Security Technology Executive

JUL-AUG 2018

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T im, the owner of a southeast security company, has expe- rienced firsthand the security industry's progress and trans- formation over his 30 years as a manufacturer's representative. In recent years, Tim has recognized a dis- tinct upward trend in competition, and a corresponding downward trend in profit. In order to improve his position in the security industry and his profit- ability, Tim speculated that his com- pany could benefit from a recommit- ment to developing strong customer relationships. Listening closely to the needs of customers, finding appropriate and manageable solutions to those needs, and working hard to implement those solutions helped Tim differentiate his company from the growing com- petition. Rarely does theory become reality; however, Tim found success following this simple path. With less experience than Tim, Jeremy, the owner of a small-medium security company in the Northwest, also found success in a crowded industry by paying close attention to best practices. Jeremy executed a well- thought-out strategy to dodge compe- tition and move in an upward trend. Jeremy and Tim's stories are not uncommon across the cluttered secu- rity market in the United States. Secu- rity providers are caught in a market jammed with manufacturers offering a variety of indistinguishable products with low-profit margins. According to U.S. Department of Commerce, 98 percent of all U.S. com- panies are defined as small businesses employing less than 500 people. If this S-14 ACCESS CONTROL TRENDS AND TECHNOLOGY 2018 Mind the Gap Mid-sized security companies can realize success if they cultivate a solid business plan By John Moa ratio holds true for security providers, then it follows that many of these pro- viders can relate to the stories of Tim and Jeremy; small companies caught in the clutter of too many manufactur- ers offering an endless expanse of indistinguishable products with shrink- ing profit margins. Fortunately, we may be able to learn something from Tim and Jeremy's success stories. Security Gap; Where's the Need? Security gaps are identifiable security needs for which limited options exist. For example, card access and mechani- cal locks are the most commonly used systems for physical security. In the appropriate application, both are excellent solutions. New construction specifying a high traffic entry point is a perfect application for a card access system, whereas a remote site is well suited for a padlock. A security gap exists when the customer is in need of a functional and affordable solution where there's none to be had or – bet- ter said, where a solution is hard to find. Security gaps are not unique to physical security, extending to other disciplines such as video monitoring. For instance, this gap becomes appar- ent when a customer wants a camera to monitor, detect, and alarm. Filling this gap can be a prohibitively expen- sive undertaking involving unproven solutions: potential candidates may uti- lize high-definition cameras with facial detection software and further inte- gration to an alarm system. Although theoretically available, expensive and unproven solutions are not necessar- ily ones that customers want or can afford to pursue. Business gaps can be filled and profitability can grow if the manufacturer that closes the security gap is trustworthy, committed to the quality of its products, offers thorough training, provides world-class support, and consistently focuses on future research and development. Image Courtesy of BigStock.com

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