Industry Braces for Effects of Japan Catastrophe

In the aftermath of the earthquake/tsunami disaster that has devastated Japan SSI has busily attempted to get a handle on what the specific impacts might be on the electronic security industry. It will inevitably adversely affect some of the products and technology that ordinarily originates in Japan, as well as some of the basic operational needs and subsequent supply/demand costs of North American-based businesses. These factors will be challenging for many industries, security among them.

However, as of this writing, more than 10 days after the tragedy, the ultimate ramifications remain impossible to define. Calls made by SSI Managing Editor Rodney Bosch to high profile Japan-based security products suppliers like Sony, Panasonic, Sanyo, Optex and Speco were mostly met with no comment or that it was too early to convey anything meaningful. But the writing is certainly on the wall.

During a conversation I had with PSA Security Network CEO Bill Bozeman last week, he stressed that he expects the catastrophe to have a substantial effect on the security industry. That conversation will be available Monday for download as part of SSI‘s Security Speaking podcasts. One thing for certain is that if I were running a security business I would be seriously evaluating several operational contingencies. Not saying to panic, just to be as prepared as possible.

One Japan-based manufacturer familiar to security professionals did issue a statement today (3/22) sharing some good news. It appears below:


WAYNE, NJ – JVC Professional Products Co., a division of JVC Americas Corp., announces its parent organization, JVC KENWOOD Holdings Inc., has confirmed the safety of its employees and their immediate families following the recent Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. The company has offered its deepest condolences to those who have lost loved ones during the tragedy.

Some of the company’s offices in Japan suffered minor damage, but they were repaired quickly and have been back in operation since March 14. There was also damage to some sales and service offices in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, as well as warehouses operated for JVC Kenwood Group by third parties, which are currently being repaired.

JVC Kenwood Group established a response headquarters soon after the earthquake, and is continuing to confirm the safety of employee relatives whom they have been unable to contact. The company also donated 300 pieces of communication equipment – 200 land mobile radios and 100 license-free transceivers – that allow people to send and receive messages without relying on public infrastructure.

While the main production resources supplying JVC Professional seem essentially unaffected, there are still significant concerns. In Japan, the company is coping with projected rolling power blackouts, and transport vehicles are being used for emergency support in areas damaged by the tsunami. In addition, JVC is studying the situation of its numerous component suppliers.

In the near term, JVC Professional expects to fulfill product demands at previously expected levels, with repair parts and technical support remaining consistent as well. Plus, many JVC Professional products use widely available, nonproprietary consumables, such as recording media and projector lamps. If there is an unexpected disruption in JVC supply distribution, most product owners will have alternative consumable supply options.

SSI‘s thoughts and prayers are with the Japanese people in this time of unimaginable grief and hardships. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide any update pertinent to how this calamity manifests itself in the North American electronic security marketplace. We will also be posting a Web poll for April asking for your perspective on what you expect to see as a consequence. However, you are also encouraged to offer your comments here.

Scott Goldfine   

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About the Author


Scott Goldfine is the marketing director for Elite Interactive Solutions. He is the former editor-in-chief and associate publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He can be reached at

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