Distribution Trends: Your Personal Supply Chain

Distributors put the emphasis on training and product solutions to help integrators and dealers succeed


Michael Flink: “When purchasing online dealers are looking for two things— first is the ease of searching for products and information and second is pricing. ADI has made a large investment over the past two years to upgrade its Website to world class standards and make online shopping at ADI much easier. The feedback from our dealers is that our site is one of the strongest in the industry. We are constantly reaching out to our customers for feedback on our site and have an ecommerce team and programmers making improvements every day. In terms of price, ADI has always been competitive and does not face challenges meeting legitimate online prices.

Although purchasing online has become more popular, much of our sales still come from our 99 branch locations across North America. Dealers depend on our extensive inventory and continue to rely on our experienced staff to help them meet the challenges of their end users. Our branch locations are important to our business, and ADI has opened two new branch locations this year as part of our overall four-year expansion plan. We strive to provide an excellent shopping experience to customers and always look to them for feedback to improve our service. Our customers tell us that we have the broadest range of in-stock products and our large branch locations add more value over smaller local distributors or mail orders.”


Tony Sorrentino: “We work with our dealers to help them differentiate themselves through end-user marketing assistance, education and training, as well as helping them better understand how to sell their value and not just price. It’s our job to provide products to our dealers in the way they want to buy them—online or by contacting our sales reps. We can either ship to them for free, have it at their doorstep the next day, or they can place the order themselves 24/7 through our FastCatalog tool, where they also have access to real-time inventory. We want to make it easy for our dealers to do business.”


Pat Comunale: “We have a robust Internet site as well, so our customers can buy online. The personal touch and the knowledgeable sales people drive people to use our branch locations, especially with more video and intrusion products in the space, and to make sure they get the right product for the job. As a company we spend more money training and getting dealers and integrators certified than others in the industry. So we have the most knowledgeable personnel in the industry. With our IP EZ program, we can pre-program IP cameras with their Internet addresses for existing customers at a nominal price. We feel we can deliver what the competitive space needs, especially as we grow into the data communications space with the exciting partnership we announced recently with ComCables.”


What are some of the ways you are attracting folks to your Website or distribution centers?


Michael Flink: “We have taken a multi-phase marketing approach to attract dealers to ADI starting with our new ecommerce Website, where dealers can purchase products for pick up or ship. We have also been expanding and relocating some of our branches to make customer access easier and driving to our locations more convenient. We offer 50 ADI Expo Training Series events per year across North America and we also have an industry leading advertising campaign that provides increased value to our customers and prospects. Our advertising initiatives include monthly promotions that feature 16 pages of sale items and our quarterly catalog that offers 750+ pages of product information, and has been recognized as the industry’s premier source of information. “