Consolidation in security industry need not mean demise of small operation

December 2001 News & Events

Consolidation in the South African security industry will continue in 2002, but this does not have to mean the demise of smaller operations. So says TeqTrader's Frank Fowles, commenting on the scenario likely to unfold in the local security industry in 2002.

"The large security organisations forming up and expanding right now have the kind of infrastructure and access to capital that equips them to take on big projects, such as suburban enclosure," says Fowles. "Big South African companies tend to support big security operations - particularly based on the perception that there will ongoing support into the future from large security firms."

Frank Fowles
Frank Fowles

But Fowles is quick to add that smaller operations should not see these developments as the beginning of the end. "On the contrary, the small company still has a place, but must invest in specialised skills and knowledge in order to compete," he says. "Smaller companies should react to the consolidations as a challenge to become more innovative and creative, to keep abreast of technology and to deliver above and beyond the kind of service levels customers demand.

"From an end-user point of view, it will continue to be a case of horses for courses - smaller security operations can be more niched and specialised than larger organisations.

"Ultimately, customers focus on personal, customer-centred service, which generates relationships, which in turn generate repeat business," he says. "TeqTrader will be here to support and assist all local security operations, large or small, to develop product knowledge and skill levels through our own technical expertise and training activities.

Dedicated training

To this end, TeqTrader recently launched a dedicated training department which, believes Graham Beaton, who heads up the department is already meeting a real need in the security industry. "The Training Department being fully equipped to provide security installation specialists not only with a comprehensive product range, but with all the knowledge to guarantee that these installers actually sell their clients the right product for the right application - and that they install it correctly. The best way to achieve this is through proper training," says Beaton.

Fowles agrees: "We want to play an active role in raising local standards of technical excellence and empowering our customers to provide real value to the end-user."

Unique four-tier structure

Commenting on TeqTrader's own prospects in 2002, Fowles says despite the fact that competitors criticised the company's business model of combining under one roof four areas of security traditionally handled by different companies, 2002 will see this strategy pay off.

"It was a bold move and had never been done before because no single company had all the expertise under one roof to pull it off. But it is already working extremely well in terms of synergy between the disciplines and it affords a strong foundation with strength and flexibility to withstand turbulent times."

TeqTrader's training division caters to all four divisions, which are:

* Intrusion - all aspects of burglar detection and alarm systems for both residential and commercial applications.

* Access control for all commercial and industrial applications.

* CCTV systems.

* Fire detection systems.

"The four-tier approach embodies the 'one stop shop' concept and enables us to supply installers who handle everything from small burglar alarms to big commercial systems, which may include access, fire and CCTV," says Fowles. "It also enables us to be a bit creative and flexible, multiskilling our staff to be redeployed from division to division, depending on customer demand at any given time.

"Companies which focus on one area only are more vulnerable to changes in market forces and the South African security industry is beset by such forces," concludes Fowles.

In addition, TeqTrader is currently launching a brand new on-line training concept on its new FBII Omni series of control panels. Called Webinars, the fully interactive web-based training sessions are live from New York direct to any location in South Africa.

For further details contact Frank Fowles, TeqTrader on tel: (011) 403 3002, e-mail:

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