Installers Shell Out $25K a Month for Products

For the first time the Security Spending Survey reveals how much installing companies are paying each month for equipment – overall as well as by specific product categories. Top buyer listings are presented along with purchasing patterns associated with different business characteristics.

Accelerated technological advancement and efficiencies throughout the supply chain have resulted in widespread commoditization and margin erosion for a great deal of products sold and installed by electronic security contractors. And yet, despite increased focus on “solutions” and services to offset those shrinking returns, the industry’s foundation revolves around devices and systems. So how much are installing companies spending today on the equipment that lies at the core of their business?

In attempt to answer that question, SSI and Bobit Business Media Research conducted the first Security Spending Survey. The survey was initiated Nov. 3, 2010, being sent via E-mail notification to nearly 11,000 subscribers. Three subsequent reminders were sent to those who did not respond to the initial correspondence. In total, 272 respondents participated by a margin of error of +/-5.9 percent. The objective was to determine how much installing companies are spending on equipment each month in total as well as by specific product categories.

The compiled data is presented here in the form of “top” listings for companies’ overall spending as well as access control, fire/life-safety, intrusion and video surveillance purchasing. Those companies appear in alphabetical, as opposed to ranking, order. In addition, product expenditures are shown according to company characteristics such as revenues, customer base, number of employees and number of locations.

Some disclaimers are in order. The results are not scientific as they appear as reported by the respondents. Furthermore, the findings are not comprehensive as only those firms voluntarily participating could be considered (companies wishing to be included in future surveys can E-mail interest to Some graphs include notations indicating small sample sizes in those particular categories. In the interest of presenting conservative estimates, all dollar amounts are shown as medians rather than averages.

The aim is to make future iterations of the Security Spending Survey more definitive. In the meantime, at the very least it is a conversation starter.

Click here to view the full results of the 2011 Security Spending Survey.


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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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