SSI’s 2013 Industry Forecast: NFPA’s Richard Bielen

The January edition of SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION includes our annual industry forecast as a cornerstone of our special 2013 Industry Forecast Issue. For the piece, I interviewed 20 of the industry’s most knowledgeable market analysts, business experts, systems integrators, manufacturer representatives and trade association directors. Some of their perspectives can be found in the magazine article, with the balance of their assessments appearing in separate Under Surveillance blog posts.

Featured in this installment: Richard Bielen, PE Division Manager, Fire Protection Systems, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

What do you expect will be the biggest changes, challenges and/or opportunities as they relate to security technology, markets and business for suppliers and integrators?

Richard Bielen: I think security over the Web will be challenging as more and more of the technology seems to be using the Internet for communications. These can be challenging times to ensure a secure connection is available and cannot be compromised. Homeland Security still is and will continue to be a concern. This will lead to more equipment being needed and will also spark a need for technological development. Perhaps on a lesser scale, the baby boomers are retiring and I believe this will result in an increase in sales for residential security systems. Cost will be a big factor for manufacturers and suppliers. The cost to produce goods in the United States is very high and cannot compete with the cost to produce the products in Asia. Labor costs will continue to rise for integrators and dealers. This includes the cost of health care, organized labor and additional burdens the business community must face as a result of new federal regulations.

What type of year are you anticipating overall in 2013?

Bielen: As the economy continues to be weak, so will the security industry. Corporations and people in general are cutting back on spending and only doing what is necessary. Regulations that mandate security will help an increase in sales; however, I believe it is still tied to construction. If construction is down, so will be the industry.

Scott Goldfine

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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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