Exclusive: Security Integrator Execs Explain How to Execute Biz Plans
Executives from four electronic security companies detail how their balanced menus of offerings can serve as a recipe for success.
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And I’m sure there is also a nice incentive attached to it …
TOLLESON: They’re definitely incentivized. They’re going to make money off it. They were making money five years before when we didn’t ask them to do it, or even three years ago when said we needed to keep a metric with it and we didn’t keep up with it. It really changes when you actually inspect what you expect. We expected people to sell it before but we didn’t measure it and now we’re measuring it. Now it’s really changed our business.
MEURER: One of the areas we focus on is outdoor protection. We have our own guard team to be responders to the alarm systems we’re installing and monitoring. Truly one of the real hotbeds is copper theft, tool theft, fuel theft, all those problems that occur on construction sites and in outdoor storage yards. That’s a massive need and there’s very little being done to proactively address that. We’ve found that to be a very lucrative sector for us. A lot of the systems we put in are temporary for a year or so while a project is going on. The customer leases it so we can charge a very significant number on a recur-ring basis, and turn that equipment over and over again. It’s become a very good market for us.
Do you have actual metrics or results success stories you show prospects?
MEURER: Yes, we have plenty of stories about losses we’ve intervened and stopped from occurring, areas where we’ve had a breach and we’ve caught the intruders onsite. We have a contractor that does a lot of work for the local school system in our area. He won’t do a project anymore unless we’re onsite providing that temporary protection. He’s paying us $2,000 a month per site. That’s a very nice chunk of recurring revenue. As soon as he finishes one project, he starts another. It’s basically a project that continues to earn money. We never charge less than $400 to $500 a month, and we’re often charging $1,000 to $2,000 for a very simple site to put together and monitor.
On these solutions, are they mostly sensors or are you using video also?
MEURER: We do some video. We’ve done video analytics solutions for that, but a lot
of time it’s just beam systems. All I need is a signal that something’s going on. I’ve got a two-beam system such that I’m not picking up a dog or a cat or tumbleweeds. But we’re looking at another option I think is going to be ground-breaking: utilizing drones in conjunction with perimeter protection systems to go ahead and do the interrogation of the site.
That’s sex appeal that could jolt sales.
MEURER: Not only that, the drone, while it’s becoming a mobile video plat-form, you can put sensors on it to blanket an area. We’ve got a whole system we’re putting together now. It’s self-enclosed, the systems are completely autonomous. Nobody has to drive them. They’re all preprogrammed. They recharge them-selves so nobody has to change batteries. It’s an innovative solution I just know is going to be a game-changer.
Steve, what’s working especially well in your business?
CRESPO: IP video is continuing to be very strong for us. It’s not just the IP video, it’s the pull-through business we’re getting. It’s all the hardware, the servers, things the customer needs. Now that we’re working with the IT departments we’re getting all that pull-through busi-ness. In the past, we would have never gone after that. It’s been really cool.
Integrating systems is also definitely a big part of what we’re doing. But where we’re seeing it working well is with the larger clients. The smaller clients don’t have the budget for it. They don’t have the people internally to be involved with that kind of system. It’s the larger client and they are IT-centric. The IT departments are involved. They see the value, they get the ROI so it makes sense for them to have a totally integrated system.
The other area is professional services. Again, it tends to be with the larger clients, more enterprise clients. We’re coming in and doing major database project work. We’re helping to drive standards. In some cases we’re involved and engaged with the RFP process and helping them get that out.
What is Per Mar Security most keenly focused on for new business right now?
BRIAN DUFFY: We’re a conservative company by nature and a late adopter a lot of times. We’re doing quite a bit of IP video this year compared to last year. We’re seeing more growth and installation revenue in our IP video and access control, as opposed to the more traditional alarm systems. For recurring revenue, alarm systems is still where we find the most success and it separates us from local competitors who can’t provide the monitoring in-house like we do.
The IP video you speak of, is it mostly new projects or migrations?
DUFFY: Mostly migrations. There’s not a lot of companies of size that haven’t done video at some point. We still occasionally run into those that haven’t seen the value before, and now they see they’re getting the quality they’re willing to invest. But mostly it’s our legacy customers who are interested in getting higher quality video.
How do you attach some recurring revenue to the IP and access control?
DUFFY: We do sell hosted access control systems. That would be one way. We sell some hosted video. We have more success with hosted access at this point in time. But we sell a service agreement on everything we offer. We attempt to get service agreements to make it so the customers can budget their expenses and know we’ll take care of it for them.
What kind of take are you getting on those types of services?
DUFFY: Hosted systems would be roughly half of the systems that we’re selling, but in percentage of doors it would be much lower. The larger projects we’re not selling hosted most of the time, so it’s probably 10% of the doors and 50% of the orders. The hosted offering allows someone to buy access control who previously wouldn’t have dreamt of it. It’s the type of customer that if you ask them what one door of access control would cost, they’d say anywhere between $300 and $5,000. They have no idea. So having a more affordable offering fits into the budget of a lot more of those customers.
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