Shields boosts sales, joins cooperative

Friday, February 1, 2002

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.-The scale of sales in the security market just got larger for Tennessee-based Shields Electronics Supply after partnering with Edge Marketing and Procurement Group, a membership organization that is opening up new channels for them in the industry.

Shields Electronics Supply, which sells a full spectrum of security products and peripherals, started selling security products 15 years ago, but its security business shot up to approximately 40 percent recently, according to David Shields, chief financial officer of the chain of outlets situated in Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Bristol, Tenn.

Part of that was customer and industry driven, but the rest was via networking with other Edge members and distributors. In particular, Shields said associations with Middle Atlantic Products-Datatel (rack manufacturers) and Ideal Industries (for hand tools in networking and infrastructure) were a boon to his business.

"I hate telling a customer 'No' and to go and find the products somewhere else, because they will," Shields said. "Now we have whole new markets opened to us, especially those complimentary to the security market. The companies have very good products. I would have never had access to them before, but I do now because of my association with the group."

Edge started in 1991with six members who were electronics distributors. Today it has 78 local and regional members in the electronic, datacom, broadcast, security and CCTV industries.
The organization is similar to PSA Security Network, a business cooperative that provide dealers with buying power and networking opportunities.

Edge helps companies and distributors, like Shields, establish business partnerships. "There is strength in numbers and certain economies of scale to come from that," said Ron Meyers, chairman at Edge."