The issue of price vs quality raised its head again recently with a new report from the BSIA outlining how buyers need to be more aware of the importance of ROI over the initial upfront costs of technology and installation
It was interesting to hear this month that the BSIA has commissioned a white paper to establish the importance of making purchase decisions based on quality – rather than initial purchase price alone (see News p8). The idea is to make buyers aware that there is more to buying security systems than just the bottom line. This is something that we’ve heard for many years, especially as security is still seen as a grudge purchase by many purse string holders. Despite the often used phrase “buy cheap, pay twice” doing the rounds for some time the Association still feels that there is a lack of awareness with some financial controllers as to the return on investment and suitability for pupose they will get from cheaper security systems.
But these days is it such a black and white case that cheap is unsuitable and quality costs more? Certainly not in every discipline within the sector. if you look at the way in which the CCTV market has gone over recent years you can see that there are quite a few manufacturers offering good quality products at very reasonable prices (you know who I’m talking about) and the success of these cameras and peripherals has made the companies involved the most successful manufacturers of the current market. Such was the rapid rise of these companies that it led to the demise of some of the once leading lights of the sector including Dedicated Micros, coincidentally the company that Pauline Norstrom, the person listed as driving the BSIA report, used to head-up before it went belly up. So perhaps when it comes to surveillance there is a grey area for value for money, but then that only refers to the initial cost of the technology – not the prices you will charge for installation and service.
When it comes to security we all know that maintenance and warranties are not options that should be skimped on just to save a few pounds. As an installer you will offer support for systems that your customers should put more thought into other than just the recurring costs and the BSIA report does recommend that providers could better demonstrate the value of their offerings rather than just trying to compete on price.
Essentially it’s a two-way street, your customers need to look beyond the initial outlay cost and you need to do more to make sure that clients understand return on investment over the lifetime of the system so that you don’t have to shrink margins just to get the contracts in the first place.
But then we’ve all been saying that for years…