| Grants continue to be available for schools to purchase products such as our intercoms and communication systems
2014/2015 Aiphone Review and Forecast:
Video surveillance, audio, access control and locks are the four security solutions that typically work together as part of an overall security plan. Demand for video may have been the prime driver, but 2014 was a solid year for each of these solutions as the economy improved noticeably. Also, federal and state governments made large numbers of grants available that helped to improve sales, particularly in the education and healthcare markets.
Generally I expect to see the good overall industry growth rates for 2014 continuing into the New Year. One recent growth trend is in the residential area, where owners and managers of both multi- and single-family units are looking to take advantage of the smaller, less expensive and easier-to-operate security components being offered by the industry.
Also, as the Baby Boomer generation continues to age, there will be a greater demand for retirement homes and assisted-living facilities. These housing options will require many of the basic security solutions to protect the facilities and the residents.
Also, critical government infrastructure — things such as bridges, utility plants, water facilities, for example – continue to be potential targets for terrorists and will require security equipment at the federal, state and local levels.
Following the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre, many school districts moved rapidly to purchase security products. That resulted in a very successful 2013 for Aiphone. Last year, we found school boards being more deliberate in their planning and spending, yet it was still a successful year. We expect more of the same in 2015 as we have a product line that is ideal for use on K-12 campuses. Also a number of grants continue to be available for schools to purchase products such as our intercoms and communication systems.
In 2015, we will be working to bring new IP-compatible devices to market, as well as to expand our mobile connectivity.
While there are still challenges in some regions and vertical markets, there is cause for optimism in 2015. Education and healthcare will continue to lead the way for many equipment and service providers. And the housing market may open some new opportunities as well.
See the full coverage of 2014/2015 Review and Forecast articles here