As margins for CCTV camera systems are diminished by big box retailers and internet sales, security integrators are looking for alternative ways to recover this offset revenue and profit. One of the most efficient methods to generate new revenue is to increase sales with your existing customer base; in fact, in recessionary times, it is estimated that up to 90 percent of new revenue is generated from existing customers.
Increasing sales to well-established customers can be difficult. In many cases, they have seen all of your existing product offerings and purchased those items that fit their business needs. The only option to increase sales may be to add new products and or market opportunities.
For commercial clients, the cargo security market can create a whole new opportunity. This market has, until recently, been serviced and developed mainly by transportation industry providers. As a result, many of the solutions are incomplete and will not perform well during a security event. This market is now at a tipping point for high-tech, integrated security systems installed and managed by well-established security system dealers.
Cargo Security Technology’s Evolution
First-generation security solutions in the cargo security market were padlocks and bolt seals. While bolt seals may be effective as tamper evident devices, they provide no real physical security — both devices can be removed in less than two seconds with bolt cutters that are available at any big box hardware store. The biggest concern with these products is they require the driver or dock personnel to monitor or intervene during a theft; however, since the largest number of thefts involve inside personnel, relying solely on passive locking devices is not an effective or timely security solution.
Second-generation security devices for cargo added GPS tracking systems. This equipment has been very effective in asset management, fuel efficiency and fleet operations; however, they have provided little or no deterrent to cargo theft. In fact, cargo theft has continued to increase in the years since GPS tracking systems have been implemented. The downfall with standalone GPS products is they provide little or no visibility to the cargo condition, lock status or real security events.
The newest and best systems in the market include an integrated, robust locking device and a web-based station portal. As a minimum, the locking device should withstand prying, cutting or impact with hand tools, and incorporate an integrated alarm system with GPS tracking and a wireless communications system. Typical systems include cellular communications, while higher-end systems include both cellular and satellite capabilities.
The portals are typically cloud-based, enabling security dealers to configure the system to a specific customer’s needs from any web-enabled device. The most complete systems include both geo-fencing and chrono-fencing capability that allows companies to custom configure alarm and alerts conditions. Typical alarm events include exiting or entering a geo-fence, proper installation prior to leaving a geo-fence, false password attempts, high impact or vibration and exiting a geo-tunnel.
The TrakLok International cargo security system, for example, combines its GeoLok locking device for physical security, an on-board alarm system and its TrakLog web portal for configuration and tracking.
While these systems are now available, successful implementation requires qualified security professionals to provide training, installation and monitoring. The opportunity for RMR emerges when factoring in that the monitoring of system alarms and alerts are critical to a fully integrated cargo security system.
For security integrators, these next-generation systems include front-end revenue for training — which can include security and dock personnel, and drivers — while also providing RMR opportunities for monitoring and ongoing system configuration.
If your existing customer is running a comprehensive shipping operation, this is your opportunity to step in and make sure these activities are tracked, safe, secure and under constant surveillance — which will further entrench you as a trusted partner. It should also be considered as part of a pitch for relevant new customers as part of an integrated security plan.
Tom Mann is EVP Operations for TrakLok International LLC, an engineering design and manufacturing company that focuses on remote security systems for worldwide cargo and construction sites. To request more information about the company, please visit www.securityinfowatch.com/10724160.