Security industry sees uptick in business

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07/15/2020

Despite some obvious setbacks in the U.S. in states that have experienced a resurgence in COVID cases, the security industry overall has seen business get back to some semblance of normal, although nowhere near the levels that were once enjoyed pre-coronavirus.

Back in April, an overwhelming number (84 percent) of SSN News Poll respondents said that their business was being negatively impacted by COVID-19. Now, three months later, we asked readers to reevaluate the business landscape, with many saying they are seeing things improve.

For example, when asked if they are starting to see an increase in business, 64 percent said yes, with another 23 percent saying, “yes, somewhat,” and only 13 percent saying they were not seeing an increase.

What is interesting is many are using virtual events and meetings to gain more business, with 41 percent of respondents saying they are gaining business this way, and another 32 percent saying they have had “some” success. Only 27 percent said they were not capitalizing on this approach.

Respondents were slightly more optimistic than three months ago on the future and when things will return to business as usual, with 45 percent saying in the next 6 months (compared with 47 percent in April), and another 45  percent (up from 38 percent) saying in the next 18 months, with just 10 percent (down from 15 percent) saying longer than 2 years.

“I think there will be an uptick in cases with all the social unrest, restrictions easing and people just not doing what they're being asked to do to protect themselves and other,” one respondent prophetically noted.

While one respondent said, “We are seeing normal levels now,” there are others, such as Jim Leise, systems engineer at Guardian Protection Services, who noted that business “is not picking up as fast as I expected,” adding that he is seeing a “slow return to business. We cant see a vaccine soon enough.”

Another respondent agreed, noting, “We are seeing an overall decline of purchases by 30-40 percent … new opportunities [are] off by 50 percent.”

Another respondent addressed the overall “concern about attrition, as many hospitality and restaurant businesses may not survive past the end of the year. Another big concern is office and retail space closings.”

While many dealers and integrators were not allowed access for new projects or routine inspections during the shutdown, things are starting to open up as customers demands heighten.

 “As reopening occurs, they want these things yesterday; it’s becoming hectic and stressful for my company,” said Sentry Alarms President Jean Levenson. “I said we’d return to normalcy in six months because we should be able to address the backlog in that time as well as undertake new projects, but that timeframe is totally dependent on the course the virus takes.”

She continued, “There’s never been a more unsettling time to be in business. I am, as I’m sure are most security dealers, grateful that our business model allowed us to weather the shutdown relatively unscathed, but it was and remains anxiety producing to place your valued employees in a variety of locations daily.”

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