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Vendor Relationships

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Like many industries, security integration companies rely on vendors to provide products that are sold, installed, and integrated as part of the solutions they offer to customers. The relationships that integrators establish and maintain with their vendors can make or break the company. Customers have a variety of needs that will many times be outside of a normal product offering such as customized applications. Having a strong relationship with vendors allows the integrator to deliver in these situations.

Many considerations have to be assessed when finding vendors. Discounts, flexibility, distribution channels, and many other variables define the vendor’s ability to be a good fit for the integrator. Many companies try and maintain relationships with a wide variety of vendors to be able to provide a myriad of solutions, but this approach typically leads to dissatisfaction on the part of both entities. It is hard for the integrator to maintain the required sales volumes if they spread their offerings too thin and hard for the vendor to show preference to an integrator that is not performing well.

The old saying that you need to know when to hold them and know when to fold them applies to vendors. If unproductive relationships linger too long, then the vendor relationship usually ends badly. Rather than burn a bridge with a vendor, it is best to temporarily discontinue the relationship once it becomes less than desirable than wait until it gets catastrophic and ends abruptly. You never know when past vendor relationships will be valuable in the future and after circumstances change.

Please join us next week here at The O next week for more valuable insight.

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Sean Crain is founder and CEO of Orion Security Solutions (OSS). Prior to starting OSS, Sean spent over eight years with the U.S. Department of State as a Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) Officer working in nearly 40 countries on 6 continents around the world including Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, Switzerland, Indonesia, Australia, Cambodia, Austria, Germany, Poland, Kenya, Uganda, Egypt, Brazil, Peru, and Columbia.

He received advanced training in the techniques and methodologies of counter intelligence and anti-terrorism in order to carry out responsibilities which included designing, installing, and maintaining state-of-the-art security solutions to protect national security information, U.S Embassies and other sensitive U.S. facilities, and diplomatic personnel, including U.S. Presidents and Secretaries of State. Sean was also called upon to design and implement security protocols and systems which included video surveillance, intruder detection, access controls, locks, perimeter security, and assessments. He also played an integral role in writing the U.S. Department of State security policies for post communications centers, controlled access areas, and building management systems in U.S. Embassies, U.S. Consulates, and inter-agency facilities worldwide.