Technology and the future of security installation in South Africa

Issue 6 2022 Editor's Choice, Integrated Solutions, Security Services & Risk Management

If you’re old enough (like me) to remember the world before mobile phones, you’ll probably cringe at the sloth-like pace things used to get done. First came mobile phones, then software, smartphones, the cloud and apps. Today there is an app for (almost) everything. How the world works – and how people work across it – has changed, and continues to change at an exponential rate.

Charles Freedman.

So what does it mean for the security installation industry in South Africa? What are the technologies and trends shaping installation, service and maintenance teams globally, and how will they shape South African businesses today and in the future?

At ServCraft we spend our days thinking deeply about how suppliers, distributors, installers and end-users can benefit from technology to create more value for themselves and the industry. We see four steps playing out over the next few years that represent both our vision for the security installation space and how we see it evolving.

Step 1: Blissful isolation

This level should sound familiar. Customer leads scribbled down on paper. Paper job cards handed out physically. Scribbles turned into quotes and invoices generated on your accounting system or Excel. Email and WhatsApp used to manage teams and suppliers.

It feels clunky because it is. Sage estimates that South African security installers spend an average of R750 000 on administration. In spite of marginal gains in efficiency and effectiveness using emails, WhatsApp and accounting software, activity remains disjointed within and across businesses, suppliers and customers. Opportunities fall through the cracks and it takes too much time to win work, order and collect stock and get paid, whilst customers have a mediocre experience.

Step 2: Optimised individualism

Now we’re talking. Software takes things to a whole new level. Leads, jobs, quotes and invoices are captured and managed in one place, helping you to win more work, get paid faster and have happier customers. Integration with your accounting software means real-time insight of your financials and no double entry. Automated communications keep customers in the loop every step of the way. Customer payments are made from digital invoices straight from their phones.

This isn’t the future. It’s today. In the United States, 48% of field service businesses use job management software – and 90% of those say they’ve experienced growth as a result. At ServCraft, we estimate that less than 10% of South African security installation businesses use software to power their operations. The opportunity to create value and differentiate is real.

Step 3: Meaningful connections

Here’s where things get interesting. As more security installers adopt technology, there’s a growing opportunity to connect them with suppliers. Today, technicians tell administrators what to quote on, they generate quotes and then purchase orders are sent by WhatsApp and email. Customers complain about having to wait days or weeks to get a quote. Integrating installers’ software with suppliers will give installers access to price and availability of items in real time. Installers can raise and approve quotes, buy stock and schedule deliveries – while standing in front of the customer.

It may seem farfetched but it’s not. Companies like snap-it ( are transforming plumbing in the UK, reducing the time and effort to order and collect parts for plumbers. It won’t be long before security businesses will be able to focus on the jobs rather than spend hours driving and queuing for parts.

Step 4: Platform-led partnerships

Technology platforms allow different companies to plug in products and services from one place. They aren’t new. Uber is a platform connecting cars, scooters, couriers, drivers and restaurants to end-users. They don’t always own the service, but they connect it to people who get value from it.

Imagine this for security installation. Imagine installers tapping into lead generation, marketing, customer relationship management, job management and learning tools. Imagine seamless transactions between installers, suppliers and customers. Imagine access to working capital and invoice finance to grow your business. Imagine offering ‘buy now, pay later’ options.

This vision of the future is not science fiction. The technology to achieve it exists today. Advancing the industry requires closer collaboration across manufacturers, suppliers and installers. We need to stop operating in isolation and ask not only

“How do we take bigger slices of the pie?” but also “How do we make it bigger for everyone?”

Charles Freedman is the CEO of ServCraft (, a South African-designed and -built job management software for security installations and other field service businesses.

Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

Smart car parking solution eases traffic flow
Dahua Technology South Africa CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring Integrated Solutions Products
Ethiopia’s first smart parking lot, designed to improve traffic flow and management efficiency, has been built and installed using Dahua Technology’s smart parking solutions.

Fire-fighting force at Vergelegen
Editor's Choice Fire & Safety Residential Estate (Industry)
Vergelegen wine estate in Somerset West, and its neighbours, are set to enjoy greater peace of mind this summer, thanks to the delivery of a brand new fire truck .

VMS 7.2 supports the investigation process and adds cloud capabilities
CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring Integrated Solutions Products
Qognify has launched the second release of its VMS, including extended support for body-worn video, additional functionalities to support investigations, and a new web client architecture. VMS 7.2 addresses the increasing use of body-worn video (BWV) across many sectors.

Top fraud trends to watch in 2023
News Security Services & Risk Management
Even though financial concerns remain a significant obstacle for companies in implementing new anti-fraud technologies, 60% of businesses expect an increase in their anti-fraud technology budgets in the next two years.

Be cautious when receiving deliveries at home
News Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection Security Services & Risk Management
Community reports of residents being held up at their gate when collecting fast food deliveries at home are once again surfacing.

Sasol ensures Zero Trust for SAP financials with bioLock
Technews Publishing Editor's Choice Cyber Security Security Services & Risk Management
Multi-factor authentication, including biometrics, for SAP Financials from realtime North America prevents financial compliance avoidance for Sasol.

Hytera and KZN Police Service roll out digital call handling system
Government and Parastatal (Industry) Asset Management, EAS, RFID Integrated Solutions
Hytera Communications announced that the municipality of Ray Nkonyeni in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa is now using its digital call handling system for the reporting and recording of crimes.

KPMG 2022 CEO Outlook, South African edition
Editor's Choice News
Mid-November saw the release of the latest KPMG 2022 CEO Outlook, South African edition, aptly sub-titled ‘Potential Growth in Uncertain Times’.

Do you know where your data is?
Technews Publishing Editor's Choice
Flow Security focuses on making sure companies manage their data security in real time through automated Data Security Posture Management (DSPM).

Two cases of cyber resilience
Technews Publishing Editor's Choice
Infinidat consolidates backups and cyber resilience for a cloud service provider in the healthcare environment, as well as an energy utility based in EMEA.