Innotec Security is a fast-growing electronic security integration business with a strong product spread and a serious commitment to its high-end customer base. Founder and managing director Stuart Pitcher and Director, sales and marketing Rob Rosa speak with SEN editor, John Adams.
JA: Could you outline the Innotec Security business – who are its clients, which brands does it install?
SP: Innotec Security is a value-add integration business servicing mid to high end clients such as Powercor, Greater Metropolitan Cemetery Trust, Adidas, NDIA, Victorian Arts Centre and many other clients. Innotec Security are Gallagher certified partners but deal in a wide range of products dependant on client requirements such as Inner Range, Tecom, Milestone, FLIR, Pelco, Panasonic, AXIS, Mobotix, HIK and Dahua.
JA: When was it founded, how many staff, bases of operation?
SP: Innotec was originally founded at the start of 2015 by Stuart Pitcher. Stuart has been in the industry for over 30 years and was instrumental in growing other electronic integrations businesses such as SNP Security and the former ACG Security. In September 2017, Rob Rosa acquired 50 per cent of Innotec Security and my background is also over 30 years of experience in a varied range of security roles in the industry such as GM for Pacific Communications (Hills), head of security for Melbourne City Council and CEO of the publicly listed company, Q Security Systems.
Innotec Security has been built on the following pillars being relationships from Stuart and Rob’s contacts, innovative thinking when it comes to solutions for clients and the fact that Innotec continue to provide a reliable service with the highest level of expertise. The main base is Victoria and also regional Victoria and Innotec Security currently has 11 staff and utilises around 20 sub-contract staff on a full-time basis. All our internal technicians and sub contract are all fully certified on all the systems and are continually assessed on their skill set and new product/feature training competency.
JA: How fast is the company growing and in what areas of business is the growth coming?
SP: The company is certainly growing rapidly but we have a very controlled methodology to ensure that we are not taking on too much, too quickly. The areas that we are witnessing significant growth include CCTV and access control, as well as perimeter protection is significantly playing an important part.
JA: Which areas does Innotec see as being those with greatest growth potential for the future?
SP: CCTV and access control will continue to grow given the levels of insecurity that many are feeling through terrorism and general crime in their respective areas, but I also feel that analytics, smart technologies and thermal detection will see some significant upward movement in 2018 and beyond. There are some very smart software-driven and cloud-based systems that can be adapted to current technological solutions both from a retrofit or brand new site installation that would add lots of value to the end user in making their systems more robust, more economical in the long run and also give them visibility as to what is working and what is not in a real time environment rather than finding out when you are missing the information while undertaking a forensic exercise.
JA: What do end users get from Innotec that is different from other installers and integrators?
RR: We try and deliver a premium service but also to ensure the customers feel they are receiving a personalised service and also general visits to say hello and deliver new information on what technology is coming out that may suit them. This does not necessarily mean that we go out and see clients weekly, but we reach out to them via phone, email, face to face, etc.
The reality is we are still at the size that we can continue to offer these benefits at no cost to the end user. We can also offer clients our unique customer portal service (CPS) giving them personalised logins, which allows clients to log in service and technical calls, check what status their service calls are at including project status, invoicing, when a service tech is being dispatched, etc. All this is free of charge and available to all our clients.
JA: In your opinion, what are the current challenges in the market?
RR: Both Stuart and I have spoken in length about the coming challenges in our industry and many times we come back to the cheap import (grey channel) non-branded security equipment being installed by a number of back yarders (so to speak). This alone hurts the industry, irrespective of where you are aiming to position yourself in the market place. Another challenge is the lack of young incoming techs and security-related experts. This means that we rely heavily on the industry dinosaurs who may not be across the latest technologies as well as we need them to be. On a serious note it would be nice to some the Government putting some type of initiative to do apprenticeship-style work arrangements with our industry.
JA: How are you enjoying the integration side of the business, Rob? What’s the core difference between distribution and integration in terms of service provision to customers, in your opinion?
RR: I’ve always loved the integration side of the business from my early days at Vangren Technology and since joining the Innotec team I have enjoyed returning to the integration space. As far as differences goes, there are a few but your question pertaining to service provision to customers – it’s much the same. As a distributor, clients require you to hold inventory, support pre and post-sales and ensure that if the products have issues again pre or post-warranty, you can provide a resolution of their issues without them being gouged. That’s basic customer service.
As far as an integration company, clients expect to have a system provided, installed and commissioned with the proper end user training and minimal to nil disruption and not get gouged for it – that’s basic customer service. Is there much of a difference in the philosophy of service provision to customers? I believe that great customer service at a competitive rate in your given industry is the major key to success.
JA: What parts of their own businesses do you think installers and integrators should be focusing on?
RR: Here is my honest opinion. Stop trying to cut corners and deliver services that can’t be delivered. Enough with the importation of cheap rubbish products on the internet that do not comply with standards and focus on delivering great customer service at good pricing, keep your clients in the loop with new technology and what is coming up. Keep your staff trained and up to date with upcoming technology and ensure that your business is focussed on delivering a great all-round service that is commensurate with what end users are expecting and which is aligned with their business requirements.