Distributor Systems Depot adds systems design services to its cache

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Friday, November 1, 2002

HICKORY, N.C. - Product distributor The Systems Depot has added a Systems Design group aimed at providing dealers and integrators with a source to answer design questions or help design a security project.

Company officials created the group this summer, signing on George Bish as its systems design manager and Don Bennett to also work for the group. The idea was to provide installers, including vendors, with experts knowledgeable about the different security technology on the market today and the skillset to put nearly any type of system together.

"This is something we had been toying with a while and we saw the need developing more and more," said Randy Hall, president of The Systems Depot, which operates 10 branches across the country. "It's real easy for customers to buy the wrong parts to do a job and we want to minimize that. It can cost time on the job."

Dealers or integrators looking for help with a project can call the System Design group via a toll free telephone number for the free service. About 80 percent of questions are answered over the telephone, said Hall, with more difficult design issues taking a little more time.

"A lot of the calls that are occurring right now are 10 minute phone conversations," said Hall. "You get into the very large integrated systems, those take a couple of hours to lay out."

The goal, he said, is to turn around a project within 24 hours. "I want to get back to the customer the same day they ask for a system," he said.

Since launching the program a few months ago, Hall said a majority of the calls relate to video surveillance and CCTV, followed by fire and access control.

"A lot of the customers out there don't have the time or resources to do all the due diligence needed to adequately use the technology," he said.

Company officials expect demand for the service to continue to grow, with plans to bring on additional Systems Design employees in the coming months. Already, Hall said demand for help with designing security systems is growing 10 to 15 percent a day, a rate also contributing to the growth pattern The Systems Depot is experiencing overall as a company.

Last year the company opened a new branch in Charleston, W.V. Other branches include Jacksonville, Clearwater and Orlando, Fla., Atlanta and Marietta, Ga., Fayetteville and Hickory, N.C., Long Island, N.Y. and Sacramento, Calif.