Q&A from the Top: Bryan Sanderford
Today's business climate is just as tough
for the smaller manufacturer as it is for
the big guys. But go-to market strategies
differ in terms of whether to hold back
and wait or pour the coals on the fire and
keep a dynamic presence.
Somewhere in the middle is Dortronics,
which comes to market with a strategy of
responsiveness and willingness to mix it
up with anyone. We wanted to know more,
so we sat down with Bryan Sanderford,
the company's national sales manager.
Q. How has the economic downturn
A. There's no arguing that the
economic environment has affected
most manufacturing businesses
this past year, primarily in terms of
sales versus previous years. Customers
are still purchasing because security
remains a priority, but they are doing
so with smaller budgets and for projects
that are reduced in scope. From
a positive side, though, most vendors
are adapting and becoming more creative
and responsive in their products
and services, including designs that are
easier to install and with products that
address more focused applications at
cost-efficient price points.
At Dortronics, we've re-evaluated
our go-to market strategy rather than
going into survival mode and are developing
products and programs to help
ensure continued growth now and into
the future. The key is to not abandon the
foundations of a good business, such as
fostering customer relationships or providing
quality goods and services, but
rather build on these attributes.
Q. Besides tightened budgets, what
else is affecting customers, and
how are vendors responding?
A. Organizations are expected to
do more with less across all user
categories. For example, companies
are looking to decrease the number of
security guards on duty in an effort to
reduce overhead, which places the additional
burden on the remaining guards.
One solution to help address this situation
is to use products that facilitate
better monitoring capabilities, such as
custom-designed consoles that allow
monitoring from a central point. By
incorporating zone annunciators and
controllers, these new consoles allow
fewer guards to monitor the condition
of several doors, which are displayed
on the panel and allow remote doors to
be released for free passage. The investments
in new systems products like this
are proven to reduce overall operating
expenses over the long haul.
Q. What types of products continue
to be popular?
A. As mentioned previously, security
remains a high priority throughout
organizations. Upgrades and retrofits can help keep a facility safe and secure,
while funding for new installations
or overhauls is put on hold.
One of the easiest, least costly and
most effective security upgrades can be
achieved by installing magnetic locks.
They're ideal for restricting unauthorized
staff from entering sensitive areas,
they function independently of
any mechanical type locks and they do
not jeopardize the fire door ratings.
Maglocks are inherently fail safe and
release instantly upon command or loss
One kind of maglock is specifically
designed for cabinets and drawers
or pedestrian gates. These small but
powerful magnetic locks can provide
a holding force of up to 300 pounds
and are capable of being controlled
individually, sequentially or simultaneously
from one or several locations.
Because of their confined magnetic
field, they can be safely used in computer
rooms and other electronically
sensitive areas. These are all relatively
inexpensive system improvements that
can greatly enhance security within
Q. What is driving development of
new products in this economy?
A. At Dortronics, our mission is to
completely fulfill any customer's
needs related to door control hardware.
This often results in the development of
a custom new product that has mainstream
appeal and application.
For instance, we received a request
to design and manufacture an indicator
that can be mounted near a card reader
to clearly display when individual doors
were open or locked. The problem
arose at an installation where the LEDs
on the card reader could not be seen at
all times due to changing lighting conditions.
We responded with a new series
of high-intensity LED indicators that
can clearly be seen in almost any lighting
condition. Our intent was to provide
this custom solution, but it turned
out that it's a common problem faced
by installers and has since become a
mainstream product from Dortronics.
Another example includes interlocking
applications or mantraps. Our
in-house programmers can customize
solutions for any application with our
new 4900 Series intelligent interlock
system. The unit's intelligent processor
allows inputs and outputs to be easily
reconfigured to meet the specific needs
of the customer and the application.
The ability to custom program these
devices provides a wide range of solutions
for installations that have very
Q. What trends do you foresee for
A. I have always believed the best
way to predict the future is to
create it yourself. We have the manufacturing
fl exibility, resources and core
technologies in place to fulfill very
specific requests from the field. This
has been one of the cornerstones of
Dortronics' continued success as we
can react quickly to changing market
conditions and requests. This has been
and will continue to be a driving force
at Dortronics because security projects
cannot be kept on hold once the installation
process has started. With the
economy starting to turn the corner
this fall, we anticipate that funding for
more security projects will be approved.
We remain optimistic that 2010 will be
a turn-around year for the security market
and the economy as a whole.