Using ROI to Get Customers to Buy Security

Gain the knowledge and tools to win the ROI battle by flipping conversations from security as cost center to cost-saver.

When most integrators discuss the return on investment (ROI) of a security system with their customers, they emphasize the cost that could happen if the solution isn’t implemented. In other words, we pitch ROI backwards. We tell them that if they don’t buy our solution, they will face higher insurance rates, potential loss of sensitive information, theft and vandalism.

The financial types refer to this as Annualized Loss Expectancy. Via a formula, they show their customers how their suggested system comes in at a price that efficiently shields the customer from a potential loss, be it a break-in to the hospital HIPAA files, an automobile on the sales lot or confiscated trade secrets. This is not an easy way to sell ROI. It’s open to many exceptions to the rule, plus the believability factor is not very high on the part of the customer. After all, what else would you say?

Remember the KISS formula (Keep It Simple, Stupid!). Instead, show them how your solution helps them save their organization money. For instance, does your new solution augment other parts of their already-installed security system? Will your new access control system interface with the installed video system so that when an intruder is noted all doors in that area of the facility will automatically lock? In a related solution, how many of your customers are using alarm systems with Wiegand interfaces? Perhaps, you might suggest that they tie your access control system into them. The alarm goes off; doors lock. Or, would the addition of a video system to their installed access system let them eliminate the cost of guards? But, don’t stop here.

If the solution can go beyond impacting just the security department at no extra cost, the ROI goes way up. For example, when selling cards and readers, perhaps you could team up with your local salespeople for time and attendance software. Show the human resources and accounting departments how the readers you are using to admit employees into the building can also clock people into work. Demonstrate to the IT people how their presently installed Wi-Fi system can become the network backbone for the access control system; they won’t need to wire the facility.

Analytics programs can be applied to a retailer’s surveillance video to determine how many customers come in at different times of day, how long they stand in line and what aisles they browse. That information can be used to reduce costs, boost sales, and improve staffing and inventory. Bottom line, don’t limit your sales calls to just the security department. The creative integrator includes all departments in the participation.

RELATED: Retail Security Spending Reflects ROI Prospects

Creatively Leverage Credentials

Normally, a contact credential, such as magnetic stripe cards, will only be issued for and last a few years. Because they are solid state, having no moving parts, the lack of wear and tear makes contactless RFID credentials much more robust, often deployed for a decade or more. As a result, they provide major savings in rebadging.

As you read Security Sales & Integration, in both the editorial and advertisements, you are going to see a word appear over and over again: mobile. Mobile examples include your customer’s traveling executive who can now, using the same ID badge, enter the facility in Paris as easily as going to work in his or her home office of Peoria. Or, instead of a badge, your customer’s executive is using a smartphone to do the same rather than a card.

What if one credential could be used for multiple functions throughout the facility … one card to carry, fewer PIN codes and passwords to remember, no cash to carry? The use of smart credentials (smartcards or smartphones) can make staff more efficient and increase their job satisfaction.

In addition to the functionality for multiple applications, smart credentials also increase the security of information kept on the card and stored in the facility. If applications require multiple forms of verification, the smartcard securely stores other credential types such as biometric templates, PIN codes and photos right on the smartcard, utilizing the enhanced storage and encryption of smart technology. It also provides an extra level of security at the access point, protecting the information behind closed doors or on the secure network.

Issuing one smart credential also impacts administrative costs. Not only is the cost of a single credential lower than purchasing multiple forms of ID, but the reduced management and distribution time for one credential will have a significant impact on administrative costs.

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