Assa locks up Essex & YSG

Sunday, May 1, 2005

NEW HAVEN, Conn.--Assa Abloy completed its combination of Essex Industries and YSG Door Security Controls into Assa Abloy Door Security Solutions at the beginning of this year.
The new division will combine sales and marketing efforts for the 12 brands of door and architectural hardware--Ceco Door, Corbin Russwin, Curries, Folger Adam Electric Door Controls, Graham, HES, McKinney, Norton, Rixson, Sargent, Securitron and Yale--to Essex's former headquarters here. Before the consolidation, the brands were split between two sales and marketing departments.
Paul Dauphin, vice president of marketing and business development at the company, said the move to join the two companies stemmed from a number of reasons, including the company's drive to build the brands in the market.
"One reason we looked at combining the two was that Essex and YSG as separate beings were underpowered versus our competition," Dauphin said.
Now that the two companies are combined, it gives the organization more manpower and product flexibility to focus on customer needs.
"The main focus we have is to spend a lot more time with end users solving their problems and not just looking at end users in one big lump," Dauphin said. "Healthcare end users are much different from those in the corporate setting. We are trying to gain a deeper understanding of end users."
He also said having the two separate entities with its respective sales forces caused overlap in terms of customers.
"We spent an awful lot of energy with two sales forces calling on customers and selling the same solution," Dauphin said. "This was an inefficient approach to marketplace."
But another reason that propelled the consolidation of the two divisions was that the company found some end users wanted to combine products that came from both Essex and YSG, and as separate Assa Abloy companies the ability to combine their products into one solution was not available.
"Essex and YSG's packages of brands, six each, were inflexible and not ones that would necessarily meet some end user's needs," Dauphin said. "It was an artificial barrier that got in our way."
Dauphin said that does not mean the company will sell directly to end users, rather they will approach them about improving solutions and the channels the company's solutions are sold through.
Dauphin called the company's approach "direct promotion." The company also plans on working closely with architects, security consultants, system integrators and other channel members to help create solutions and market them.
"We want to create more pull for the channel," he said.