Investing for the future
Written by: Sam Fenwick | Published:
Airsys has invested heavily in its demonstration vehicle, which allows resellers to show the latest products and solutions to potential customers in a live environment

(Advertisement feature) These are changing times for the UK’s two-way radio industry, with Brexit looming large on the horizon. Refusing to take the easy “wait and see” approach, Airsys has been investing heavily in all areas of its business to help support its partners through the continuing evolution of the channel

Operating in the two-way radio market is becoming increasingly complex with not just economic pressures, but ongoing technological advancements needing more expertise and additional consideration on how to meet end user requirements.

These changes are expected to not only continue into the foreseeable future, but accelerate. Channel consolidation is something that many expect to see over the coming years.

Whilst these challenges are formidable, all are manageable. To this end, Airsys, a value-added distributor of the past 25 years, has been adapting to keep pace with these changes and hopefully take one step ahead.

Investing for the future
Airsys has invested heavily in multiple areas including a new website, a soon to be launched B2B e-commerce platform, improved training facilities, an increased product offering, a new demonstration suite and an updated demonstration vehicle. The latter can be sent all over the country and has been designed so that it can easily display a dealer’s livery, if required.

This vehicle recently proved its worth, when a dealer approached Airsys for help with the deployment of a computerised tracking system at a university. Airsys’ technical manager, Tom Grady explains. “We supported the dealer with the provision of the demonstration vehicle which had all of these systems built onboard. We invited the end-customer to see it so that they could get a taster of what they were going to purchase. The feedback from the reseller confirmed that the vehicle was pivotal in securing their business.”

Recently, Airsys unveiled its new website. Leigh Hope, Airsys’ chief operating officer (pictured right) recognises that this is a long overdue development. “This year we’ve invested in a new website - the next step in early 2018 will be a full B2B e-commerce platform. We are really excited about the launch of this platform, the aim is to provide our partners with a complete one-stop-shop for hardware, software and firmware updates. Allowing them to generate their own quotes and place orders whenever they want, 24 hours a day, seven days a week without having to pick up the phone. Ultimately we hope that this will enable us to become integrated partners for the long term.”

To support the delivery of these improvements, Airsys has strengthened its own team in all departments. This includes dedicated resource in both Marketing and IT, which has not only delivered the recent Airsys re-branding and ongoing e-commerce developments, but will also improve the wider business support that Airsys offers to the channel. In particular, Airsys feels that marketing will remain critical in the future and welcomes working with all of its channel partners to support and develop their go to market strategy.

More than just a box shifter
Hope says that “Given the uncertainty that we’ve seen in the market this year and expect to see in 2018, we’ve been putting everything in place to ensure that we’ll be able to cope with whatever the future may bring. Change is here to stay and we must continue to push ahead.

“With our support, we can complement the service our partners provide. It is important for us to be more than just a distributor of stock but a value added service provider committed to quality."

Airsys recently achieved the ISO9001:2015 quality standard, passing the audit without any major or minor faults, “That was brilliant to be honest, because quite often in my experience, they’ll pick up something that they’re not happy about,” says Julie Cottrell, Airsys’ quality manager. She adds that “the company will continue to work hard to ensure the highest quality of service and has committed to continuously improving its procedures.”

“Our sales team are trained in more than 8,000 products and provide a single point of contact for each reseller," adds Hope. "As part of this relationship, we look carefully at their business and their requirements and put together tailored plans to help them take their sales to the next level. Supported by product champions who have completed all the required training for our key manufacturers, we can ensure that fit for purpose equipment is delivered when it is needed most.”

Speaking about the investment in the demonstration suite, Grady goes on to say “It was once a technical workshop, but we’ve expanded it significantly to make it a great place to learn about the latest products and software alongside our technical staff. It also links with our demonstration vehicle, which is unique to us and available to all of our partners.”

Airsys has invested heavily to ensure it has every type of product and technology at its disposal and is able to recreate issues that the resellers are experiencing in the field and help fault find over the phone remotely. Alternatively, Airsys can invite the partners to the suite for a detailed training day which can be in the form of a classroom environment or more hands on depending on the individual requirements of the partner.

This means that Airsys can offer support at a one to one level which is invaluable when upskilling or problem solving. This was the case recently when Airsys supported a partner with a detailed training session to introduce them to Motorola Solutions’ latest technology which then developed into a sales opportunity for the reseller.

New products for a new age
When it comes to aiding Airsys’ partners with project definition, “The D3M web application system we use is pictorial, so you can see all the elements of the system – that helps sell the system because it clearly shows the end-user what’s being proposed and how the project will be delivered.”

Grady adds that this level of support extends to IT systems, as Airsys has its own IT specialists who can guide dealers all the way though the integration of radio systems with end-users’ IT networks – an often bespoke and involved task.

Airsys prides itself on working closely with the manufacturers it represents and supports. When Airsys approached all the vendors to outline its vision for the demo suite and the additional services it can offer the channel they were very supportive in contributing to the new resource. Therefore, Airsys has all the latest technologies ranging from tier II/III systems and the most up to date broadband solutions, all of which can be unified together. Airsys can offer the latest dispatcher, alarm handling and indoor location software all ready for training or system design depending on the requirements of the reseller.

It’s all about the support
Hope says “This is all supported by the size of our inventory – on average, we hold four million pounds’ worth of stock and operate at 98 per cent next day delivery on all the product lines we carry. Additionally, we’ve also worked hard to ensure that all our business processes can deliver the quality our partners have come to expect [see “Committed to quality” above].

“With our six strong customer service team who deal with order processing, warranty, repair, deliveries and general enquiries we can ensure our resellers receive that extra level of support.

“2018 may be a challenging year for us all, but I’m confident that the investments and changes we’ve made this year will mean that we’ll be able to provide 360° support to our partners come what may.

“As a distributor, we must listen, solve and deliver. Flexibility will be key and will enable us to continue to deliver the kind of value that the channel has seen over the past 25 years.”

Contact details
If you would like more information on Airsys’ products, please contact a company representative on:
Telephone (UK): 023 8071 8700

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