When traditional sales leads began to slow earlier this year, Security Corp. took a fresh look at ways to attract new business and revitalize the services it provides to its customers. Randal J. Holloway, executive vice president of Sales, says “We took a step back and listened to what our customers were saying. Budget cuts had left many of them doing more work with fewer personnel.”
The company saw managed access control as a simple solution to reduce some of its stresses while boosting recurring revenue. It was a winning combination for our company as well as its customers.
Access control management is not something new to the company. “Our UL listed Central Station began remote management of access systems over 20 years ago,” Holloway says. However, over the last several years he saw the trend of customers wanting to control their access systems internally. What they didn’t bargain for was all that it entailed. Someone had to be responsible for the system. When this person was on vacation or happened to be caught in the downsizing shuffle, our customer had a problem. Changes and adjustments still needed to be entered and no one else within the company had the knowledge to manage the software. Many customers found adding cards, deleting cards, locking the doors and creating badges to be very overwhelming. Depending on the size of the business, this could easily turn into a full time task or worse was the occasional user who never perfected using the software because of the lapse in time between usages.
By taking over the management of their access database Security Corp. helped to alleviate some of the customer’s everyday stresses.
Holloway adds that managed access control continues to be a great way to build recurring revenue in a Central Station. Many alarm companies already have the infrastructure in place which makes operating costs low. This is one of the main reasons so many alarm companies are shifting gears in this direction.
Customers are relieved of the high upfront costs and continual software fees associated with managing their own databases. The doors still operate and a customer can focus on its work specialty opposed to spending their resources on security.
Some customers are more comfortable with the web based systems, thus allowing the Central Station to essentially manage the system for them while giving the end user some rights within the system. This is achieved over a secure password protected network. Many customers like this option for the vast reporting capabilities, Holloway says. Companies have learned thieves are no longer only nameless, masked burglars. Sometimes, the thief is sitting down the hall from them every day. By regularly reviewing their access reports business owners can see warning signs of activity. Many times an internal thief will test the limits before moving on to more costly damages.
The great news is managed access control systems seem to be popular with all types of customers. Everyone from small retail shops, large office buildings and even those in the financial market seem eager to lose the keys and switch to a card system. It is much easier to replace a card opposed to changing the locks. Overall, customers are becoming more and more receptive to giving the control of the system back to someone else. Someone they can trust.
All signs point toward this trend lasting, Holloway says. “Access CM shows no sign of slowing down as the economy continues to struggle. We see ACM as a long-term solution with a growing customer base. As the technology continues to grow we project our customer base grow right along with it.”