the country for their dealers.
How to Decide
So with all of the different dealer programs and variables involved, how do you pick the program that is right for you? Well, ADT's Barnes is confident in his assessment. â€œFirst and foremost I think of the name because it's going to get me in more doors and it's going to allow me to sell more without changing my business model,â€ he says.
Opinions differ on the subject, however. For example, Bosch's Herz has this to say about picking a manufacturer's dealer program: â€œFirst, the dealer should know the volume of sales they do annually with the supplier, as this is oftenâ€¦a factor in the commitment. Dealers should also research the benefits offered by the individual programs and evaluate which ones would be useful and fit into their business model. A dealer should then analyze the relationship with the manufacturer in general. Is their staff responsive? Do they have a problem-solving attitude and so forth? The general business relationship says a lot about the support the dealer can expect to get from the program.â€