Pelco looks to dispel rumors about rep policy

Friday, October 2, 2009

CLOVIS, Calif.—Officials here released a somewhat cryptic press bulletin yesterday, announcing Pelco has “has agreed to accept the resignation of four of its manufacturer's representative firms”: Bruce Dawson & Associates, Charles & Associates Marketing, T.H. Grogan & Associates, and R.W. Sales, Inc.


“The reason we put something out,” said Cliff Holtz, Pelco senior VP of sales and marketing for the Americas, “is that, at ASIS last week, it was obvious that if you talked to five different people, they had six different impressions of something that did or did not happen, and people’s versions of the implications of that were so varied and diverse that we wanted to put the facts out there and cut the chatter down. We thought that by clarifying what happened, we would get past the issue, so there wouldn’t be a mystery anymore.”

Holtz said rumors that Pelco will be abandoning the Manufacturer’s rep model are completely unfounded. “We didn’t want anyone to think that this is step one in eliminating our manufacturer’s reps,” he said. “That was one of the rumors that was out at ASIS: ‘They’re going to get rid of everybody.’”

Those rumors were partly fueled by Pelco’s move earlier this summer to acquire Latin America/Asia rep firm Crocket International [], which some apparently saw as part of a larger plan to eliminate the rep model. Rather, said Holtz, “we wanted to make some big investments [in Latin America], and the firm that was down there might not have had the ability we did to make the right investments to capture the growth. In North America, we’re not going to buy all 11 firms, but we wanted the ones there to have the investment capability.”

Thus, Pelco trimmed the North American rep firm stable from 15 down to 11, and “we think we’ve significantly strengthened our ability to serve customers,” Holtz said. “We now have much more control over what firms do on our behalf, and the bigger firms have more income and revenue [from selling Pelco products] and can add people to serve customers better. I want people to see that by going to a fewer number of firms, it’s a much stronger alliance.”

As proof of Pelco’s commitment to the rep model, Holtz suggests people re-examine the Crockett buy: “That rep firm, when we bought them, they were representing a number of other lines, and when we bough them we did not cancel those other relationships. They’re still representing those other lines because there is some synergy there. If we had just dropped those lines, people could have come to the conclusion that we’re just eliminating the model. But the rep model is a powerful way to sell.”