Potter Electric: When it comes to distributors, less is more

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09/22/2011

I wrote this spring about Potter Electric Signal making a big change that was signaled by the release of its first line of addressable fire panels that Potter designed itself. The panels, released at ISC West in April, were aimed at the middle market and the independent manufacturer described them as “an alternative to the marketplace from someone other than the big guys.”

Now the St. Louis-based Potter has announced what it calls a company “paradigm shift”: Potter “has reorganized its direct distribution channels for fire products by reducing the number of distributors who will have access to Potter’s growing line of analog addressable fire panels.”

I’m continuing to report on this story, but here’s from the press release Potter sent this week:

This change comes from a move on the company’s part to become more customer-centered. This allows Potter’s Sales and Customer Service Teams to focus on Potter’s established industry relationships that they have built throughout the years. This move also allows Potter to keep prices at competitive levels, while preventing market inundation.

Dave Kosciuk, Executive Vice President of the Fire & Security Division for Potter Electric Signal Company, said, “This is a paradigm shift for Potter and the market, but in the long run it is the best thing we can do to give a more personalized and focused attention to our long-standing dedicated distributors. We have been fortunate to have made great relationships within the industry, and we are seeking to grow those relationships by providing value added products and services that can increase profits and reduce costs to distributor, installer and the end user.”

Potter has made no changes in the distribution of its Sprinkler or Security products.”