What is your company doing? Cancellations, postponements and reschedules of many industry gatherings are currently in process and there is no end in sight as the COVID-19 virus spreads throughout the country. Amid concerns over the Coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., it’s important to remember, most who become infected recover from the illness. The World Health Organization says those who become infected generally experience mild illness and recover in about two weeks.
It is mid-March as I pen this article, and the ISC-West show has been postponed until July 19-22, 2020. Many of us had planned to be in Las Vegas this coming week, but we should now make every effort to be there in July if the virus is in remission. Reed Expositions, and their primary sponsor SIA, have been planning a big show for us and this postponement is going to be very expensive for them and the many hotels where we have had to cancel reservations. Those who registered their rooms through ISC will likely find that they have already received a credit to their credit card for the room. I have, and ISC deserves a big hand (not a handshake!) for the very professional way they have dealt with this problem. We will be there in July and hope to see many of you there as well.
Digital Monitoring Products (DMP) GOES VIRTUAL FOR THE ISC SHOW!
We spoke with Mark Nesmith, Vice President of Sales for DMP, and asked him how they are handling their disappointment with the ISC postponement. Like all of us (I hope all of us), Mark said, “they have quickly initiated a NO HANDSHAKE and NO TOUCH policy throughout the company.” Mark stated further that “if any member of our team has any indication of illness, they are grounded. The one aspect that we feel is critical for our country’s long-term health is to maintain cautious normalcy to avoid a self-fulfilling prophecy of economic depression.”
The DMP virtual plan is to bring the Show to the customer by hosting 6 live broadcasts over the same three days that would have been the show. This is their virtual roadshow that will allow the customer to review DMP’s new products and services along with a panel of DMP personnel in the safety and comfort of their offices. Mark emphasized that field sales and training staff would continue their regular visits to customer sites because business cannot just hide until the all clear is sounded. However, there are significant savings to be gained if they are not sending a crew and equipment to a show, and they have demonstrated that with this creative solution to the problem.
BANKING CRISIS CONTINUES UNABATED!
Security Funding Associates is in the planning stage for a series of moderated virtual meetings to discuss the current banking crisis in the industry. The intent of these webinars will be to discuss the causes and effects of the crisis and to deliver solutions to at least some of those companies, that have been severely impacted.
Monitronics/Brinks is in the process of restructuring and is expected to come out of bankruptcy after a significant capital infusion. Rumors continue to circulate that personnel from Safe Home may be indicted after their financing was pulled. Select Security continues to seek new capital after its bank funding was frozen. The business of buying alarm accounts for inflated pricing is imploding as we speak. Attrition for these companies, and for a number of others, has been out of control. Well over half of the banks that fund our industry have rejected this irrational exuberance and are dramatically changing their lending criteria. Expectations are that this retrenchment could last as long as a couple of years.
Tony Smith is President of Security Funding Associates, past President of the CAA and member of the ESA Board. He is a licensed California alarm dealer, and member of TMA.
He may be reached at (626) 795-9199 or firstname.lastname@example.org