Coast to coast for the most?

Sunday, October 1, 2006

Perhaps the most coveted prize for today's security integrator is the national account. What could be better? You land one Starbucks, you land them all. Instead of selling to 100 local guys each located around a different corner, you sell to one security director, and then each time a new store opens, guess who gets the call.
It's no wonder then, that PSA Security (see page 1) has launched a new National Accounts Program to help its members bag this pretty bird, or that Toshiba (see page 49) has done the same to help support its dealers. It's no surprise, either, that TAC (see page 17) has national accounts in its sights as it looks to grow and acquire.
It's no secret, either, that everyone from HSM to National Guardian to ADT would like to make the claim that they are the choice for security directors at the national chains looking for national coverage.
But it's also no secret that successful security integrators, when it comes right down to it, are focused first on service, less so on growth and new technology. Good integrators, quite simply, deliver the system that solves the customer's problem, and is immediately responsive when something goes wrong with that solution. That's why there will always be a role for the local guy, as long as priorities are in order. No matter how many branch offices the big boys open, no matter how attentive they are to serving their customers, as the security market matures and more and more businesses realize that security is more than just keeping things safe, there should always be an opportunity for a local, intelligent integrator to be closer and more attentive to local businesses.
Maybe you do that on your own, or maybe you make yourself attractive as a partner and get yourself a couple of Starbucks along the way, but if you're not solving someone's problem, it's clear that people in the future are going to have a lot more options for finding someone who will.