Managed Access Control (Part 3 of 3)
The third entry of our three-part series, ‘How to Grow RMR With Managed Access Control,’ explains how pricing and marketing guidance set stage for managed access control success.
MAC pricing programs can generally be grouped into three categories: 1) bundled; 2) build your own; and 3) a la carte. The bundled option typically involves clearly defining a set of services that normally includes setup, system programming, adds/changes/deletes of cardholders, and production of very basic activity reports E-mailed to the customer contact. This “fixed-rate” plan is a good match for small systems of five to 10 entry points and limited numbers (100 or fewer) of cardholders, and works well for dealers that wish to offer one price to the customer when high management costs are not anticipated.
The build-your-own option charges customers based on a matrix of doors, cardholders and maximum monthly change requests. Besides including the basic activity reports associated with the bundled option, a set number of ad-hoc or customized report requests will normally be included. This option is well suited for midsize clients (10-50 entry points and up to 1,000 cardholders) and ideal for dealers that want to actively manage the customer experience.
The a la carte option is really a menu of add-on services to either the bundled or build-your-own options providing for additional services to the customer not already included in the standard billing package. Prices for these services are normally set at a premium to reflect the more labor-intensive nature of special requests. Some examples include remote locking/unlocking of entry points, granting access to remote sites at the customer’s request, after-hours system management and responding to activity report requests outside of normal business hours.
When the dealer also offers photo-ID badge production services to the customer, the creation of additional badges above the number included in a basic package would also be assessed as an a la carte charge.
Assistance with developing MAC pricing models is certainly something the security dealer should expect from the vendor they partner with to provide the hardware and ACS products required to implement MAC.
MAC Marketing and Rollout
Once the decision has been made to roll out MAC services, the security dealer now needs to prepare for success. The first major step is identifying an ACS provide
r to become a strong partner with the dealer. Many ACS products can be configured for MAC implementation; however, they must incorporate the features described in Part 2 of this series, including database partitioning, and strong operator login and accountability features.
The chosen ACS provider should certainly possess a firm command of how MAC is implemented and marketed, as well as be able to demonstrate this understanding through experiences in successfully assisting other security dealers to grow their businesses in this area.
Prior to rollout, targets should be developed and included in a basic marketing plan. This can comprise a well defined list of potential clients, first from the dealer’s current customer list, then from lists of potential customer applications that will realize the most benefit from MAC (see Part 1 of this series for some examples).
It is also important to project the number of new accounts expected each month to assist in determining the needs of the initial MAC center infrastructure and RMR growth. This projection should demonstrate to the sales staff the expected commission earning potential. Comparing the planned growth of RMR against the investment for hardware, software, Internet connectivity and support personnel training will ensure that pricing options will result in an acceptable return on investment (ROI).
Marketing implementation devices should include customer presentations, pricing option schedules, system planning checklists and live customer demonstration tools. The good news is a well prepared ACS supplier should have most, if not all, of these items and more ready in template form for the dealer’s use in customizing its own services.
Why Not Get on Board Today?
Many examples of hosted services have developed during the past five years. This trend is clear in how businesses are moving the administration and support of mission-critical point-of-sale, accounting and management information services from internal operations to external service providers. This all ties in to the Software as a Service (SaaS) movement, which has created a buzz in the IT industry.
Traditional security dealers that developed RMR streams have had a much better time weathering the current economic situation. Now is the time for the security dealer that has been offering traditional, site-managed ACS to begin increasing the true value of its access control business through managed access control.
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