What a difference a year can make. Just 12 months ago, during what was hopefully the apex of the recession, installing security companies were aiming for a 34-percent gross profit margin yet were only seeing a 24-percent return. In 2010, those businesses projected earnings at 32 percent, but halfway through the period are actually exceeding that forecast with a 35-percent take. However, the economic scars remain with more firms (42 percent) reporting their financial footing has slipped the past three years.
These findings were among the wealth of vital market intelligence gleaned from SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION's second annual Operations & Opportunity Report (OOR). This unique, original research not only conveys better times for the electronic security industry but, even more importantly, uncovers how these providers are succeeding by identifying the top money-making and cost-saving ideas, and today's leading growth opportunities.
More than 200 executives, managers and others from across the nation, representative of all sizes of companies, were asked a host of questions targeting not only the best ways to boost profits and reduce expenses, but also the implications of implementation. Further, respondents were asked to identify the most promising new technologies and service offerings, as well as the most viable vertical markets. Several financial and operational questions were also included.
Among the key changes from a year ago: megapixel video and fire alarms are the fastest growing technology areas; commercial offices, residential and industrial are rising markets; maintenance/service agreements top recurring revenue aspirations; poor time management is cited as an increasing drain on the bottom line; reputation/referrals has risen as the leading boost to the bottom line; and there is an upswell of disenchantment with product pricing.
For more on these benchmarks and scores of other indispensable data, press onward where nearly 20 graphs and captions tell the complete story.