"Remember 10 years ago, when you needed a new printer for your PC, you called IT and they spent hours setting it up. Now you go to Best Buy and take it home and plug it in. That is a trend throughout our lives. Portions of the security market will respond to DIY, and Mace intends to continue capturing that part of the market. We also will vigorously support our dealers and installers with new products, and offer the same DIY products to them, with dealer margins protected in the pricing. We do not want to compete with our trusted channel partners, only capture market that is not easily identifiable."
To grow its security business, Mace is adding three outside sales representatives and has made plans to exhibit at four industry tradeshows in 2009. There are also plans in the books, he said, to expand the distribution channel and reach deeper into the government market where they have seen interest. A new product development director also was recently hired â€“ bringing over experience from Sensormatic.
And in an entirely different direction, the company is planning to use the web-commerce skills inside the company and launch CCTVoverstock.com â€“ a website where consumers and dealers could find overstocked items and discontinued items from a full variety of CCTV product manufacturers.
But even with the renewed focus on security, Raefield said the company still has other divisions to manage â€“ including the sale of remaining car washes, the management of an existing consumer products retail model (which also uses an RMR model not unlike a central station), and the continued growth of its personal defense products unit and the Mace business unit focused on non-security related vision technologies like video conferencing and machine vision.
And while Raefield said he is cautious and protecting the company's cash reserves because no one knows how long the current economic downturn will last, he's hoping to use 2009 as a time to rebuild and make strategic changes toward profitability.
"We have a very strong brand but we don't use that brand wisely in the marketplace yet," he explained.