Creating a Model for Revenue
Consider the possibilities of offering your customers a package "deal" for monitoring and maintenance, back up transmission, video verification, and GPS options.
One example, little Timmy just got his driver's license. His parents are certainly concerned about his safety and have established certain fundamental rules Timmy must obey in exchange for the privilege to drive at 16 years old. Perhaps he is not to exceed a specific rate of speed, or he is not to go into a specific part of town, or beyond a certain distance for that matter. As this family's alarm company, you now have the opportunity to offer them a reliable way to monitor Timmy's activities for an affordable monthly fee and a very reasonable cost for equipment and installation. In many cases, alarm dealers are using the services of car audio shops to do the actual 30-minute install.
Now, mom and dad can go to the Internet through your company web site to access their GPS portal and easily and quickly establish the ground rules. Since the secure portal is on the Internet, they don't need to download any software. They define the rules, such as a maximum speed of 70 mph. They can easily bring up a map on the same page (like a Mapquest page) and drag a box around the area Timmy is not to leave, or perhaps a part of the map he is not allowed to enter. Lastly, mom and dad can click a box to allow for notification if the car is moved after midnight. (Aren't you glad this wasn't available when you were a kid?)
Next, mom and dad can tell the system how they want to be automatically notified (SMS text message, email, phone call from central station, etc.). They can also arrange for your central station to monitor emergency (panic) activations as well as a host of other useful services. Using just this one particular application, I know of several alarm companies that have easily converted existing single $30/month monitoring-only residential customers into four and even five $30/month accounts. Loyalty is strong because GPS technology is hard to do without once you have access to that kind of information.
For your commercial customers the applications are nearly endless. This is especially true if you monitor commercial customers who have fleets of as few as one or as many as a hundred company vehicles. GPS can also now be installed (even installed remotely) on many cell phones to provide the same high level of security. This has become a very easy sell for sales people working with real estate agents, home health care givers, and anyone who must go into people's homes alone, not to mention service providers such as plumbers, delivery businesses, and your own service and installation vehicles.
My Experience with GPS for Alarm Companies
When I worked as a dealer, we employed a GPS service simply to monitor our own techs activities and time spent on the job (and elsewhere, unfortunately). Within a few short days, we discovered benefits we never even thought of. The very week we installed the beacons in our service vehicles, an irate customer called in to complain about the charges for a service call. He said the tech was only there for 30 minutes yet we charged him for 90 minutes. I looked at the GPS web site and saw that the tech was actually at this customer's location for almost two hours. We were able to use this information to work out a reasonable solution with the customer.
Another time one of our techs was involved in an auto accident. The other driver claimed that our man was driving at a high rate of speed and caused the accident. We were able to use the GPS data to provide the insurance company with tangible proof that at the exact time and location of the accident, our driver was going 25 miles per hour.
On the flip side, we also went from averaging four services calls per tech per day to six calls per day (a 50 percent productivity increase for our service techs!). I am of the firm opinion that just based on the fact that people knew we could track them, they drove more cautiously and spent more time on the job and less time doing something else. As I said, once you have used it, it is a very difficult thing to ever do without.