Top 5 Pitfalls to Avoid When Selecting a Security Company

There are five basic rules to follow when purchasing a security system. Before making a purchase decision, you should understand some of the hidden facets behind your purchase. Making the wrong decision can cost your company dearly. Below are five of the most common mistakes made when purchasing a security system.

Pitfall #1- Proprietary Systems
When selecting a system it is important to realize that your decision will affect your company for an average of 5 to 8 years. Selecting a proprietary system will lock your company into a single source vendor. You will not be able to get competitive bids after your initial purchase. Even worse, if the company goes out of business it will be difficult, if not impossible, to get support. On average, a system will increase in size 2 to 5 times over a five-year period. Once a proprietary vendor is selected, you will be at their mercy for service and additions to your system. The proprietary vendor no longer has to be competitive. You may find yourself paying outrageous prices with no alternatives. Many times those vendors selling proprietary systems will “buy” the initial sale; this means they sell the initial system at a loss just to win the project. They are betting on future additions and changes. When these inevitable changes come, they can charge inflated prices thereby making up any initial losses plus large profits. If you select a proprietary system, just remember the choice may cost you thousands after the initial sale is complete. Make sure to look carefully at the total cost of ownership of the system.

Pitfall #2 – Company Certification
Make sure that the manufacturer has certified the company you select. A certified company will have completed formal training provided by the equipment manufacturer. This is essential to ensuring a quality installation that meets the manufacturer’s specifications, and will keep the warranty intact. Beyond manufacturer certifications there are a few outside organizations that certify security companies and their employees. The National Institute for Certified Engineers and Technicians (NICET) is one outside organization that offers fire alarm and video security system certification levels for installers and 私家偵探 designers. These industry certifications are essential in qualifying a company with whom to do business. Again, this will help to ensure a quality system installation.

Pitfall #3 – Subcontracting
Many times selecting a company for your security system can be difficult when subcontractors are involved. Many companies in the security industry do not use their own installation teams to install your system. After you have spent time reviewing the security company and believe you have selected a quality company you may not be getting what you bargained for. A subcontractor may show up to install the system you have purchased, who may not have insurance or be certified to install the system. Before making your final selection be sure to ask who will be installing the system. If a subcontractor will be used, ask for their qualifications. Find out exactly what the subcontractor will be responsible for while installing the system. Subcontractors are not necessarily bad. If quality, certified and insured subcontractors are used, the installation can be completed successfully. Remember; if subcontractors will be used, ask what their role will be and what their qualifications are.

Pitfall #4 – Clear and defined scope of work
Before selecting a company to install your security system, make certain that you have a clear and concise scope of work to be performed and that it is well defined in each of the security companies’ proposals. It is helpful to have CAD drawings and engineering diagrams indicating locations of devices being installed. Ask the bidders to provide these drawings as part of their proposals. Most quality companies will have staff CAD engineers to produce as-builts of the system design and layout. This will ensure you receive a system that meets your specific security requirements. The company selected will also have the proper documentation required for permits and they will be used as service documents to support the system for years to come.

Pitfall #5 – Service and Maintenance agreement
Make sure before selecting any security company that you carefully examine their service and maintenance agreement. You are installing a security system that, if it fails, could be disastrous. Should that happen it is vital to know that the security company will be there quickly to resolve any issue and have the system operational as quickly as possible

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