ABUS Security-Center has enjoyed success as a major distributor, coming a long way from its humble beginnings in mechanical locks.
“We started as a catalog distributor, then we became a specialized distributor,” said Michael Zabler, Marketing Director, ABUS Security- Center. “But our new positioning is a manufacturer.”
It has production facilities in Taiwan for video surveillance, with an in-house software development team in Germany for VMS and recorder software. “We don't buy the product and just label them,” Zabler said. “We are very proud we have engineers to develop the products and our partners in Asia and Europe.”
The company retains its emphasis on video surveillance and alarm systems. Its solutions are deployed for SMBs and private households.
ABUS Security-Center's background in mechanical security has given it a good reputation. “The top brand for mechanical security in Germany is ABUS — no brand has the recognition of ABUS,” Zabler said. “Now ABUS goes electronic. The interesting synergies let us combine mechanical devices with electronic devices. We have shifted to mechatronic.”
ABUS Security-Center is not only shifting to mechatronic production, but also moving to online marketing. “Catalog sales are always a B2B sale, not to users or SMB users,” Zabler said. “The catalog will be important for next few years, but our strategic targets have now shifted to the Internet. We are much faster with information.”
Its mechanical locks and video surveillance are sold through twoor three-step distribution. ABUS Security-Center has its own dealer, with more mechanical dealers storing products from them. It does not go directly to customers.
ABUS Security-Center anticipates smooth sailing ahead, with wireless alarm sales picking up in 2010.
Its B2B business was strong, although commercial IT business was slow. “My personal view is the security branch is about 10 years behind the IT branch,” Zabler said. “The switch from digital to analog now becomes realistic.”
The company has grand expansion plans for Europe and beyond. “We are in Austria, Benelux and Denmark,” Zabler said. “We think that with our setup, it makes sense to expand European-wise.”
About a third of ABUS Security-Center's sales comes from areas outside of Germany, with Austria being its most successful market. “We are maybe one of the top three players in Austria, especially in the alarm segment,” Zabler said. “The reason is the Austrian government supports the buying of alarm systems.”
The ABUS Security-Center model has done well in other parts of the world. Its Australian business was launched in 2009 with local partner LSC, reselling locks and mechanical devices. “We're very happy and surprised our products have succeeded in Australia,” Zabler said.