Alarm System Preventative Maintenance = Success
By: Jon Polly | May 05, 2021
Preventative maintenance (PM) is a service that offers early warning, brings peace of mind, and allows for revenue generation to security providers. Most Americans, since they began driving a car, know they need to change the oil in a vehicle on a regular basis. Most homeowners perform maintenance on their home on a yearly basis. Americans are used to the concept of PM. Failure to perform PM can be an expensive self-correcting injury; one not to be repeated without suffering.
The question is, why would homeowners not want to perform PM of security systems that are entrusted to work at all times? PM and annual testing are generally only offered when required, such as quarterly and for annual fire alarm testing required by an insurance provider. While there are no current PM requirements or annual audit requirements for alarm and/or security systems, this may change in the future.
PM is a cursory check of a system to test and ensure the system is functioning as designed. The primary outcome is to ensure the system consistently performs as it should. PM allows any deficiencies to be noted and/or fixed, reducing service issues. A secondary outcome of proper PM is a well-documented system that can be shared with any number of stakeholders.
PM may seem like a dull task for many security installers and technicians. For example, it may seem mundane to perform quarterly or semi-annual cleaning of camera domes, repeated testing of the alarm system to confirm signals are received at the monitoring station, testing and replacement of panel batteries, or confirmation that the card reader turns from red to green on a valid badge read. These are simple but important tasks that may even go unnoticed by the customer. For that reason, preventative maintenance should be completed.
Peace of Mind
The customer wants a system that brings peace of mind. That peace of mind may be a set of metrics to provide stakeholders visualization into their assets, or it could be a system that never goes down. While many security integrators offer a service package, few include PM checks as a regular part of that service package. Some customers may request this additional service, but most expect that they will have to perform these actions on their own. When this occurs, for the security integrator, this means an untrained person is opening enclosures, cleaning cameras, and adjusting locks. This causes potential problems for the security integrator.
PM tasks can be checklist–based (either written on paper or by using an app), and systematic, in order to check all equipment in the facility at a given interval. Most security integrators that provide this service offer PM quarterly, semi-annually, or annually, with pricing structures to meet the customer’s budget and time restraints.
The PM is a minimal cost, even with a quarterly inspection, that when sold properly can bring additional revenues. The PM can be a recurring revenue model easily inserted in a service package. This recurring revenue model provides a peace of mind to the customer and additional money for the security integrator. The PM increases profits both directly through additional revenue, and indirectly through reduced service issues that could have been prevented.
The PM also creates additional new business through organic growth. The PM offers a non-threatening atmosphere for the customer to interact with a skilled technician during non-emergency situations. The PM is typically scheduled ahead of time and all appropriate resources are onsite the day of the PM. This allows the technician to interact with and sell to multiple stakeholders. When a technician is onsite, they can make appropriate comments about the current technology, offer suggestions about new technology specifically suited for the customers’ needs, or upsell existing systems. Many technicians know who influences the decision-makers and can help to drive the additional sell. This allows the security integrator to continue to grow a customer, creating additional revenue year over year.
PM is often overlooked or disdained as time-consuming and costly by security integrators. Many customers have never experienced PM being performed by a security integrator and are unaware of its benefits. The reality is that PM done right can allow the security integrator to spend less time at individual sites and more time focusing on growing the business. PM provides an increased customer experience and offers the customer peace of mind, while driving additional revenue for the security integrator.