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2011 Archives  -  2010 Archives

Vector Security’s Michael Grady

We're increasing our value added services to our customers, simply because they are no longer viewed as intangible."

As Grady puts it, the word intangible now plays a new role in the ongoing success of LP service vendors to meet their customers" ever changing needs.  "When you review the definition of that word (intangible), it unfortunately includes terms like elusive, vague and indefinable; and retailers are generally not that comfortable with those types of terms.  By contrast, they're looking for concrete evidence of ROI, not pie in the sky, but easily discernible value."

However, Grady goes on to say that value added services such as false alarm reduction and national compliance management programs are quickly moving from the intangible column to the real value column.  "That change has to do with retailers looking at the real costs of undermanaging these programs.  In days gone by, false alarm fines and complex permitting policies simply didn't exist to the extent they do today, or retailers just paid up with little questioning.  Fines were relatively inexpensive and they didn't want to tarnish their reputation with authorities, but today it's a far different environment."

What Grady is referring to is a growing number of municipalities that are passing and enforcing highly complex and financially punishing regulations. "Name me a city that does not have a budget crunch, reductions in law enforcement personnel and higher crime rates to deal with?  Now pile on increasing alarm usage, higher false alarm rates and increasing response costs, then see what you get; the perfect storm for costly regulation."

Vector, which began its quest to reduce false alarms for retailers seven years ago, now operates one of the most respected false alarm reduction programs in the industry and has received commendations from the electronic security industry, false alarm reduction groups and even the police department groups such as The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials - International (APCO), which is the spokesperson group for 911 centers across the country.  "Now we're attacking the second part of the costly equation, namely national compliance management."  In fact, Vector now has a department whose sole responsibility is managing their customers' compliance programs. "It's the type of thing you don't do well at unless you do it every day, and our customers are ill prepared to manage through the complex and oftentimes frustrating process."

Stats at a Glance

ü      Estimates indicate that over 2,500 individual permit and compliance regulations are enforced across the country

ü      NEW permit and compliance regulations are appearing with greater frequency, sometimes ten or more per month  

ü      The average time span between applying for and receiving permits is four weeks

ü      In many municipalities, operating a non-permitted commercial alarm system is unlawful

ü      False alarm fines for permitted alarms begin at $50 per event and can grow to $500 or higher for repeat offenders

ü       False alarm fines for non-permitted alarms begin at $300 with NO grace period and can grow to over $1,000 per event for repeat offenders


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