Distribution Trends: Your Personal Supply Chain

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

Tony Sorrentino: “We offer the industry’s leading education and training workshops and events on the benefits of selling IP and the technology in general, much of which is accessible online through our IP Center, online training courses and web seminars. We provide tours of our state-of-the-art distribution center on a regular basis and upon request. ScanSource has a centralized distribution model so that we can be as efficient as possible and provide the best pricing to customers, as well as a high level of support. The hub of our distribution strategy is our distribution center, which is located in Southaven, Miss. Our dealers are always very interested in our distribution center, which features a Custom Configuration Center where we configure and test the complete solution, so that it is ready to ship to the dealer or even drop-shipped to their end-user customer on behalf of the dealer. Services include setting IP addresses, labeling, custom reporting and hardware and software integration, among many others.”


Pat Comunale: “We have, numerous blast emails and other marketing campaigns for our customers. We also have an online system where customers can check product availability and pricing. Most customers are still calling in their orders or visiting our locations, about 50 in the U.S. and Canada.”


What do you think systems integrators want from their distribution partners today?


Michael Flink: “Systems integrators want service, support, credit and great relationships they know they can trust to help them in the good times and bad. They want to be able to get the products they need quickly, efficiently and on time. Also, today in a tighter economy we have been getting a lot of requests for additional payment options and we have responded to this with a variety of flexible payment options, including the ADI credit card. At ADI, we consistently survey and talk to our customers to find out what they need and what we can do to help them grow.”


Tony Sorrentino: “We have heard from our dealers that the fact that we do not sell to end users is a key differentiator for them. They want to know that they are working with a partner, not a competitor. That, in addition to the knowledgeable sales and technical support staff and value-added services we provide that enable dealers to focus on growing their business.”

Pat Comunale: “The complete line card is important to the integrators and these customers want to have that one-stop shop. With that in mind, we are more than a security distributor; we will branch out of security to data communications more and more. We also carry the high end and other products systems integrators need for full solutions contracting. For more traditional security dealers, we also have the level of products they need. We called it a hybrid approach when we first merged. But that model has become high-end and general video distribution.”


For the expanded version of this story, see www.securityinfowatch.com/10796824