News Poll: DIY represents an opportunity for traditional companies

Seventy-one percent said their company either offers DIY or is considering it
Wednesday, August 17, 2016

YARMOUTH, Maine—Traditional security companies like LOUD Security and Select Security have been looking at expanding their offerings with DIY. Most respondents to Security Systems News’ latest poll said DIY gives companies access to more streams of revenue and new markets.

“There is a place for the DIY market; however as the traditional dealers move into the IoT and connected market space, I believe the end users will need expertise to install and mostly to set up. I don't feel the technology is quite there for a complete DIY solution,” Frank Pietrobono, director of business development for AlarmForce, wrote in.

Sixty seven percent said that DIY’s biggest benefit is new revenue and RMR from a new market. Ten percent said that DIY systems save money on service calls, as the users would handle maintenance. DIY doesn’t benefit traditional alarm companies, according to 23 percent of respondents.

DIY products could hinder the industry, according to one reader, “[DIY systems] will hurt our industry and drive up false-alarm rates for burg systems. In cameras, [they] will hurt the good manufactures, as cheap products will force dealers to drop margins to compete.”

One respondent said that avoiding DIY could risk security companies’ relevance, “[If] manufacturers all over the world are manufacturing product that is designed for consumers to install it themselves, than we as industry professionals need to find a way to make money in that DIY space or we as business owners will become dinosaurs.”

Other respondents shared similar opinions, “DIY is the now and future. Security companies who think otherwise are dinosaurs,” said one. Another said, “DIY installation and monitoring is the future of the industry.”

Thirty-five percent of respondents said their company either offers a DIY solution or plans to soon. An additional 36 percent said they are considering entering the space. Twenty-nine percent said they do not offer DIY.

“We see growth possibilities by adding this channel of distribution and are evaluating. We also see a requirement for pretty significant investment in infrastructure to provide help desk support, shipping and remote servicing,” John Doyle, president and CEO of Doyle Security Systems, said.

Nick McAmis, founder and CEO of Sentry Security Solutions, said “We are in the process of due diligence for the DIY market in both residential security and surveillance cameras. The addition of this vertical will give us the ability to capture a market share we wouldn't have otherwise and add a new revenue stream.”

Are DIY customers good customers? Nearly half—47 percent—of respondents said yes, because they do their homework on the technology. Another 19 percent said yes because DIY customer bases have less attrition. One-third said no, because installation and maintenance should be left to professional installers.

“The cost of multiple follow-ups on a screwed-up DIY installation far exceeds the cost of doing it right (professional install) the first time,” one respondent wrote in.

Traditional security companies can offer better hardware and services, some said. “The DIY market is only going to get bigger. The big box stores sell a poor excuse for security. We have an opportunity to get better product out there and keep RMR,” one respondent wrote.

A couple of respondents indicated a specific interest in Honeywell’s DIY offering Dragonfly, which pairs professional monitoring with a DIY installed system.