What Are the Key Ingredients for a Healthy Supplier-Integrator Relationship?

Integrators from across the industry share what they love about their vendors and how they help make businesses smoother and easier to operate.

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“You should hear how she talks about you,
She just can’t get enough.
She says she would be lost without you,
She is really in love.

Those lyrics to Melissa Manchester’s 1982 Top 5 pop hit, “You Should Hear How She Talks About You,” epitomize how smitten a security dealer or systems integrator can be by a vendor that acts in their best interests as a true channel partner — and how that translates into positive word-of-mouth referrals for those suppliers.

There is no doubt security is a relationship business, where you’re only as good as your word and are held accountable for your actions, as well as inactions. Hence, providing a viable product is only part of the formula that enables a supplier to earn loyalty and realize long-term success.

Some of the other key ingredients that complete that partnership were specified by dealers/integrators who cast their Stellar program votes. Here are examples (names withheld for anonymity)…

Key Ingredients to a Profitable Supplier-Integrator Relationship

▶ “When I call in, someone always answers the phone right away. My issues get resolved practically immediately. If they need to call me back, it’s within 30 minutes. The same goes for tickets submitted online.

▶ “Partnered with our sales team in a highly effective and functional way. This is leading to higher close rates and happier clients.”

▶ “Tech support is always available. They are willing to talk direct to end users to help resolve issues 24/7.”

▶ “There when you need them, from lead generation and sales support to post-installation technical support and training.”

▶ “We needed an emergency release for hydraulic gate operators as the fire code changed. They came running, meeting with us and the fire marshal to design an approved pull release.”

▶ “Provided exemplary service and support for pre-and post-sales. Their support teams are generally available when called and provide top-quality support. Provided unsolicited follow-up ensuring our company and customers are satisfied.”

▶ “Provided us with an amazing amount of support. It is clear their whole team works together to ensure we have what we need to best care for our customers and train our employees.”

▶ “By far the friendliest and most customer-oriented distribution company around. They customize their stock accordingly to customers’ needs and truly take an active role in customers’ growth. They maintain superior relationships with rep firms and manufacturers.”

▶ “Has the most understanding support staff. When calling, almost never put on hold, When are on hold, it’s not for very long.”

▶ “They stay on the phone with you until the issue is resolved, and if it is not resolved on that call, they will do further research and get back with you quickly within a day or two. They always ask if there is anything else they can help you with before the call ends, and they are well-trained.”

▶ “One of our new technicians went onsite to diagnose a camera issue. Before he called his trainer, he called our supplier’s tech support. They not only helped him with the issue but also walked him through the diagnosis and the RMA process. They had the problem solved before I even spoke with our new technician.”

▶ “The reps and engineers are very good about being available for us when we need them.”

▶ “Really went above and beyond helping close a deal. Great presales support and training.”

▶ “Been a true partner providing excellent customer support from sales through to tech support.”

As a dealer or integrator, do any of those experiences sound familiar? If not, it may be time to find a supplier that — to reference another hit song by Bonnie Raitt — gives you something to talk about.


This article originally appeared on our sister publication Security Sales & Integration‘s website.

About the Author

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Scott Goldfine:

Scott Goldfine is editor-in-chief and associate publisher of CE Pro sister publication Security Sales & Integration. Goldfine is involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), ASIS Int'l and more.

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