One year after Anixter’s acquisition of CLARK Security, Locksmith Ledger had the opportunity to interview CLARK Security President Susan Kuruvilla. Following are the Ledger’s questions and Ms. Kuruvilla’s answers.
Would you share your assessment of the Anixter/CLARK merger after the first year?
The first year of CLARK’s partnership with Anixter has been a remarkable success. In many ways, we are the same leading wholesale distributor of security products and services that locksmiths nationwide have come to rely on for more than 50 years. As always, CLARK is committed to the security professionals we serve. To help meet our customers’ needs, we deliver a broad range of innovative security solutions at a competitive price, including a robust inventory, state-of-the-art technology, training, and knowledgeable sales representatives. Partnering with Anixter, CLARK now offers more products, inventory, education, and expertise than ever before to help locksmiths stay competitive in the ever-evolving security market.
What are additional advantages for locksmiths?
CLARK is leveraging Anixter’s infrastructure and capabilities to develop in ways that will help our customers meet market demand and expand their business.
- Inventory: Combining CLARK’s and Anixter’s inventories, CLARK has become a one-stop shop for a broad range of products, from mechanical hardware to networked-managed video and access control solutions. CLARK’s partnership with Anixter has given it unparalleled access to more than $900 million in inventory, including fiber and copper cabling and connectivity, advanced security products, and related power and networking components. CLARK has also made additional investments to its inventory around the country to continue providing the range of products our customers need. If we don’t have the product, CLARK works to source it quickly.
- Geographic footprint: CLARK is expanding its geographic footprint to service our customers faster. In the last year, CLARK has opened a Safe Depot in Houston, TX, and another location in Atlanta, GA, which enables the company to serve additional same-day markets. Stay tuned for similar expansions in 2012. In addition, CLARK has co-located three facilities with Anixter, including locations in Anaheim, CA, Denver, CO, and Lewisville (Dallas area), TX, which allows us to host larger security and technology training sessions for our customers at each of these locations.
- CLARK Systems Desk: Offering state-of-the-art products and specialized services, CLARK has also been expanding to meet the demand of the access control market. Technical experts at the CLARK Systems Desk design, configure, supply, and support IP addressable access control solutions and can provide level 1 and some level 2 support for PC-based, server-based, wireless (802.11) and Ethernet (802.3) systems. Through the CLARK Systems Desk, customers also have access to Anixter’s security experts who provide expert-level support around IP video surveillance and security cabling. (You can reach the CLARK Systems Desk at 1-800-993-5625.)
- Leading security expertise: Having retained the majority of our sales force over the past year, our customers have access to more than 150 knowledgeable and technically trained representatives who are waiting to provide personalized, expert advice. CLARK is also training its entire sales force around our new product offerings so that each representative can support the technology and solutions that CLARK now offers. We are equally committed to training our customers on these offerings.
- Operations: CLARK has gained operational efficiencies that have freed resources that we can reinvest in even more customer-facing solutions.
What new types of products have been added?
CLARK has been investing in a greater depth of inventory on existing brands tailored to the needs of our customer base. CLARK customers also have access to Anixter’s deep inventory of wire, cable, and data cabling solutions, security products, and related accessories.
Mr. Merrifield said that all businesses have dodged a “near-death” experience and have become more cautious. He predicts that by mid-to-late 2009, the economy will improve.
Distributor Profiles Each year, Locksmith Ledger polls a select group of locksmith distributors on the state of the industry, the advances and challenges faced by their businesses, and future...