What Mass Notification Service Can Do for Your Alarm Business (and Community)
Two-way mass notification service represents an added layer of RMR, and keeps communities connected with important information.
In free-enterprise systems, common economic theory dictates that business resources – time, money and labor – should be allocated in the manner that obtains maximum profits.
For decades, the most profitable activity for alarm contractors was to sell a system, at a loss, recoup costs via recurring monthly revenue (RMR) from monitoring and then profit from good service that retains the customer for many years. The next step was to repeat this process at a rate much greater than your attrition to grow your customer base and overall RMR.
Today, however, you should consider focusing efforts on existing commercial customers by offering two-way, mass-notification service (MNS) from your central station, which represents an added layer of RMR for those accounts.
Another opportunity is to sell MNS as a standalone system to operators of facilities in which you do not currently have the system under contract. With your foot in the door, you may be able to gain the entire system from your competitor, thus increasing your market share.
Earn Revenue for Each Building Occupant
Offering an MNS to existing customers with campuses that draw a repeat daily population — schools, offices, hospitals, factories or government agencies — enables you to possibly earn additional revenue based on the number of “contacts” who must be notified in emergency and nonemergency manners.
Your compensation includes the revenue you already receive for equipment, installation, maintenance and monitoring, but you can gain an additional revenue stream for making individual notifications by text, E-mail or digital voice to each “contact” subscribed to the MNS. Those messages could be received – and replied to – via a smartphone, tablet or computer.
Furthermore, you can provide ancillary services that schools pay to other vendors, for example, to facilitate nonemergency communications such as promoting a campus-wide function, a teacher informing parents of an upcoming field trip or cancellation of classes due to severe weather.
In other words, mass notification could be the most profitable service you can offer existing customers who have a system in place already.
Open the Portal to Increased Community Safety
Alarm contractors can also sell MNS to communities, representing a huge new segment of potential customers. Those communities in turn would then promote a Web site or text address that enables citizens to “opt in” to receive local alerts. Whoever chooses to opt in will receive the notices that the community decides to generate from the mass-notification portal.
Depending on the wants of the community, the service could either be free to constituents or require a subscriber charge, which could cover the cost of the service or be priced so that the community creates a new revenue stream, as opposed to a cost.
An MNS could be used to alert citizens of an impending tornado, crime sprees, a boil order, a train derailment that’s blocked the main thoroughfare – anything really – as well as the means to receive community feedback, including requests for help.
For example, an attempted child abduction takes place at a community park and officers receive a description of the perpetrator and his light blue four-door sedan. The sergeant tells a dispatcher to notify opted-in community members of the pertinent information by text, E-mail or digital voice. This will make people aware of the incident and they will be on the lookout for the perpetrator.
After the notification is generated from an online portal, a recipient may see a car fitting the description at a different park. That person can then send a response text message, possibly accompanied with an image: “THAT GUY MIGHT BE AT CITY PARK – here is a photo of his car.”
Maybe the license plate is showing or the sender says that the blue car is heading west on a certain street. That’s valuable information that could lead to apprehension. Overall the capabilities can yield a safer community.
It is also a means to generate a new stream of revenue for your company without installing a single piece of equipment. Instead, you are selling access to a secure online portal from which two-way communication is facilitated.
Alarm Dealers Can Maximize Profit Potential
Economic best practices require a business to focus on its most profitable functions. Tightly related to this thinking is that the cost of every good or service is relative to perceived value. Because prices are expressed in terms of currency, which is a commodity, price allows people to develop their own comparative values for the products/services you offer.
When this is applied to MNS for existing customers, the best way to present this is that the cost per contact is pennies a month. With such a nominal cost – compared to the potential horrific consequences of not having such an important system in place – alarm contractors can be assured of gaining a significant share of this new market and revenue stream.