Hospitals Can Be Good for Your Business’ Health
Hospitals and other health care institutions have always had a great need for life-safety, fire and security products and systems. The aftermath of 9/11 brought this reality to light more brightly and harshly than ever before. Thankfully, it has stimulated increased funding for many of these facilities to pay for upgrades and new installations. Today, this market offers dealers and integrators a wealth of opportunity.
According the latest figures tabulated by Security Sales & Integration’s Business Installation Report (see our annual Top 500 Industry Resources Guide — which mails poly-bagged with next month’s SSI), health care tied with financial institutions for No. 5 as installing companies’ leading commercial clientele. For the record, topping those were, in ascending order, schools (in the case of universities, many also encompass hospitals) and government (tied); and retail and offices (also tied).
Earlier this year, I attended an event for health care security and safety professionals. There, I was able to sit in on several seminars dealing with the many critical situations and pressing needs hospital security directors, administrators and police chiefs contend with each day. I found the presentations and subject matter extremely compelling.
The time I spent speaking with dozens of hospital security officials made one thing overwhelmingly apparent: Their industry is one that prides itself on professionalism and selfless dedication to ensure the well being of others. This struck me as noble, if not downright heroic, and made it really hit home just how important the products and services our industry provides are in helping them accomplish their challenging mission.
These people get it. One of their top priorities is finding ways to do more with less; video surveillance, access control and other systems offer them an outstanding means to reach that end by facilitating equal or greater security with less manpower.
No wonder savvy low-voltage contractors ranging from large players such as Johnson Controls to smaller, regional companies like Enterprise Security Systems Inc. (ESS) are aggressively pursuing this market by exhibiting at health care-oriented events.
I wholeheartedly recommend installing firms look into the health care market and see if it makes sense for them. But first they must investigate whether their core competencies mesh with the demands and expectations of the hospital environment, which is in many ways unique from any other.
Probably the market most similar would be schools and universities as they are also open campuses with many of the same issues and concerns. Companies serving that market should be able to branch into hospitals rather easily.
Perhaps even more crucial than technical expertise, prospective integrators in this field must understand how to sell to health care institutions. To get a handle on how to do so, be sure to check out Senior Editor Chris Reed’s article, “Taking on Hospitals as Security Patients.”
My experience investigating this market invigorated me with a new sense of purpose for SSI and its mission as a nationwide platform to help dealers and integrators safeguard people and property — particularly in hospitals where life and death hangs in the balance on a daily basis. I hope you share my sentiments and look at this market as a tremendous opportunity not only for your business but also for humanity.
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