ITI line now available through select distributor channels

Nine independents have signed on, ADI expected soon
Saturday, June 1, 2002

NORTH ST. PAUL, Minn.-For the first time, the ITI line of products is being made available through independent distributors and could soon be sold through ADI.

The move from selling products direct from the manufacturer to adding distributors is expected to make it easier for dealers to buy ITI's products and enable the product line to reach a broader audience, said Reed Grothe, vice president of sales for the Security and Life Safety Group of GE Interlogix.

It's also a critical step, he said, for the company and will "prepare us for any future acquisitions or line expansions."

Current users of the ITI brand were notified about the change in a letter in April. Grothe said dealers have raised concerns about ITI products being made available through distribution.

"A lot of dealers felt they had reduced competitiveness in the market. That was basically to the fact that not a lot of mid to small size dealers would not opt to buy direct," said Grothe.

"We're trying to make sure a dealer can very simply buy all of our brands through the same process and achieve maximum advantage of pricing and support," said Grothe. "The hope is that dealers that had not considered ITI would be more receptive to using the line because it's more available."

The addition of the distribution channel began with Eastern Distributing of Mahwah, N.J. The company is one of about half a dozen independent distributors added as of press time.

Other distributors who have signed on so far include Alarmax, Alarm Express, AVAD, JB Supply, Security Pro Warehouse, SES, Silmar and Systems Depot.

For Eastern Distributing, the addition of ITI's Concord and Simon line and ancillary products is expected to increase the company's sales. The company, with shipping locations in California and Chicago and a branch in South Carolina and in New Jersey, stocks $1.5 million in product from 150 vendors.

"Having this product line is a big asset to distributors, not only me as an independent, but the other independents that will be getting it," said Nick Scarane, vice president of sales and marketing for Eastern Distributing. "It's a great name to have on your vendor card."

Scarane said the biggest benefit to dealers is that they will now be able to walk into a branch and instantly buy ITI products, instead of having to wait several days for product to ship.

Besides signing on with independents, Grothe expects ADI will come on board shortly as a distributor. As of press time, negotiations were still underway to add the large scale distributor with a reach across North America.

"ADI is a critical partner in distribution because of their geographic footprint," said Grothe.

Though the company has added distributors, dealers will still be able to buy product direct, if they wish, said Grothe, and received direct customer service.

And in the coming months, Grothe said the company intends to introduce cosmetically different keypads, which is expected to include the GE name.