Microtec, electricians join to strike a distribution, monitoring deal

Friday, November 1, 2002

ST-AUGUSTIN, Quebec - In a move to promote its proprietary line of products, Microtec Enterprises has signed a deal with an electrician's trade group to promote and install the security company's product line.

Through its partnership with La Corporation des Maitres Electriciens du Quebec (CMEQ), Microtec hopes to make its manufacturing and product development operations more robust, said Sonia Bertrand, director, customer relations for Microtec. The company manufacturers the Merlin security system and other products, such as the M-989 monitored smoke detector and a panel that incorporates home automation features.

"We are now a distributor…and we would like to do a lot of business as a distributor," Bertrand said. "The CMEQ (partnership) is very important to Microtec."

The agreement with the CMEQ will allow Microtec to boost its portfolio of monitoring accounts while at the same time securing equipment contracts. The nearly 3,000 members of the CMEQ, electrical contractors licensed in Quebec, will install Microtec's products on a "semi-exclusive basis" through group purchasing opportunities, said Joseph Palumbo, who coordinates the buying group for the CMEQ's commercial division. Microtec will monitor all accounts on a contract basis.

"They sell to us and we redistribute to our members," Palumbo said. "With their (product's) automation possibilities, which in this province you can't touch anything electrical without being a master electrician, it just marries well."

Under the terms of the partnership, CMEQ members will install and service the accounts as well as retain ownership of the monitored accounts.

"The recurring revenue actually ends up in the (members') pockets as well, because the whole idea is to build revenue for the contractors," Palumbo said.

Security was a market that once belonged to electrical contractors in Quebec, until booming economic times in the 1960s and 1970s diverted attention to other projects, Palumbo said.

"Times being what they are, everybody tries to regain their market share," Palumbo said.