17 Feb 2017

Vanderbilt Together: Meet Eric Widlitz, Vice President, North American Sales

What does a typical day look like in your role at Vanderbilt?

It varies every day, but I deal with all aspects of managing the company’s regional sales team, working with them on current projects and/or new opportunities, as well as potential issues. I’m also responsible for managing the Siemens relationship in the US since we started supporting their business here, so part of my day can be spent working with Siemens on various projects or trying to manage the proper stocking levels for them. This week, I’m also preparing for a consultant event as well as a regional sales meeting.

I also spend a lot of time working on business plans and models, product roll outs, such as the addition of our cloud-based platform from our acquisition of Access Control Technology, ACT365. I also work on growing our existing product lines. Customer visits is another aspect of my day – getting to meet our existing customers to find out what we’re doing right and where we can improve. No two days are ever the same in this business!

In your opinion, what is the key to achieving excellence in customer service in the security industry?

I see customer service as the entire buying experience – not just placing a simple order. We have to provide excellent service from helping our customers develop an opportunity to when they place the order, when we fulfill the order and beyond. From a sales perspective, we have to be able to provide the answers they need to make a decision, and then provide support from order through delivery of a purchase order. But our job doesn’t stop there; customer service is about supporting our customers post-sale to resolve any issues or provide continuing service to make sure we have a timely and accurate response in the event of any issues. It’s the whole buying experience – in today’s market, it needs to be exemplary to sustain, maintain and attract new customers.

How do you think Vanderbilt differs from its competitors?

A lot comes down to the people. We have a strong internal group and management team, and we have a strong product lineup. Over time, smart acquisitions continue to bring value to our overall product portfolio, which is viewed positively by our integrator partners and customers. What differentiates Vanderbilt is knowledge of the need to bring new ideas, products and solutions to our customers. If a company doesn’t do that, they become stale. We are going down the right path to deliver innovation.

What are your favorite things about your job? About this industry?

I’ve “grown up” in this industry. Before I joined Vanderbilt, I was in my previous position for over 20 years. I’m passionate about it. My favorite aspect of the job is going out and talking to end user customers, meeting them and truly understanding what their business issues are and help them come up with a solution that’s of value to them. There’s a challenge in it. In essence, I love the customer-facing piece of my role, which is part of the reason why I joined the Vanderbilt team.

How do you like to spend your time on your days off?

I love the outdoors! I’m a die-hard fly fisherman – all fishing really but especially fly fishing. I have two daughters – ages 10 and 13 – and they like to go fishing with dad, too. I also love kayaking, enjoying the woods with my dog, anything outdoors.