How Manufacturers Can Make Your Life Easier

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					EXCLUSIVE SD&I ROUNDTABLE                         By Karen Duane Johnson

How Manufacturers Can
Make Your Life Easier
                                                                            n a challenged economy, companies look for
                                                                            ways to grow by focusing on new avenues to
                                                                            create a lasting revenue stream. Partnering
                                                                        and reaching out to other businesses is increasing-
                                                                ly common, using relationships to remain vital and learn
                                                                about new trends. Manufacturers offer many resources that
                                                                dealers/integrators can tap into; several discuss what has
                                                                worked for them and what has been an asset. Dealers are
                                                                very honest about what they look for to help support their
                                                                business and know when to hit the road when it doesn’t.

                                                                Manufacturers have many programs that can help
                                                                make the integrator’s life easier. What kinds of things
                                                                do you look for from manufacturers as far as product
                                                                support and ancillary services? What do you need
                                                                before you will buy?
                                                                  Stephen Merola, president, Futuristic Home Inc., Point
                                                                  Lookout, N.Y.: I look for good and timely technical sup-
                                                                  port. Manufacturers have to be aware of time zones-if they
                                                                  are on the west coast, have accessible support at least by

     “    The most important need
           for us is accessibility of
        field and product engineers
                                                                  10 a.m. on the east coast; have well documented online
                                                                  support where we can research previous support issues; of-
                                                                  fer an advanced level of training that supports third party
                                                                  integration showing how their product line can enhance
          that are knowledgeable...                               the customer’s install by interacting with other manufac-
                 – Jim Rounsville,
                                         ”                        turers; and provide Webinars for training with a recorded
Description: [Stephen Merola]: I think our biggest challenges are with the control panel. We need simple remote access to our panels for programming and troubleshooting, preferably online. We also need panels that can be easily upgraded with new firmware. We need a neat way to add and work on the circuit boards in the tans'-make the boards so they attach on swing-type hinges and fit into a socket like PC boards do in a computer. All the wires can go to the hinged socket which can be clipped into the panel.
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