Guide to Picking Products

By: Chad Koebcke

Have you ever heard of the saying “Buy Nice or Buy Twice”? This phrase suggests that when you’re looking to make a purchase you should consider the quality and reputation of your investment or else your investment could fail to meet your expectations.

As an integrator, each product you choose to design your system with will contribute to the overall lifetime value for you and your client. If you choose wisely, a well-programmed, carefully designed automation system should last a lifetime when you consider the fact that HAPPY clients pay for a lifetime of upgrades and new features. After years of watching industry trends, we wanted to provide you with five considerations to take when picking your products that look deeper than costs and “wow” features:

1. Staying Power: Consider then length of time a company has been in business. Choosing a company with roots helps to predict the likelihood the company will be around when it’s time for an upgrade – reducing complications, costs, and time.

2. Company Reviews: What is the industry saying? How does the company rank in industry resources like CE Pro (the leading trade magazine for home technology pros, including installers and integrators)?

3. Financial Transparency: If a company is public, their financial records are available and will indicate if they are solvent. If a company is private, take the time to do your research and get to know their financials, especially when you base your company structure and systems on their brand. Take Crestron – a privately held industry leader that has withstood the test of time. At Pulse Group debt freedom is a way of life, and therefore we choose to partner with like-minded business partners. Your rep firms or inside sales reps might be a good resource for the company’s current standing, goals, and future intentions.

4. Company Affiliations: Does the company you’re considering have a parent company? Being a part of a larger corporate structure can have its perks but it can also increase the amount of red tape you must cross. You may find that companies who have merged experience a loss of autonomy, potentially damaging long-term business relationships. At Pulse Group, one of the most important aspects of business is the personal touch.

5. Reps and Rep Firms: How does the manufacturer work for you? Do they empower you with new sales and marketing tools, strategies, innovative products, innovative software, and/or passionate energy? Do they do the opposite? Keep this in mind moving forward as new creatives allow you to make new sales and keep your client as the number one focus.

How are you picking products? We would love to hear from you! What is working and what is not working for your company when picking products for your client systems?