New SIA President Marc Mineau of the DSC Group sees a tight labor market and manufacturer consolidat

Sounding like a loyal Marine, Marc Mineau of the DSC Group is ebullient when he talks about “giving back” to the security industry. It’s that sense of duty to the alarm business that has driven Mineau to take the reins as the new president of the Security Industry Association (SIA), the association serving the manufacturing community.

Mineau’s background in the industry is diverse, enabling him to have a wide perspective on problems and issues. From 1973 to 1988, he owned and operated an alarm installation company in Montreal, installing burg, fire, access control and CCTV, both residentially and commercially. During that time, he served as president of the Canadian Alarm and Security Association (CANASA).

He sold that company in ‘88 and started an access control manufacturing company, Kantech Systems. The DSC Group purchased Kantech in 1992 and he stayed on as president. In ‘98, Mineau was elevated to the position of director of marketing for the DSC Group, while maintaining his position as president of Kantech.

At SIA, Mineau has served as the chairman of the Access Control Interest Group, as well as chaired the Education and Industry Research committees. He has served on SIA’s Executive Committee as secretary and treasurer.

As president of SIA, he plans a major thrust on education. He sees the industry’s growing labor shortage as the primary problem facing security manufacturers and dealers in the next few years. Other trends Mineau sees affecting SIA in the coming years will be industry consolidation, the need for increased global distribution of products, and mending inter-association relationships.

In an executive dialog with Security Sales, Mineau outlined his plans for SIA during his two-year term.

Security Sales: What compelled you to become more involved and ascend to be president?

Marc Mineau: I believe if someone joins and organization and accepts a position on the board, he should have some goals to serve on the association’s executive committee. Once there, you should take the senior position if you have the time. I see it almost as a responsibility. It is difficult to find people who have been around long enough in the industry to hold the top positions.

SS: Are consolidation and the labor shortage the two key areas you will stress during your presidency?

Mineau: I believe consolidation on the installer side is old news and has probably reached a point of stability. The next level of consolidation on the dealer side will have less impact than it did during the past five years. The consolidation of manufacturing is something that has been very active, even with pending announcements. I think the continuing consolidation is going affect this industry. When the same company acquires both a manufacturer and a dealer, that is definitely going to cause industry change.

SS: How is SIA addressing the industry’s labor shortage?

Mineau: Some of the people managing the larger installing companies say the lack of good labor to install and support systems is limiting their growth.  That has a direct impact on every SIA member in terms of the growth that can be expected. So, the industry is examining the creation of educational programs and delivery methods to train more people than are being trained today. SIA is looking at a proposal to invest $1 million over the next five years for content of education programs, not delivery. It is an industry-matching fund, which means there will be a total of $2 million invested in course material in the next five years if this proposal works out.

SS: What is your forecast for the industry over the next two to 10 years?

Mineau: When you look at the past 10 years, someone from outside our small universe could characterize our industry as “stodgy” and slow moving., especially in areas such as burglar alarms and fire alarms. During the next 10 years, that “stodgy” character can no longer continue. Many companies from outside the industry are starting to see the value of our business. As the revenues continue to grow and more people are attracted to the industry, there will be a fast pace of development over the next 10 years.

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