This scenario has come about thanks to a ‘perfect storm’, which includes many influences, not just COVID. Growth in many sectors across the wider technology and IoT markets combined with natural disasters (fire, droughts, and floods) and ongoing trade wars, has resulted in an increased demand for components, at a rate that production cannot match. In addition, as these components become scarce, they increase in price, and many suppliers are being impacted by this. Bidding wars can start, leaving some businesses empty-handed.
The mission critical nature of the electronic security industry, protecting people and premises, means suppliers cannot simply refuse to pay the increased costs. Installers, rightly, must have access to the products they need to provide their service to their customers. If not, those people and premises are left vulnerable, do not meet their insurance standards, and could be denied their police response. We have been working with our supply partners to ensure they prioritise our sector above others due to the special services we support. Backing from the BSIA and the NPCC (National Police Chiefs’ Council) has assisted us greatly in these discussions.
For Installers, it has never been more important to plan and not leave any projects until the last minute. The next few years will see hundreds of thousands of upgrades to older systems as part of the UK’s All IP project. To ensure that the products are available for these upgrades, it is imperative that they work with suppliers to provide awareness of what is to come. By working together, I am confident we can overcome these challenges and ensure we protect all end-users and their premises.
Tony Mann, Operations Director, CSL