Security 50 buyers’ survey shows Top 10 win best customer satisfaction

Security 50 buyers’ survey shows Top 10 win best customer satisfaction
In order to create a more complete picture of the security industry by presenting the buyers’ perspectives on Security 50, asmag.com asked several distributors and system integrators (SIs) in the industry for their thoughts on the Security 50 manufacturers. We have received answers from 100 distributors and SIs who have worked with the Security 50 companies. Based on their responses, here are some of our major findings:

Finding 1: Top 10 most liked security companies 

Hikvision Digital Technology won the crown as the most liked Security 50 company, with 20 percent of the survey’s participants saying that they had a favorable impression of the company. The Chinese giant also scored top on our Security 50 list, raking in revenue of US$4.6 billion in 2016.

Dahua Technology, another Chinese big player, and the Taiwanese VIVOTEK were tied for second. Nine percent of the participants said that Dahua was their favorite, while another 9 percent had their eyes on VIVOTEK. The traditional Western powerhouses, Bosch Security Systems and FLIR Systems, shared the No. 3 place, at 7 percent.

All of the abovementioned were in the top 10 of our Security 50 ranking, except for VIVOTEK, at No. 16.  

Overall, these companies have a strong presence in multiple vertical markets. According to the distributors and SIs polled, Hikvision is strongest in Buildings, followed by Education, Office/Corporate and Retail/Restaurants, and finally in Healthcare. Dahua, on the other hand, is strongest in Buildings and then in Residential Security, while Banking/Finance and Education came in third. 

VIVOTEK had an equally strong presence in Buildings, Office/Corporate and Retail/Restaurants. As for FLIR, the Police/Military market especially stood out to our participants, while for Bosch, Industrial/Manufacturing, Office/Corporate and Oil & Gas/Utility were considered equally strong.

We also have a few honorable mentions, including ASSA ABLOY, GeoVision, Milestone Systems and Tyco Security Products, all of whom left a positive impression on our survey participants.

Finding 2: Characteristics of buyers by country/region

Security distributors and SIs from all over the world participated in our survey. Twenty-four percent of them are from the Asia-Pacific region, while 20 percent are located in South and Southeast Asia. Europe and Middle East each saw 18 percent of participants, while North America and Latin America each saw 9 percent.

While there was no significant trend in the types of products buyers from different regions were interested in, purchasing behavior varied country to country. Even though it is generally agreed that the developed economies with mature markets require more advanced solutions, while emerging market economies with rapidly expanding infrastructure demand basic solutions and are a lot more cost-conscious, our survey results pointed to a slightly different direction.

Take India for example. Some solution providers have often pointed out how the market relies heavily on lower costs regardless of quality concerns. However, all of our respondents from India (13 percent) invariably stated that quality was their top priority when sourcing products. That said, some of them revealed a positive impression of Hikvision products, which suggests that pricing is still a major concern for them.

For buyers from the U.S. (9 percent), on the other hand, product features were a deciding factor in choosing manufacturers to work with. Our US respondents also showed a preference for Western companies like Identiv or Milestone. Buyers from Australia (9 percent), another developed economy, had positive experience with Hikvision, and they put equal emphasis on quality and price.

Neither buyers from Turkey (9 percent) nor from Latin America (9 percent) have developed preferences for any single security company, but they valued quality and price equally.

Finding 3: The price-performance balance

It is understandable that distributors and SIs aim to look for better quality at a lower price in products that they can integrate well into their systems in their home country. That is why in our survey, when commenting on the strengths and weaknesses of a company’s products, buyers across the board unanimously said that quality, price and integration ability were the top three factors on both sides.

In the past, because the security market consisted mostly of projects commissioned by governments, quality could trump price in sourcing products. But since the rise of the Chinese manufacturers, price competition has become more intense and the importance of price has come to the foreground.

This overall trend has been consistent with Hikvision and Dahua’s dominance of the global security market. Both companies continue to take top spots on the Security 50 list this year, with their revenues growing larger than ever. Not only do they offer low-priced products, but the quality of these has also improved, according to multiple industry professionals asmag.com has spoken with on different occasions. When more and more decent products are available on the market at a lower cost, it only seems reasonable to assume that the trend of Chinese dominance in security is irreversible.

Finding 4: Better technical support and training programs

Commenting on support or services provided by the Security 50 companies, our survey participants listed, in order of preference, technical support, aftersales support and training programs as support/services that they are most satisfied with.   Interestingly, the support/services with which they are most dissatisfied were also in the same order. That means there is still room for improvement on the manufacturers’ part.

According to our survey, a predominant number of distributors and SIs suggested that manufacturers provide them with immediate technical support as well as more comprehensive training materials. From their perspectives, it is crucial for SIs to receive ample training to stay on top of the latest technology by sending their technicians to the suppliers to gain knowledge of the field.

In addition to technical support and training programs, some respondents also expressed their desire for manufacturers to improve their product quality or have new product lineups.

The suggestions these buyers had for vendors were, in fact, very similar to those offered by vendors to buyers. As asmag.com has previously reported, many manufacturers would also like SIs to take better advantage of both their online and in-person training programs.

Conclusion

As global security demand continues to grow, it has become clear that the security industry has evolved into a situation where two large Chinese players, Hikvision and Dahua, are competing against the rest of the companies. Based on our survey, many buyers have formed positive impressions of the two Chinese companies, which in turn speaks to their growing emphasis on pricing. However, no matter how the industry landscape has changed, technical support and training programs remain key demands buyers have for manufacturers.

About the Security 50 buyers’ survey

asmag.com sent out questionnaires to distributors and SIs who have worked with the Security 50 companies. We received 100 responses during the period between November 1 and December 14, 2017. The survey, which contains both multiple choice and open-ended questions, is completely anonymous, as we wanted our participants to freely speak their minds.
 
 


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