The January edition of SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION includes our annual industry forecast as a cornerstone of our special 2013 Industry Forecast Issue. For the piece, I interviewed 20 of the industry’s most knowledgeable market analysts, business experts, systems integrators, manufacturer representatives and trade association directors. Some of their perspectives can be found in the magazine article, with the balance of their assessments appearing in separate Under Surveillance blog posts.
Featured in this installment: Ron Walters, Director, Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC).
What are some nagging or pressing security industry issues you expect to remain unresolved? Any ideas/thoughts about how to address or improve these situations?
Ron Walters: Video monitoring and prioritizing police response to these alarms remains a hot topic for the industry with two views on the promotion of prioritized response. One action that needs to be taken is for the industry to begin the standards process for remote video monitoring and/or priority dispatching. Without standards and or guidelines it is difficult to move forward with a unified voice. Secondly, municipalities desire to push billing and collection of “customer” fines to each alarm company for payment. Though proven to be illegal and unconstitutional, many jurisdictions continue to pursue this approach. Due to budget constraints and the desire to improve their cash flow, we continue to see this issue arise across the country. So far we have managed to avoid any formal legal confrontations as those experienced in Fontana, Calif. Thirdly, nonresponse proposals will continue to pop up in various communities. If given the opportunity, SIAC will engage and educate those agencies on why that type of drastic action is unnecessary. We will demonstrate that well-enforced ordinances that include our recommended best practices can offer dispatch reductions up to 90%, with short-term reductions results ranging from 30%-50%.
What are some things that might surprise or catch people off-guard in the security industry? Any ideas/thoughts about how they can be best prepared to handle?
Walters: Of course, it goes without saying that the No. 1 threat is the economy. With that said, the No. 1 surprise could be Obama Care. As an example, one Arizona company recently reported that Obama Care will increase his operating costs by $62,000 a month. Certainly all company owners should be working with their accountants and/or attorneys to identify the threat level to their companies. This would also be an excellent opportunity for state associations to bring in guest speakers on the topic.