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2014 SSI Hall of Fame Inductee Peder Kolind

Peder Kolind, who introduced the mass-marketing model to the electronic security industry, joins the 2014 Security Sales & Integration Hall of Fame.

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Current Status
Philanthropist and Consul General of Denmark in Nicaragua

Why He’s on the List

  • In the 1980s, introduced the mass-marketing model to the electronic security industry after presenting his ideas to the top managers at Pittston Corp. who deployed the concept through Brink’s Security
  • The approach was: package a basic alarm system, use the media to market it, sell it at a uniform low price with costs recouped through monthly monitoring fees, install it immediately and bypass traditional channels used at the time
  • His firm understanding of what the “creation costs” of an alarm customer were enabled new system sales to be made for less than what it cost competitors to generate new sales
  • He also emphasized product standardization, which simplified the installation process and lowered the cost base
  • He started security companies in 15 countries that targeted the home security market to make security affordable to all
  • Almost every company that uses a low-cost, direct-marketing approach to building a business harkens back to Kolind’s model

Keys to Success

“No challenge is too complex or difficult to overcome. Once you have this attitude, a solution will present itself from an unexpected direction. You just have to be receptive and willing to take action. This is particularly true if you surround yourself with strong individuals and partners who are not afraid to challenge the status quo. When I started my first home security company, we required systems that would support monitoring security systems on a large scale. This simply did not exist in 1980 and no one was interested in providing us with software capable of supporting the mass market. I therefore started a company to develop the software to support central station management. That company is still operating today, and the software is used by some of the largest security organizations in the world, including the ones I originally started.”

The Kolind File

  • Born May 6, 1945 in Denmark
  • One of three children, father was a perfume salesman, mother was a supermarket assistant
  • Married with three children and nine grandchildren
  • Son works for central station automation firm Innovative Business Software
  • Earned chemical engineering degree at Technical University of Denmark (formerly Denmark’s Engineering Academy) and masters of business administration at Copenhagen Business School
  • Says if career had taken different path might have gone into architecture
  • Started out in 1960s as chemical engineer in the Texas oil industry
  • Other interests include funding and managing philanthropy projects within Nicaragua
  Mass Marketing in the 21st Century “When I started in this industry, only the wealthy could afford security systems. That is not the Scandinavian way. Through mass marketing and low upfront costs, we could enable all to feel safe and provide security systems where there was the greatest need. That model, which Brink’s deployed, continues today and is relevant particularly in global markets. You can see this in the low installation costs and recurring monthly monitoring fees that are being offered throughout the industry. However, the market in the U.S. has changed. Now that 15% to 25% of homes have security systems, we are approaching saturation in those markets that have traditionally bought our products. Further expansion requires the industry to address how to sell to customers with lower credit scores and how to retain customers in the traditional markets in the face of more competition. These challenges will need to be overcome if we are to continue to profitably recoup the cost of installations.” Creative Beginnings “When recruiting my first employees, I had to be creative. I designed a professional advertisement, placed it on a bulletin board in the most prestigious technical university in Denmark and handwrote, “I just had an interview, great place to work.” The person I employed from that advertisement is still with the company today and did not know for several years that I was the author of the note.”  Mentors and Motivators “I have worked with some great companies and people over the years. One of the most influential is Dick Seger from Securitas Direct. He and I helped develop the Brink’s model in Sweden, which has now grown to over 1.5 million customers across Europe. In my personal life, the scouting movement has shaped many of my approaches to managing people and solving problems. Lars Kolind, my brother, and previous chair of the World Scouting Foundation, has been a constant supporter and mentor. I grew up in a family where we were taught to challenge injustice. This has driven me throughout my life to stand up for what is right. When you are faced with a challenge, overcoming it is easy if you rely on your own moral compass. I maintain this belief in my approach to my philanthropy projects.” Improving Dispatch Practices “I have not yet seen companies taking advantage of all the data we have available to improve dispatches, increase efficiency and help our customers. With the right protection and sensitivity to personal privacy, the industry could transform the way it operates and provides services. For example, Innovative Business Software [central station automation supplier] is reviewing whether neural networks can be used to identify patterns in data that may increase monitoring operator efficiency.”

Article Topics
Business Management · Intrusion · People & Profiles · Media · Slideshow · Hall of Fame · Security People · All Topics

About the Author
Scott Goldfine
Scott joined SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in October 1998 and has distinguished himself by producing award-winning, exemplary work. His editorial achievements have included blockbuster articles featuring major industry executives, such as Tyco Electronic Products Group Managing Director Gerry Head; Protection One President/CEO Richard Ginsburg; former Brink’s Home Security President/CEO Peter Michel; GE Interlogix President/CEO Ken Boyda; Bosch Security Systems President/CEO Peter Ribinski; and former SecurityLink President/CEO Jim Covert. Scott, who is an NTS Certified alarm technician, has become a respected and in-demand speaker at security industry events, including presentations at the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) Annual Meeting; California Alarm Association (CAA) Summer and Winter Conferences; PSA Security Network Conference; International Security Conference and Exhibition (ISC); and Security Industry Association (SIA) Forum. Scott often acts as an ambassador to mainstream media and is a participant in several industry associations. His previous experience as a cable-TV technician/installer and running his own audio company -- along with a lifelong fascination with electronics and computers -- prepared Scott well for his current position. Since graduating in 1986 with honors from California State University, Northridge with a degree in Radio-Television- Film, his professional endeavors have encompassed magazines, radio, TV, film, records, teletext, books, the Internet and more. In 2005, Scott captured the prestigious Western Publisher Maggie Award for Best Interview/Profile Trade for "9/11 Hero Tells Tale of Loses, Lessons," his October 2004 interview with former FDNY Commander Richard Picciotto, the last man to escape the Ground Zero destruction alive.
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Hall of Fame, Security People