Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Good News for our Public Safety Friends!

We attended the Alabama State Purchasing Vendor Open House today in Montgomery today. All approved Alabama State Contract vendors were invited to meet prospective purchasers and other vendors. A good time was enjoyed by all, including us! Since we represent multiple approved communications vendors (ICOM, Midland, Motorola, and Relm), we divided our time among those we serve and also brought along a brochure of our own featuring some products that are not yet on the contract.

Among other things, we are offering antennas with lifetime guarantees, 2-way radio batteries that last for a week, and a new battery service program that allows you restore life to batteries that have lost their capacity for less than fifteen dollars! It's an incredible program!

A copy of the brochure is available at Check it out and download a copy. We think you'll be impressed!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

New radios from Maxon!

Maxon is the company that gave us our first affordable public safety radios back in the 70's with a four channel crystal model that offered compact size, light weight (at least for it's time), durable construction, and inexpensive accessories.

Without going into the details, let us just say that many Korean manufacturers have suffered greatly under the burden of Chinese competition.  That's the bad news as Korea is one our strongest trading partners.  The good news is that Maxon has not only answered the Chinese challenge, they have introduced radios that raise the bar to the next level!

Two brand new radios are now available that offer incredible value, features, functionality, MIL-SPEC 810F reliability at a price of only $289!  Your choice mobile or portable, VHF or UHF with the features and performance of radios costing hundreds of dollars more.  Check them out at  You'll be glad you did!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A word about service!

Some vendors talk about service.  Some don't give it a thought, and some bend over backwards to take care of their customers.  We are one of those "backwards bending" organizations.  Still, we risk losing business when the user is located some distance from our facilities in Birmingham, AL.  As a result, we do some extraordinary things to take care of our customers.  If you've been thinking about considering, or not considering us as a potential supplier for your communications needs, we thought it might be appropriate to share an example of what we do for just ONE of our customers.

This particular customer is a county school bus system operation located some three hours away from us. The system is a Motorola MotoTRBO digital system with approximately 100 units, mostly mobile, plus fixed stations in all the schools, and portables for administrative and maintenance personnel. They have all the features available with MotoTRBO including GPS tracking and text messaging. Ordinarily, providing service on such a system would require a local service organization, but we are not ordinary.  Here's what we do!

We have a complete mirror image system at our shop including the repeater, all software, plus working mobiles, portables, and fixed stations.  We can duplicate and correct virtually any problem.  We have trained our user to do their own installs, first level maintenance, and programming.  Most times, we can identify and correct a problem over the phone.  We can send corrected software changes by email, even exchange defective radios as required.  We can replace the repeater the SAME DAY if necessary. The picture at the upper left is of a standby base station with duplexer that is set up and running in our office.  It is ready for instant exchange when required.

This system is not just sitting on a shelf.  It is actually running along with associated mobiles, portables, and fixed stations.  In our shop, we have a complete setup with both voice and data radios connected to a PC with the customers software, mapping, and messaging system running at all times.  We have portables and mobiles, both with operational GPS connected and running.   If we have to troubleshoot a problem, we can do it at our facility with no travel and no delay.

That' a picture of the office setup with PC, voice and data control stations and associated user radios at the right. We do the job better, less expensively, and more efficiently.  When you are considering the purchase of communications equipment, ask your prospective supplier what can of plan they offer to take care of you BEFORE you make your purchase.

Can we take care of YOU?  You bet we can, and we can do it very well!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

13% Fuel and overtime savings for less than the price of a gallon of gas!

With the latest economic trends in mind, fleet managers worldwide are working hard to improve fleet efficiencies, reduce costs, increase asset productivity and improve customer service.  A recent study also found that employees of businesses deploying GPS-enabled technologies saved approximately 54 minutes per day, with yearly labor savings of $5,484 per employee. Survey respondents also credited location-based services with improving the organization of employee routes. Other findings of the GPS fleet tracking survey.

GPS fleet tracking technology enables mobile workers to spend less time in traffic or finding routes

GPS fleet tracking increases the amount of time spent with customers

Customer service cited as the #1 reason why businesses invest in new GPS technology.

