The Value Of The Integrator-Distributor Relationship
Since the conception of the "Supply Chain" concept, suppliers have evolved relationships with service providers that add value to their products. This value may be offered in a wide range of services, from providing a customer the simplest installation of a product to the total support package of a complex application.
Complex applications may require site surveys, consulting services, proposals, software development, system integration, customer training and an array of hardware implementation. It may be unrealistic, or at best impractical, for a reseller to take on such a wide range of responsibilities without partnering with other technology providers.
Dynasys Technologies (Clearwater, FL) has been servicing automatic data collection resellers for the past 14 years. In addition to distributing a wide range of products, Dynasys also designs and manufactures data collection devices. Many data collection VARs use Dynasys as their engineering department to help select the proper hardware devices for their customer's special requirements.
Bob Scher, Dynasys CEO, says he services two categories of VARs. The first group has developed a specific solution that is marketed to customers and doesn't require much hardware support. Since this type of VAR's hardware shopping list does not change often he may shop around with numerous distributors for the lowest price, overnight delivery, and extended credit terms.
The other group Scher describes as "wide range" data collection solution providers. These VARs tackle all sorts of problems. One month they could be tracking earrings and the next month tracking 55-gallon drums of toxic waste. These VARs depend on Dynasys to research and recommend the most appropriate hardware devices to do the job.
Integrators like Purple Oak, Inc. (Morton Grove, IL) believe it is the customer who ultimately benefits the most from the relationship between integrator and distributor. Purple Oak designs bar code and RF (radio frequency) solutions for manufacturing, warehousing and distribution, and corporate business operations. The company recently used Dynasys for a variety of RFID (radio frequency identification) equipment for its customer, Bloomington Normal Seating Company (BSC) (Bloomington, IL). BSC, a just-in-time manufacturer and tier-one supplier of automobile seats, wanted Purple Oak to automate the collection of component and quality control data during its multistage manufacturing process.
BSC was on a tight time schedule, with implementation scheduled to coordinate with a system shutdown planned for the Christmas holiday. It was imperative that equipment be delivered, configured and installed during the shutdown. However, product availability and import issues were threatening the schedule.
Dynasys worked hard to solve these problems and to coordinate timely equipment delivery of all components. Ultimately, all of the customer's deadlines were met. "Our relationship with distributors like Dynasys is very important to ensuring the success of our projects," says Joe DeCarlo, Purple Oak CEO. "We make commitments to our customers, and we trust our distributors to deliver the same level of service that our reputation is built on."