This month Simon Banks talks to Stephen Leigh, Sales Director of Argus Fire & Security Ltd. Argus have been providing the latest in fire alarms and burglar alarm technology for industrial, commercial and domestic customers for over 30 years.
Your company ethos is to supply the highest level of burglar alarm protection and in recent years you have doubled your monitored base. What has been the driving factor for this?
A major factor has been the continued investment in our company and staff, leading to more prestigious contract opportunities and a high customer retention rate. Our customers are generally very loyal and frequently recommend our business and the services we offer to others.
Digital Communicators provide a lucrative revenue stream for many installers. What prompted your decision to stop supplying them?
Argus stopped offering this service around three years ago after trialling the then new DigiAir Product, deciding that single path radio products offered much greater flexibility and reliability. Products such as DigiAir offer very versatile attributes that improve the level of security over the old Digi Com service, which could be very vulnerable to attack as it was not polled regularly enough and in some instances not at all. We are currently on a campaign to change-out our legacy base of Digi’s to single path wireless. We have also found that when including the telephone call cost of a Digi Com service that polled twice daily, the overall cost of a DigiAir to the customer can often be lower. Surprising as it may seem, many customers choose to upgrade to Grade 2 dual path signalling at this stage due to the very small additional cost, and benefits of Dual path.
You have told me Argus operates a best practice policy of only quoting specifications based on risk. How do you maintain this approach with growing competitive pressure in the market?
As an NSI approved installer we carry out risk assessments for all new installations, this ensures that our bespoke professional quotations are fit for purpose and meet all necessary requirements for our customer’s needs. Not all companies provide this service, and we believe this gives us a professional advantage against some other Installers who do not.
You mention that risk assessments aid your decision on system design, how do you see system designs changing in the coming years.
Risk assessments are crucial to designing the appropriate system, I see many manufacturers offering system apps and mobile device notification solutions. Although progressive and arguably convenient, these systems will never replace the need for high security police response systems. The biggest concern I see in the coming years is non accredited companies selling inadequate systems, which is not good for the consumer or the industry.
How do you see Home Automation and the Internet of Things (IoT) impacting your business over the next 5 years?
We believe that Home Automation and App based security including the cloud, should be complementary to - rather than in place of - high security police response alarm systems. When used appropriately IoT provides additional benefits to high security systems and greater flexibility and functionality for the lesser secure systems. There will be more customer demand for App based systems, but in the main we believe these will replace conventional audible only and speech dialler systems. We strongly believe in the benefits of IoT, especially Apps for CCTV, and feel this is a growing area that will benefit us all.
“CSL are certainly out in front when it comes to secure wireless innovation. Another bullet-proof solution to flakey insecure CCTV Broadband sites.”
Facebook post from Frank Flanagan at Crimewatch Ireland - Feb 20