GPS fleet tracking helps drivers locate new stops

GPS fleet tracking streamlines the delivery process

This follows closely on the Aberdeen Group Report which showed similar findings, including a 13% fuel cost while also reducing overtime costs by 13%.  Want to know more about GPS and how if can help YOU?  Go to 

Thursday, October 16, 2008

New Product for Law Enforcement!

We are a long time supplier of vehicle camera systems (See As good as they are, we have lacked the ability to provide viewing inside the suspect vehicle. Now that's all changed with the introduction of a new product known as the SV-1000, a combination flashlight and DVR video/audio recorder. This personal digital video recorder is a three-in-one tool. As a flashlight, the white LED has 3 brightness levels to provide illumination with minimal battery drain. During the day or night, you can conveniently record video with audio or take photos. The incredible new SV-1000 is ideally suited for law enforcement use since it provides enhanced officer safety and evidence recording that would not be possible with vehicular camera systems.

The really great news is the price - just $299 complete with rechargeable batteries, AC and DC chargers, and CF mini memory card that allows up to 512 MB of data to be saved and transferred to your PC for viewing, storage, and retrieval. Additional information is available at

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A word about customer service

Several days ago, I was in the store of a friend of mine, who is in the computer business.  A customer came in to purchase a wireless router and my friend turned him away, stating that he didn’t sell or support wireless routers.  He then explained to me why he didn’t sell these products.  His comments are worth repeating.

My friend recognized that any product sold should be backed with good customer service which includes personal, email, live chat, and phone support.  With a typical profit margin of ten dollars or less, he simply could not provide the necessary support so he chose not to sell the product and concentrate his effort in areas where his knowledge and talent would be of value to the customer and profitable to his company.  Smart man!

The fact is that customer service has a cost.  One of the companies most often criticized for overcharging for software is Motorola.  Motorola charges ten times (or more) for software than most other companies.  They also require that all purchasers register before they will see the software at any price.  Why does Motorola make it so hard to purchase software?

First, there is an FCC requirement that field programming of 2-way radios is only to be performed by SELF SERVICING END USERS or as we call them, SEU’s.  This means that the user must possess the technical capability and knowledge of the FCC rules before being given the opportunity to change the operating parameters of licensed communications devices.  Motorola makes every attempt to assure that they have met this requirement before selling software.

Second, Motorola recognizes the benefit of knowing who has their software to allow them to notify users of upgrades, renewals, etc.

Third, and maybe most important of all – Motorola generates sufficient revenue to provide the support necessary to assist their customers when help is needed.  That is business the way it should be!

So what is our point?  The point is that you don’t get something for nothing!  While it is true that many manufacturers offer low cost programming software. It is basically sold as a product or accessory on the assumption that the purchaser will know how to follow the instructions provided with the software (generally in the Help screen section).  This has proven to be not necessarily so….

Does that manufacturer owe their customers phone support to walk them through programming issues?  Whether they owe it or not, the fact is that they cannot justifiably support such customer service on a low cost 2-way radio sold on extremely tight margins. 

So what is the solution?  We can take a lesson from Microsoft.  You pay for specialized support.  We charge $75 per hour with a $25 minimum.  If you need help in programming any of the products we sell, with the exception of Motorola, call us at 205.854.2611.  Have your American Express, Discover, MasterCard or VISA ready, and we’ll give you an assist.  This way, we can provide the highest level of customer service at reasonable cost.  That’s a winning situation for all concerned!  You get service as required, and we don’t go broke in the process!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Alabama State Contract News

The Alabama State Contract for communications (T300) was extended on October 1, 2011 to provide significant savings to public safety users through September 30, 2012. ICOM offers the greatest discount with 37.25% off regular prices (Price schedule available at Midland is offering 35% (, Relm offers a 34% discount ( Motorola offers 25% (visit a special web page at for pricing. Use a Login of ALCONTRACT and a password of Guest to access the special pricing on Motorola Professional communications products.

To order, please use our on-line order form at Enter the applicable contract number - 4010273 for ICOM, 4010272 for Midland, 4010274 for Motorola or 4010276 for Relm. If you have any questions, or if we can be of service in any way, please email or call 800.489.2611.