EFI's Triple Crown Warranty gives resellers 'powerful' edge - EFI Electronics Corp

Sometimes it's difficult to distinguish between oranges and oranges. Sure there are different types -- ones with seeds, ones without -- but for the most part, as far as consumers go, an orange is an orange.

Such is the case with surge suppressors and uninterruptible power supplies (UPS). While manufacturers take great pains trying to differentiate their goods from the rest of the pack, many users aren't concerned about the guts of the products. Instead, users want to know whether the products will get the job done and if they are available at a decent price.

EFI's Triple Crown Warranty gives resellers 'powerful' edge - EFI Electronics CorpBut Tim May, vice-president and general manager at EFI Electronics Corp. in Salt Lake City, UT, said his company has found a way to stand out in the crowd.

"We have some technical advantages and feature advantages, but sometimes those are difficult to get people to understand when they're more interested in CPU processing speeds and monitor resolution and applications issues," May said, explaining that's why the Triple Crown Warranty program was started for resellers. The program, he continued, aims to attract resellers looking for an edge in the power game.

"Our exclusive warranty program is essentially an add-on-insurance type of program with our surge suppressor products that we have underwritten with two insurance carriers. ...It offers some additional value that resellers can use to sell surge suppressors and UPS products in that if you have our Triple Crown products and a computer system attached to it, and something is spilled on it or it's damaged by fire or if the sprinkler goes off, this program covers the cost of the repair," May said.

For example, EFI has released LapTrax, a surge suppressor which protects not only against electrical disturbances but also against accidental breakage, water damage, lightning and fire, plus features a US$2,500 two-year protection against theft. By registering the products attached to EFI's products, users are guaranteed to be covered for any mishaps. It retails for US$89.95.

Other products covered by the Triple Crown program include the PowerTrax 2000 Plugstrip, a surge suppressor featuring six outlets, patented wave tracking and EMI/RFI noise filtration; and the SysGarde Standby UPS, which operates in an off-line or standby mode, providing utility power to the system until a voltage drop occurs, then power is transferred to the unit's battery pack in one millisecond.

"All that is required is the claim has to be filed, and attached to that either a repair estimate or replacement invoice from the reseller," May said.

He added that the Triple Crown Warranty is different from others claiming the same service in that their program is not a "gimmick."

According to May, some companies claim to replace damaged products, but they make it so difficult to file a claim, that in the end the customer is usually out of luck.

Because it's the reseller who does any repairs, May said, EFI looks to sign on a specific type of reseller.

"We expect that they are able to service their customers and we expect them to be certified to be able to install and service a network," he said.

As for resellers targeting specific vertical markets, May said, EFI resellers run the gamut from those catering to the Fortune 500 to those selling to government and small business.

May added that resellers signing on to the program not only get the advantage of the warranty program, but also stand to make good margins.

"The margins on surge suppressors is in excess of 50 per cent and on UPS products, 40 to 45 per cent," he said.

In Canada, EFI sells through Woodbridge, Ont.-based Ingram Micro Inc. (Canada) and private labels through ComputerLand of Brampton, Ont., and Montreal's MultiMicro.