Security Specialists expands
STAMFORD, Conn.—With revenues up 28 percent over last year, Security Specialists, a systems integrator based here, has opened a second office in Hartford, Connecticut.
“Hartford is a big growth area for us, with the insurance business and schools,” Daniel Budinoff, president of Security Specialists, told Security Systems News.
“I’ve been saying for years I wanted to [open an office there],” Budinoff said. In January, he hired a general manager who lived near Hartford to open the office.
In business since 1978, Security Specialists has 30 employees. Part of the recent spike in revenues has come from school projects prompted by the school shooting tragedy in Newtown, Conn. last December.
The company has always done a lot of school projects. More work with existing customers and referrals has driven even more school work.
“My office is 20 minutes away from Newtown. It’s sad to think that that’s brought us a fair amount of business,” Budinoff said.
“We are booked literally through the summer with school work,” he said. To stay on schedule, Security Specialists had crews working while school was in session, starting work in the late afternoon and working until “10 or 11 at night.”
The projects are standard access control and IP-camera systems, many using VideoIQ products, which have built-in analytics. In addition, the company is installing “more barrier gates in parking lots and turnstiles have become a market for us as well,” he said.
Budinoff said he does not see the school work—which he’s done in both public and private schools—stopping anytime soon. “The phone continues to ring,” he said.
“[Unfortunately,] you can’t protect against that kind of incident, you can lower the risk. …You certainly can’t eliminate the risk,” he said.
In addition to school projects, the increase in revenue has also come from a concerted push to have service included in sales.
Budinoff believes that security industry sales people are often afraid to include service in a sale, so he’s gone “out of the way to hire people not from the industry [for sales positions].”
“They’re not jaded. [You] give them marching orders to go sell this access control system or CCTV system and you sell a service agreement for x percent of that job. And it’s part of the deal and they go out and they do it.”
Budinoff gives financial incentives to sell services, and he said that customers see the value in a service agreement.
In terms of technology trends, Budinoff said customers really see the value in high-definition cameras. “People want to spend money on that,” he said. Analog cameras have all but gone away at Security Specialists. “We probably sell one analog for every 100 IP cameras,” he said.