Surviving the COVID Crisis

COVID-19. Where to begin? This pandemic appears to be nowhere near controlled or over, and it certainly has taken its toll worldwide and on all Americans. It has affected the security industry as well. As the industry as a whole has taken it on the chin, it seems integrators and staff were disrupted the most.

Coronavirus impacts are not hitting manufacturers as badly as they feared. The situation is modestly improving for many.

Early on, the situation was bad everywhere, and in the beginning, integrators outside the United States claimed to be disrupted. From a recent IPVM survey, as many as 50 percent of foreign integrators were in trouble. At the same time, and just as the virus was ramping up here, 31 percent of U.S. integrators were struggling.

In the U.S., there seemed to be a slowdown in the number of service calls coming in, and new projects and ongoing projects were put on hold. Government sites, consisting of federal and local governments, limited access to work sites.

One of the most defeating actions in the early stages of pandemic was the shuttering of gaming sites and casinos. Security integrators play a huge role in keeping these sites open and secure on a daily basis. The impact of COVID-19 continues, but as the country begins to open up for business again, security integrators will likely be going back to work.

As a bad situation began to darken, integrators were making comments, such as the work environment growing steadily worse week by week. Some companies have laid off staff, upwards of 35 percent of their workforce.

Some customers have canceled or delayed proposed projects, and others customers asking for delayed payment for work completed by as much as six months. Installation staff have also voiced their concerns about going to certain projects for an install, unless it required emergency service.

There are reasons for optimism. Despite new project work in slow-down mode, or even non-existent, some integrators are able to get back to work on existing projects that were hard hit, and stopped by the virus.

Recovery is coming, though tenuous. It appears the situation has bottomed out for integrators, and hopefully this points to a rebound. The situation will improve, though quick recovery is not likely. Hopefully, we see gradual and strong recovery

This article originally appeared in the May/June 2020 issue of Security Today.

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.

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