Giving credit where it's due on Sonitrol/Stanley
To be fair, we all should have seen this Sonitrol/Stanley brou-ha-ha coming. Jeff Kessler certainly did. On his short-lived blog, the Security Analyst, Kessler outlined this very problem just as Stanley purchased Sonitrol last year:
The main point we tried to make was that whoever bought Sonitrol Management would need to deal with a deteriorated franchisor-franchisee relationship â€“ a relationship that has been important to the branding of Sonitrol with responders as THE verification monitoring company (please read our June 2 blog on Sonitrol for full details on the company). We would reiterate this point to Stanley Worksâ€™ Convergent Solutions divisional management â€” to take note of the generally unhappy franchisee group in Sonitrol.So, to be fair to Stanley, many of the irritants discussed in the lawsuit that the Sonitrol National Dealers Association has brought may have been already irritating. It's unclear what Stanley inherited. Further, even if Stanley significantly changed the irritation, it's more than possible that the franchisees were spoiling for a fight and this was just the straw that broke their backs. More from Kessler:
Conclusion: Sonitrolâ€™s new buyer has a great opportunity to build its commercial industrial brand, but first needs to talk to the franchisees, set out a strategic policy that either fully includes them or sets them free. The current state of affairs is unsustainable.This would seem to be more evidence that Kessler, to put it bluntly, knows his shit. Stanley neither fully included the franchisees nor set them free, but rather seems to have exacerbated the discord, possibly through no real fault of its own, but instead as a by-product of the zeal that the franchisees have for the Sonitrol product and the simple fact that Stanley can't do with the Sonitrol product what it wants and still keep a franchise system happy. Thus, Stanley isn't getting the obvious RMR bang for its buck that it had anticipated. Tomorrow, Kessler and Sandy Jones' Security New Ground begins. Tony Byerly at Stanley will be speaking as part of a panel at 4:15 p.m. Lord knows Kessler won't be telling him, "I told you so..."