Sometime before 1990, Sam Walton created a relationship with Proctor & Gamble to have a channel of products flow through Walmart stores based on sales and stock levels at prices that reflected the huge volume a nationwide retailer supported. It was a direct partnership where P&G was producing inventory to go directly into Walmart stores without having to maintain stockpiles in warehouses in anticipation of orders. The concept of Channel Partnerships was born.
Over the years, the Channel Partner concept has morphed, scaled, and developed, but at its heart, the basis of the relationship is an interdependent trust. The distributing partner assures that the seller will have ready stock when it is needed at the most competitive price, and the seller finds, develops and manages clients who will buy the products. As with anything that evolves over 25 years, there are different level of success with selling partnerships. The relationships need to be crafted to the abilities of both the distributor and the seller, with the ultimate goal of providing the best service and products to the final consumer. The original model, a soap manufacturer and a mass-market reseller, was simple: have the product the customer wanted on the shelf when they want it, at consistently low price. Creating an effective partner relationship for a complicated technical product is an entirely different matter.
The Frontier Model
At Frontier, we have developed a distribution/channel system that works well for highly technical products. As the world’s largest distributor for Peplink and Pepwave, we had to learn from our partners what they needed and then provide it. Unlike products on a store shelf where the end consumer selects, our partners are usually providing their clients, the end users, with networking solutions that the partners design. There is much more to the sales process than delivering boxes. With the proper understanding of roles, together we provide exactly what the end user needs.
Our partners identify and cultivate their customers then design systems to meet their unique needs. Their primary role is design, installation and on-site interaction. Peplink offers 12 different enterprise routers, 17 cellular/mobile routers, eight unique access points, as well as virtualization and VPN solutions. It would be extremely difficult for any partner to fully understand the entire product line and know exactly the correct tools for every situation. Frontier’s role is to be our partners’ resource for both presales and technical information.
Customer Service for Partners
We have seven Peplink Certified staff exclusively to help our partners with their sales. In addition to our account managers, we have two full-time technicians for everything from prebuild questions to fully developed proof of concept set-ups. When our partners request it, our technicians can become directly involved with their client installations. The same Frontier staff are also available to provide after-sale support for issues beyond our partner’s current ability. We work with our partners’ clients as the partners’ advanced support team.
Our Partners can offer the full Peplink and Pepwave product line without any stock expense or requirement. Frontier has the entire Peplink Line in stock, and ships most orders on the day we receive them. We also blind ship for partners who want items delivered directly to their clients.
Many of our partners are primarily service technicians and installers, and not remarketers. To assist them, in addition to stock and technical support, we maintain a library of tools exclusively for our partners. Behind our Partner Central login, our partners can find marketing advice and sales tools to build their client base, as well as extensive documentation and training modules to prepare for their own Peplink certifications.
The Frontier model has come a long way from the early partner relationships like Walmart and Procter & Gamble. However, we have maintained the key element: two business entities doing what they each do well, to provide end users with something they value.
Frontier Computer and its partners have implemented Peplink based communication systems throughout the world. Contact Frontier to learn how your can become a successful Peplink reseller.
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Frontier Computer Corp. is a leader in providing IT solutions worldwide.