Articles by Ben Perkins
The established security distribution channel is being disrupted by a new trend towardsspecialist distributors – who offer more a more focused range of products andsupport services In the last 10 years a lot has changed within UK security distribution, but on the surface everything would appear to be the same. The top two distributors remain the same, despite creditors at one and talk of a looming sale at another. However, they’re operating with a slightly reduced market dominance. Along with these, there are a few well-known names nipping at their heels, but somehow occupying a similar market position they’ve always occupied. But a change is in the air. It’s something most people operating within the electronic security market may have noticed, but not paid too much attention to. The result of which is a few distributors in the market place that have all of a sudden shown significant growth. High sale quality of specialist distributors So, what are these companies doing that’s different to the established distribution channel? Why are they growing so fast when other more well-known names are dropped back? The answer seems slightly counter-intuitive. What the established distributors have is diversity of product. What these other distributions have is a distinct lack of it. Where the market leaders have many brands filling any number of requirements, there are other distributors who have purposely pinned their flags to a very limited number of masts. Although this runs the inevitable danger of limiting their scope, the one very important thing it does do is add a far higher level of quality to the sale. Think jack of all trades vs. master of one (or master of only a few in this case). Better level of support from specialist distributors? As with a product datasheet, where one CCTV camera can appear to be near identical to another despite there being a gulf in actual final delivered result, so it is with the support offered by alternative distributors. All will say they will go the extra mile with design assistance, training and more, but when you have a finite resource trying to offer this for sometimes 100 plus brands, the actual support given doesn’t come close to a similar resource concentrated on only a handful of brands. Taking one distributor as an example, who has chosen to limit the products they offer, currently almost 50% of their customer facing staff are pre and post sales technical support and are primarily field based, getting involved in site surveys, prebuild and configuration and even the last fit commissioning. This is a level of support more established distribution simply don’t offer. New rivals knocking the security market Although it certainly isn’t required by all installers and integrators, more and more are looking for a distributor to be a business partner rather than just someone who has a box on the shelf. When you’re up against a deadline or an issue arises on site, knowing there’s a team of people ready to assist in resolving these with you, even to the point of being up the ladder next to you, can be a life saver. Once you’ve experienced this and seen the value this adds to your business, suddenly saving a few pounds on a camera doesn’t seem such a good deal. So why the change? This is a lot of work for a distributor, and anyone with a hint of commercial awareness can see this would require higher margins to maintain in a market that seems to have its margins constantly eroded. Installers and integrators are looking for distributors who will act as businesspartners - a knowledgeable team who can help with deadlines and arising issuesto add value and build up their business The answer to this I think lies one stage further back in the supply chain – the manufacturers. Unless you’re coming out of a 10 year hibernation, you can’t have missed the sea change in the manufacturer make-up in the last few years. Once dominated by names like Bosch, Samsung, Honeywell and more, suddenly we have Chinese companies like Hikvision and Dahua knocking the market for six. These two previous sleeping giants of the security industry have been supplying you with a large chunk of the CCTV products you’ve been using for many years, it’s just not been under their brand and it’s unlikely you even knew. Now with a recent change in direction from both companies, these same products are now available with their brand name on. New players fighting with price drops This has had one key effect, the price of the cameras and recorders we use has dropped significantly. And we’re talking big drops. You can now purchase a full HD 1080P IP camera for the price you were paying for a traditional entry analogue camera. Need a 16 channel NVR? Now yours for less than the cost of the hard drive you put in it. And these aren’t necessarily bad products either. The knock on effect this has had is on the other manufacturers themselves. Where once you had a large product middle ground where pricing was in the Goldilocks zone of not too high, not too low, and the products were of suitable quality to warrant the cost, now we have these mid market products at entry level pricing. Established manufacturers feeling the heat of competition This is a big headache for the manufacturers who traditionally occupied this space as they’re now faced with a stark choice of either trying to elevate themselves out of the arena they’ve occupied for so long, or trimming all the fat off their sale and circling the wagons ready for a fight. Both options have their pitfalls. Too many people operating at the higher end of the market makes for a very crowded area for what is a longer sale with tougher expectations and regulations. Stand toe to toe with a government backed $3.88 billion organisation and you’re very likely going to get a bloody nose. With all the change in the market, some distributors have decided to pick a side who they believe will support (and maybe even pull) them down the road. We’ve seen the growth this has given Hikvision’s distributors, and similar results are now happening for Dahua distributors. Specialist vs. generalist With either specialist or single manufacturer distributors, there is acceptance there will always be applications they won’t have the product set to support. But if you were a user of one of these brands, would you rather purchase from a specialist distributor that knew it inside out and was willing to stand side by side with you, or someone that can’t possibly have the resources to support it fully? This is obviously one man’s viewpoint of a highly complex situation involving many many companies, but few would argue with the impact some manufacturers are having. And to end, a crystal ball moment. If you’re primarily operating outside the CCTV arena on other electronic security products and think this doesn’t affect you too much, stay tuned. When you have the aggressive growth plans that some of these manufacturers do in what is a finite marketplace, how long until you start looking over the wall at what your neighbour’s got and decide you want a piece of that action too?
