2016 Gold Book Edition

This 38th annual special edition is packed with original SSI research and resources to help electronic security contractors succeed throughout the year.

According to results of Security Sales & Integration‘s new 2015 Installation Business Report (IBR), although the average number of installations is down in all but one tracked sector, the prices charged for systems are up across the board while the average gross profit margins are holding firm. The sector bucking the trend is intrusion, which continues to ride on the coattails of a connected-home residential resurgence that has pushed that market to precisely half of the entire pie for installing contractors and monitoring providers (up 15 percentage points since 2013). On top of that, the amounts charged for both residential and commercial projects and monthly monitoring are trending upward, making a .4% uptick in attrition less disconcerting than it might be otherwise.

Looking over to the fire, access control and video surveillance segments, all three registered higher revenues per system than they did in 2014, and thusly more than compensated for fewer new system sales. Access’ accentuated returns were largely due a significant increase in average openings per project (5.7 to 6.9), while video zoomed in on more dollars despite a slight decrease in the average number of cameras per job. Take that commoditization! Furthermore, fire flared up to claim 17% (vs. 10% in 2014) of revenues according to business type.

With indicators like those it’s little wonder security dealers and integrators projected an overall revenue increase of 20% for 2015, with the average topping $10 million for the first time since 2011. On the commercial side, companies are retaining clients better too. Attrition was sliced by a half percent, down to 5.7%.

Even if you don’t own or have a direct stake in an installing or monitoring concern, these are figures that ought to make you feel extremely good about your employment situation or career choice. After all, healthier business generally bolsters an entirely different kind of security ― job security. And in fact the IBR also shows companies are adding bodies, with the average number of full-time workers rising by 15% (45 to 53 people). Perhaps best of all is that the average salaries of nearly every staff position rose for the second year in a row. Going back two years, the industry has now seen compensation rise 7%. The only post unable to enjoy the spoils during 2015 was central station operators. Among the best rewarded (9% average) were installation techs.

SSI‘s IBR is perennially one of the most eagerly anticipated features of this Gold Book edition, not just because how the original data lends insights into where businesses and the industry are heading, but also because it reveals which technologies and service offerings are taking off ― as well as stalling.

Cases in point: POTS alarm transmission dipped to 41% (down 20 percentage points since 2013) and cellular rose to 42% (up 17 points since 2013); 36% of customers are remotely accessing their intrusion systems (up 9 points from 2014); keyless entry for residential access control installations went from being included 15% of the time a year ago to 57% today; coaxial cable in video surveillance installations has declined 39 points since 2007; and video analytics, IP cameras growth, megapixel camera sales, digital encoders and cloud-based services all rose between 4 and 17 points.

This special annual issue is filled with scads of other invaluable resources to help ensure you achieve similar success.