Wasp Barcode upgrades partner program to enhance margins, training

Wasp raises partner margins for its top two tiers to as high as 35 per cent, believing this is what it will take to be a market leader in the barcode space.

Brian Sutter, Wasp’s Director of Marketing

Plano TX-based Wasp Barcode Technologies has announced some major changes to its partner program. The big enhancement is significantly higher margins for the top two tiers in the three tier program, Training, which is free, has also been significantly upgraded.

“This wasn’t a case of either us or our partners being dissatisfied with how our channel was performing,” said Brian Sutter, Wasp’s Director of Marketing. “The channel has been a significant growth engine for us, and we want to put all our resources there. We thought we had a solid program before, but we wanted to have an industry-leading one.”

Sutter said that in discussions with partners, more margin and more training were the two things that kept coming up.

“The major guys in our area never increase margins,” he said. “We aren’t trying to make a small change here. We are trying to become a market leader, and this is what it would take.”

Previously, Wasp gave a 10 per cent margin to all three levels of their partner program – Premier, Gold and Platinum. Now Gold partners get an extra 10 per cent. Platinum partners get this, and an extra 15 per cent, for a total of 35 per cent. These are all paid at the front end, and are not back-end rebates.

“We believe we can do this because barcode vendors like Zebra, Motorola and Honeywell are more AIDC [automatic ID and data capture] hardware products,” Sutter said. “While we use hardware components within our complete solution, we consider ours to be more solution products – like asset tracking software, and inventory control software. We are really looking for partners who realty want to sell more software and solutions.”

As far as training goes, while the basic Premier tier receives free Web training, the training for Gold and Platinum members has been upgraded to live, Web certification training for each Wasp product.

“All the training is free,” Sutter said. “They just have to tell an account manager they want to be trained.”

Sutter said that last year, Cindy Moffitt, Wasp’s channel sales manager for North America and Australia, established Wasp’s first partner boot camp.

“There was two days of intensive training followed by evenings of relationship building,” Sutter said. “It was so successful that we are going to do four of them this year, two here in Dallas and two across North America, where we will invite our top partners.” The bootcamp is free as well, with Wasp taking the position that these top partners are investing their time in leading with Wasp.

While Gold partners do receive software leads, Sutter said that Platinum partners would now be receiving prequalified hot software leads.

“This is customers who want an immediate response, and who want a demo of the product.” Sutter said. “We used to do the demos ourselves for this kind of prospect, but we are now training the partners how to do the trials, and passing the lead of immediately instead of after the demo so the partner has the customer relationship to own from the very beginning. The partner being closer to the customer will provide more opportunities for Wasp.”

Moffitt indicated that the Canadian market was a particularly strong one for Wasp.

“We have been having some fantastic success in Canada, and recently brought on more partners in Canada,” she said. Wasp is also now doing Canadian-specific events with partners.

“We have three distributors in Canada,” Sutter noted. “Two of our top ten partners are in Canada now, and I think it will be four in the top ten within the next few months.”