GE Security trims channel

Significant reduction in distribution partners, reorienting of dealers
Tuesday, October 13, 2009

ANAHEIM, Calif.—Depending on who you are, it may be significantly more difficult to find GE Security product for resale in 2010. According to company leaders interviewed here at the ASIS International show in September, GE Security has eliminated more than 90 percent of its distribution partners, while at the same time “refining” its dealer base.

“We looked very hard at our go-to-market,” said Mark Barry, president, Americas. “There were some areas we felt we were over represented ... We looked at the [distributors] that were selling the most, those that had some national reach and some regional reach; we looked at total volume, but we also looked at order flow. They become more attractive if they’re ordering across the product line and they’re ordering regularly.”

Specifically, Barry said, “we identified 328 active distributors. Now we’re down to about 25.”

He called the reorganization of the dealers “nowhere near that dramatic,” but indicated, “we’ve taken some partners out, and we’ve added some. We’re getting away from the occasional partner.”

In exchange, Barry said, GE Security is significantly improving customer service. “We’re not having any customer service done off-shore anymore,” he said. Further, better skills training for customer service representatives has “resulted in shorter hold times and lower abandonment rates,” Barry said. 

GE Security CEO Dean Seavers said the company is supporting dealers with its product offerings as well, which are all focused on creating better profit for the resellers. “Like Covi,” he indicated, speaking of GE Security’s acquisition of the HD camera company in 2007. “It would have been easy to just take those products and put them out there,” he said, “but we’ve taken a longer-term approach and making sure we can commercialize it.”

This will result, he said, in a very competitive HD camera line in 2010. “You’ll see next year some great leading-edge products,” Seavers promised. “State of the art.”