Financial strength, good support, and strong products. These are the criteria when Johnny Eriksson, product manager at security retailer Stanley Security, chooses suppliers.
Stanley Security sells services and products for physical security, including everything from burglary alarms, access systems, to surveillance cameras connected to advanced management systems. In short, it is their job to see to it that customers feel secure and are not vulnerable to burglary, damage, or unlawful intrusion.
Johnny Eriksson looks of course for suppliers that have good products – but also those that are forward looking when it comes to the development of new technology. It is not enough, for example, to only deliver an access card. It is also important that security solutions have encryption keys included in the employee card, that there are accessories with ribbons and card holders, and that new cards function with the existing card readers. All of it must function.
It is important that the supplier is up to date regarding development and has highly competitive products, as well as good instincts regarding correct pricing, says Johnny Eriksson.
As a retailer, it is important to have good support from the supplier. Johnny Eriksson appreciates companies that have offices even outside of the big cities, in order for his co-workers to easily obtain support when out with the customers.
That’s what our customers appreciate, and the suppliers also profit by this.
Training and support out at Stanley’s local offices also play a role. Johnny Eriksson likes suppliers that can train sales persons and technicians and that can even help when there is some technical problem that Stanley does not have the local competence to solve. Instead of Johnny Eriksson having to send his own technicians all over the country, locally placed Nexus and Stanley co-workers can go out and solve problems together. That way, there is also a knowledge transfer to Stanley’s local technicians going on.
We have a lean product organization, and this way, we can further educate our personnel.
Stock-keeping is an important aspect for an efficient flow of goods. Johnny Eriksson appreciates suppliers that can maintain a certain stock level so that Stanley can have a short delivery time to its customers. In his view, suppliers that are too small often lack the financial capacity to keep products on hand.
Almost everyone wants to have as little as possible in stock, but Nexus is big enough to have what we need on hand and that means that we can have short lead times.
As a supplier, one should lend a hand with the marketing. If the supplier has a very active marketing strategy, this can lead to a certain competitive situation between the supplier and the retailer, but Johnny Eriksson still prefers suppliers that create an interest around the products and thereby make it easier to sell them.
It is always very easy for me to launch new products if Nexus is included. Then I can put less effort into training our sales force. Nexus has high visibility at exhibitions and even has relations with our local project leaders and sales personnel. This means that we become much more competent and quicker on our feet, which is good, says Johnny.