The Security Event has built a platform which is truly designed by the industry, for the industry, with game-changing collaborations with manufacturers, distributors, service providers, associations and industry leaders, industry media and complementary events. Spearheading this approach, a truly outstanding group of global companies has been selected from a range of disciplines to help shape this game-changing new exhibition. The Security Event is proud to have support of its ten founding partners - Anixter, ASSA ABLOY, Avigilon, Comelit, Dahua, Honeywell, TDSi, Texecom, Tyco and Videcon. Comelit managing director Francesca Boeris commented: “Comelit are extremely excited to become a founding partner of The Security Event 2019. The events concept and UK focus aligns perfectly with Comelit’s aims moving forwards.” Notable security experts The Security Event will delivery exactly what the commercial security market has been waiting for"Andy Croston, Owner/Director at Videcon Ltd echos this sentiment, “As one of the first Founding Partners to come on board we saw the huge potential of this exhibition from the very beginning. We’re certain The Security Event will delivery exactly what the commercial security market has been waiting for." As Dahua’s UK & Ireland head of operations Ben Perkins puts it, The Security Event “Gives Dahua the opportunity to get in front of the UK market.” The event has already created a buzz within the industry and is expected to welcome over 6,000 visitors across the three days. Along with notable security experts and respected industry bodies, the event will also host around 100 security brands, including the 10 founding partners. Engaging with security professionals For these companies to come on board as founding partners reaffirms the goals of The Security Event as a concept, with a vision to create a dedicated platform that levels the playing field, enabling exhibitors, installers and end users alike to reconnect. “We believe The Security Event is exactly what the UK security industry needs and are excited to come on board as a founding partner,” says Gareth Ellams, ASSA ABLOY Group Sales Director. He continues, “At ASSA ABLOY, we are looking forward to the opportunity to engage directly with security professionals as well as end users, to present our solutions.” The Security Event is proud to host a tailored education programme, featuring professionally accredited seminars, designed specifically for UK security professionals in the trade and their end users. Innovation Theatre to host seminars All ten founding partners will be welcomed into our Innovation Theatre hosting seminars on a broad range of disciplines Delivered across three theatres, industry bodies, technology leaders and renowned experts will provide the latest industry developments and technology updates. As well as participating in the exhibition itself, all ten founding partners will be welcomed into our Innovation Theatre hosting seminars on a broad range of disciplines. Location is of huge importance to The Security Event and was a key deciding factor for many of the founding partners also. Gordon Morrison, Sales Director, Access & Video, GB, Tyco Security Products recognises that, “The opportunity to take an active role as a Founding Partner in an industry event at the location that so many of our customers consider ‘home’ was extremely welcome." John Davies, TDSi Managing Director also says: “We look forward to meeting our partners and customers in the heart of the Midlands again in 2019.” Excellent opportunity to showcase products The Security Event will be the first time a major security exhibition has been held at the NEC Birmingham for more than five years and many feel the NEC has always been the true home of UK Security. Texecom marketing director Clym Brown agrees: “We’re partnering with The Security Event because it gives us the chance to reconnect with our installer base in the Midlands and North of the country.” This event provides an excellent opportunity to showcase our security portfolio and enhance our relationships with installers" Mick Goodfellow, GM Honeywell Security EMEA also expresses his delight at joining: “This event provides an excellent opportunity to showcase our security portfolio and in a location that allows us to enhance our relationships with our installer base.” Connecting with integrators Jarod Booth, Strategic Relationship Manager of Anixter shows his support “There is a gap in terms of opportunities to connect with integrators, end-users and installers outside of London and the South of England, and we feel that the location of The Security Event will help bridge that gap.” With 10 of the world’s most recognised security brands supporting the development and launch of the first edition, the industry can be assured that The Security Event will be the place to do business going forward.
Dahua Technology is expanding its presence in the UK with the opening of a new office in Leeds. This is the first time that Dahua, the world’s second-largest video surveillance solutions manufacturer, has expanded in the UK beyond its existing offices in Maidenhead, Berkshire. The new northern office will be located at the White Rose Office Park in Millshaw Park Lane, Leeds, around 4 miles south of the city centre. With its handy location between the M62, M1 and M621 and also with nearby rail connections to Leeds city centre, the new office has excellent transport links. Dahua Technology’s UK expansion plan Officials and representatives from Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership visited Dahua’s global HQThe main aim of establishing a permanent presence in the north of England is for Dahua to provide better support for its local distributors, integrators and installers, as well as to offer training locally and provide a local base for partner events and client demonstrations. Dahua Technology’s global HQ in China is located in Hangzhou, a city that has been twinned with Leeds since 1988. So, it was no surprise when the company approached Leeds City Council to help find a suitable location for its new offices. The link between the two cities generates cooperation in the fields of business, education and culture. Last year, officials and representatives from Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership visited Dahua’s global HQ as part of a delegation to Hangzhou and Shanghai. Mutually beneficial business activities Dahua’s connections with Leeds and the fact that its home city of Hangzhou is twinned with the northern powerhouse have resulted in links with many local companies and public bodies. “Working with a proactive organisation such as Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership really helps us, because the partnership goes out of its way to create mutually beneficial business activities. It has also helped us set up the new office,” said Ben Perkins, Head of Marketing, Dahua UK and Ireland. Leeds has a long and prestigious relationship with China" “The partnership attracts business and international money to the region, which not only makes a positive impact on the lives of the people who live and work in Leeds, but also brings a great wealth of talent into the area, which will benefit Dahua as we grow our presence in the north.” Dahua-Leeds City Region Enterprise partnership Councillor Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council said “Leeds has a long and prestigious relationship with China. Our trade and investment missions have helped build relationships and it is great to welcome Dahua to Leeds as a result of this activity. Next week we will be holding a series of business meetings in Hong Kong, Hangzhou and Qingdao to review how our cities can work together to increase trade and deliver economic growth.” The Leeds City Region covers Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield and York, and has a £1 billion-plus Local Growth Deal in place to boost jobs and growth across the region. It is home to the UK’s largest regional financial centre and has a digital technology sector now worth more than £6.6 billion.