Bundle to Broaden Your Security Services Package

Learn how to become a single source vendor by creating incentives for clients to purchase multiple systems, plus maintenance.

In commercial settings, such as warehouses and large retail stores, access makes perfect sense because of the quantity and type of goods they often house. Dealers should encourage management to consider adding electrically-controlled locks under the control of card readers and/or keypads. Also persuade them to use a single, centralized head-end. This usually equates to a series of controllers throughout the facility equipped with firmware that controls all aspects of user access, door release, door-ajar alarms, video precepts and much more – all under the control of the security system.

Access control can be used inside as well as outside for better security. Place card readers/keypads and electrically-controlled locking mechanisms on all outside perimeter openings, in and out of the building. Outside buildings of any consequence also should be protected in the same manner. Remember to price outdoor-rated equipment.

Doors inside a building also should be protected using general nonweather-rated locks and readers/keypads. Start with doors located at major choke points within the facility as well as important departments. Examples of the latter include computer datacenters, critical records, money rooms, tool rooms, inventory and others.

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The advantages of access control are not limited only to commercial facilities. Large office buildings, especially those involving multiple tenants also lend themselves well to this advanced form of security, even residential settings using Z-wave wireless locks. This is especially so for traffic control and security. In institutional spaces, such as schools and government buildings, access control also is an ideal vehicle through which to bundle.

Knowing When to Bundle Product, Technology Types

It is a fundamental goal for security dealers and integrators to stay focused on what they do best while finding innovative ways to expand their reach into similar product and technology categories. One way to do that is to bundle environmental-related systems into security sales efforts. Not only does this provide additional upfront revenue, but it helps to redefine security systems from that of a necessity to be utilized at a single point in time to that of an everyday convenience – even a luxury.

Nowhere is this as evident as it is in the environmental space, which includes heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC); lighting contro
l; water detection and level control; pneumatic systems; and building automation processes. All of these areas, among others, act as an incentive for clients to buy.

In the area of HVAC control, for example, security firms can easily create bundled packages designed to add energy efficiency to homes and businesses. Using system integration techniques it’s possible for dealers to use the alarm panel to control various subsystems in the home, such as temperature. This can help clients achieve a cost savings of up to 30% over the course of a year. Given the fact that energy costs represent a significant expense in both residential and commercial settings, there’s a huge potential for interest in bundling.

Although most security technicians are not furnace-control experts, it’s possible to work in this space because so many manufacturers have made the task of systems integration easy and, for the most part, foolproof. Special thermostats are available to act as an interface between the head-end and a heating plant – be it electric, gas- or oil-fired. Through distributed control, thermostats can be programmed or adjusted manually in real-time.

Some dealers combine their alarm sales with similar verticals, such as subscription-based entertainment services. One example is satellite television. When the dealer is financially able, they can add the monthly cost of these vertical incentives with that of monitoring, allowing a discount.

Emphasize Remote Operation of Bundled Services

So far we’ve discussed bundling products and monitoring within particular vertical markets, as well as intrusion alarms, fire, access control and video surveillance. It’s also possible to roll other services into the overall mix, creating an even more attractive incentive to buy an entire package tailor made for the client. One possibility involves fire alarm inspection fees, monitoring and maintenance.

“ESC salespeople try to bundle routine inspections with our client’s security and fire alarm monitoring,” says Larkin. “This allows us to charge a lower price on the upfront because of the long-term RMR. We use this as an incentive to purchase both systems at the same time when both are new.”

By code, commercial fire alarm installations are supposed to have a contract for routine testing/inspections and ongoing maintenance. Normally maintenance is contracted separately from testing/ inspection, but there is no reason why they cannot be bundled together for a reduced monthly fee. In fact, the monthly fee for these mandatory actions also can be rolled into one with the fire alarm system monitoring contract.

“We work mostly in the commercial space. This is probably because the way our business is positioned, the platforms that we use,” says CJ Simonds, general manager of Mountain Alarm in Littleton, Colo. “We bundle fire inspections, fire monitoring, card access monitoring, security monitoring and elevator phone monitoring, along with our management services that serve our client’s interests well.”

Another service to bundle into the mix is that of remote access to both a client’s alarm system and video cameras. Using an ordinary smartphone, the home or business owner can access their alarm system to view alarm history, current status and to arm or disarm the system. In some systems, those environmental control components that you bundled into the deal can be controlled remotely as well. This includes temperature, gate control, lighting and much more.

“We also offer bundled services in addition to our products. For example, instead of selling our clients just monitoring we offer them remote services, such as video access and remote control of their alarm system using their smart-phone device or laptop computer,” Dillard emphasizes.

Remote monitoring is available through a smartphone application that is easily downloaded from an app store. Both services require a relatively low monthly charge, which can easily be bundled into the overall monthly figure, creating another incentive for the client to buy and do more with less.

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About the Author


Al Colombo is a long-time trade journalist and professional in the security and life-safety markets. His work includes more than 40 years in security and life-safety as an installer, salesman, service tech, trade journalist, project manager,and an operations manager. You can contact Colombo through TpromoCom, a consultancy agency based in Canton, Ohio, by emailing [email protected], call 330-956-9003, visit www.Tpromo.Com.

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