(Note: The following has been submitted as a guest post
to CommScope Blogs by Ryan Dupuis, National Data Center Account Manager at LINX. LINX is a member of CommScope’s PartnerPRO Network and
provider of IT networking solutions in the United States. Opinions and comments
provided in this guest post, as with all posts to CommScope Blogs, are that of
the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of CommScope.)
stool” is a term used by people who work in the low-voltage industry. The distributor,
manufacturer and contractor work together to create a stable platform to support
a deal; hence the “three-legged stool” reference. This strategy was created to
enhance their chances of winning a project. Customers (i.e., general contractors,
electrical contractors and end-users) typically do not know this is an
important fact on how the industry works.
CLICK TO TWEET: When considering your next network infrastructure bid, demand the “three-legged stool” model. Linx's Ryan Dupuis explains in this blog.
building a new office space and have the choice between the following bids:
low voltage contractor receives the opportunity to bid through a general contractor.
After building their scope of work and bill of materials, the contractor sends
a list of parts to three distributors asking for the lowest possible pricing. This
bid is based highly on price.
low-voltage contractor receives the opportunity to bid and strategically works
with a distributor and manufacturer. Together, they figure out the best solutions
to meet the specifications and are fully engaged at every level of the supply
chain. They deliver a bid based on the best solutions for the lowest overall
the first option is most commonly used. Too many customers don’t get the
opportunity to sit with the low-voltage contractor (or anyone outside the general
contractor) to discuss the overall impact the products will have on their
organization. The moment a low-voltage contractor starts substituting products
the following dominoes start falling for the organization that inherits the
IT staff needs training to understand the nuances of a new product. This often costs
more than the savings obtained by bidding the cheaper materials.
cheaper products are harder to get after the initial bid. The distributor and
manufacturer are less willing to work with the customer to stock cheaper materials
because their margins are lower. This may be the largest long-term impact on
the customer because it causes delays on future network upgrades.
customer doesn’t have a true partnership after the project is completed and
struggles to find training for the IT staff and future-proofing for your
considering your next network infrastructure bid, demand the “three-legged
stool” model. The value you receive from a solid manufacturer, distributor and
contractor collaboration far exceeds the minor cost savings you receive from
the contractors trying to purely win a job through low-bids.