Demographic Census – Census Makes Sense of Industry’s Composition

“It’s all about the people.” It’s unfortunate that phrase has been turned into a tired cliché by business leaders who say it one day and lay off or otherwise exploit employees the next. Because when it comes down to it — particularly since America moved from a product-to service-based economy — it truly is the people who determine the success of an enterprise. Nowhere is this truer than in the electronic security industry.

So then, just who are these individuals that make up our industry? Who are the folks that possess the business savvy, technical expertise and salesmanship that have built it up and continue to propel electronic security forward? Who are the dedicated professionals who champion the noble mission of helping safeguard their clients and their clients’ property? Where do they come from? What is their experience? What are their beliefs? How do they run their businesses?

To find out these and many more answers, Security Sales & Integration launched the first-ever census of security dealers and systems integrators. The SSI 2005 Demographic Census was tabulated by querying all levels of management within those organizations. To gather as many responses as possible, the research team at Bobit Business Media, SSI’s parent company, spent several months and used multiple solicitation avenues compiling results.

The study includes executive management (e.g. owners, partners, presidents, vice presidents and directors); general management (e.g. purchasing agents, supervisors and administrators); sales and marketing management (e.g. sales directors and sales representatives); and technical management (e.g. installation managers and monitoring/central station managers).

In total, 755 responses were collected and used to derive the data and create the vivid graphs that round out this article. Results were calculated with a confidence level of 95 percent with a margin of error of 3.5 percent. This means that if the same survey were conducted 100 times, only five of those survey’s results would be significantly different. As you will see, some of the results are what you might expect, but many others are quite surprising. In sum, when it comes to being a manager at a security installation firm, the general profile is that of a college-educated, Republican, 47-year-old Caucasian male who is married with kids and works as an executive after having spent at least 16 years in the industry. Find out where you fit in!

Click here to see a sample of some of the Census statistics.
For all of the results from the
SSI 2005 Demographic Census, see the April print edition of Security Sales & Integration magazine.


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About the Author


Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration. Well-versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is nationally recognized as an industry expert and speaker. Goldfine is involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), ASIS Int'l and more. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the SIA Marketing Committee, CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee, PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council and Robolliance. He is a certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast. Goldfine joined Security Sales & Integration in 1998.

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