Ride the wave of change

Sunday, May 1, 2005

It wasn't but a few years ago that the naysayers of this industry predicted the residential security system installer would be put out of business either thanks to the entrance of numerous telecommunication companies, who came into the market to install security systems and reap the monthly recurring revenue rewards, or the big box retailer that began to offer do-it-yourself security systems.
Sure, these new players impacted the market, and some of them remain today. But, when you look around, has this caused an incredible amount of harm to the market and those who do business here?
Over the years I've witnessed, and been part of, the resilience of the security industry. And while my examples above speak directly to the residential market and a few challenges it has faced, the same is true in the systems integration market.
To assume that any market, whether it's the security industry, financial or construction market, could go through the years with minimal change would be irresponsible. Take a look at these examples--all have experienced market consolidation, the introduction of large-scale builders, national banks and worldwide security companies--but with similar end results. There is still plenty of room for the small guy and those who are willing to change.
I always enjoy stories from security companies who recognize an opportunity or the need to adapt. And I'm not just speaking about the guy who adds new technology to his portfolio, but the company that is able to think out of the box or recognize it's time to shift in a new direction.
I've got to give credit to a small systems integrator named DLSS in Owassa, Okla. When presented with the opportunity to provide security for construction sites, the company came up with a unique approach to incorporate security equipment in a setting that is always changing. It used a large shipping container as the place to house security equipment that would provide video monitoring or track construction materials.
Another company worthy of recognition is Alert America of Wichita, Kan., for realizing that when the residential market wasn't as profitable as it thought it would be, it was time to make a change. The company recently altered its approach to focus on commercial security projects, even hiring an IT expert to help it along its way.
I'm sure there are many other companies out there like DLSS or Alert America that have seen changes ahead in the security market and reacted appropriately. But when it comes down to it, you have the option on how you plan to ride the wave.