Selling CCTV is like double glazing…

November 20, 2009

Mike Tolley, Principal Consultant at Cogent (fm) Solutions, looks at the issues that concern the CCTV industry today.

Unfortunately my flippant comment about double glazing sales people selling CCTV is true. The approach to selling CCTV is based, by the majority, on How many? and The cheapest price? – not questions such as Why CCTV? Placed where to justify the need? and the issue of cost effectiveness against quality.

As a consultant, I would often get sales staff walking a site with me on a tender specification, and they would try to justify their point for additional CCTV, or an easier mounting point, with no foundation or reason. They where quickly put back in their place. There is no education or training in the security sales industry. It is, typically, ‘in at the deep end’ and ‘use your first customers as your testing grounds’

It is good to see that some manufacturers have taken the initiative in system and product sales training and accredited installer schemes. There are a few installers that take training seriously. They are starting to shine through, recognised as sitting at the front of their field.

Do you agree with Mike? Let us know what you think below.

For more comment and insight about CCTV  click here to read CCTV articles.


The CCTV industry should put its house in order

November 18, 2009

When editor of Security Installer, Alan Hyder, criticised a report that concluded there was no link between crime solving and CCTV it sparked responses from police representatives who criticised current CCTV practices. Now, Mike Tolley, Principal Consultant at Cogent (fm) Solutions, has joined the debate. He says he is “someone who cares about what he does and the industry he is in” and concludes that too often CCTV is sold like double glazing …

I read with interest the articles about CCTV in last month’s edition. I have to agree with the majority of comments from Norman Gibson (independent consultant and retired RUC sergeant) that CCTV is “only one tool in the box”.

I often refer to CCTV as a management tool with security a part of its use. The type and placement of cameras should always be chosen to meet the need – not finding the easiest place to install it. My most valuable lesson on specifying and evaluating CCTV was probably learned whilst working in the manned guarding industry, where the CCTV system is a very important part of their tool box. I deplore this ‘cost of guarding’ Vs the ‘cost of a remotely monitored CCTV system’ argument as a justification to buy CCTV, i.e., just because it’s cheaper.

The best camera in the world will never outweigh a good guarding service. But it’s also about balance, and, as many others do, I refer to the Home Office operational requirement document. If end users only took an hour to complete it whilst assessing their needs, it would answer many questions without them being hoodwinked by the guy who sells CCTV instead of double glazing because it’s an easier sell.

Do you agree with Mike? Let us know what you think below.

For more comment and insight about CCTV  click here to read CCTV articles.