ADI branch renovations in full swing

Between 18 and 25 of ADI’s branches across the country are slated to be renovated in 2005
Wednesday, December 1, 2004

DALLAS - Low-voltage and security product distributor ADI recently completed the first of what is expected to be a company-wide renovation of its 106 distribution branches in North America.

Dallas, one of ADI’s largest branches, served as the first facility to take on the new look, opening in late September. The design is characterized as more of a retail approach since it displays product by category, such as cameras or access control, versus brand name, and enables most products to be selected off the shelf.

“It’s more user friendly,” said Herb Albinus, senior merchandising manager for ADI. “It used to be that we had motion detectors in 20 different places in the store; we did it by manufacturer.”

Six other locations are scheduled to complete their renovation process before the end of this year. In 2005, between 18 to 25 branches are scheduled for an overhaul, a process expected to take two to three years to complete.

For ADI, renovating its branches represents the biggest change at the company within the past 10 years. Company officials announced an overhaul to its distribut-ion approach in 2003.

One of the most significant changes is how ADI stocks products. While ADI now selects a base of products that every facility will keep in stock, individual branch managers can also select a certain amount of products depending upon which items dealers in that particular area use most.

While Dallas represents the first facility to unveil the new look, it also served as a location to test the new design. The process, said Albinus, took several months as ADI tested its floorplan, signage and displays.

“Dallas has been the guinea pig,” said Dennis Dolinar, branch manager of ADI Dallas. “We went through seven months of design changes and merchandising.”

A program still being tested in Dallas and scheduled for roll out in five other locations is a Vendor Solutions Center. The solutions center is a rolling kiosk at the end of an isle that displays a particular product outside of its box for a three-month period.

“At first we were thinking of demo rooms, but the challenge with demo rooms is the management is so huge,” said Albinus. “People want to see how a product is mounted, what’s its size and what does it look like.”

In the few short weeks since the newly renovated Dallas location opened, Dolinar has already seen a difference in how security installers do business in the branch. Transactions, he said, take less time, thanks to the new design and the ability for customers to select most products off the shelf.

“The customer feedback has been tremendous,” said Dolinar. “The new signage makes it much easier for them to find product.”