Security integrators play a critical role in today’s self-storage industry as the demand for more comprehensive and complex systems grows. Qualified security integrators coordinate and connect these various hardware and software components to ensure that your investment and your tenants’ possessions are always protected.
While many self-storage facilities have a low-voltage electrician they can occasionally call on, many are finding operational advantages through ongoing relationships with a certified security integrator. If you’re looking into this partnership for the first time, you may have a few questions: What do security integrators actually do? How do they deliver added value to your security investments? And more importantly, what should you look for when selecting a security integrator for your business?
The answers to these and other questions are more important than you might think. In crowded local markets, a first-class security integrator can create a competitive advantage by ensuring that your investment in security is maximized and shoring up the capabilities tenants expect from premier facilities.
What is a Security Integrator?
In self-storage, security involves much more than gates and locks. Leading self-storage groups rely on sophisticated security systems that improve owners’ and operators’ ability to deter crime, monitor facilities, and respond to security threats. Not surprisingly, connecting the various components of these systems requires an expert.
That’s where security integrators enter the picture. Trained security integrators specialize in linking together security subsystems across your operation. Integrators typically provide expertise across a range of security elements, including:
• Access control systems
• Security hardware (gates, doors, locks, etc.)
• Video surveillance systems (cameras, lighting, emergency notification systems)
• Cybersecurity components
• Network security
Security integrators’ capabilities extend well beyond the installation of gates and doors. They coordinate, install and optimize a continually expanding list of hardware, software, network and hybrid IT solutions, as well as specialized security equipment designed to meet the unique needs of your self-storage operation.
What Do Security Integrators Actually Do?
Although capabilities can vary by individual companies, security integrators generally offer an impressive array of services. While some simply install off-the-shelf security solutions, others operate as consultants who create a customized security strategy. The most qualified security integrators can:
• Assist in the development of a comprehensive security plan
• Acquire the required elements for your security system
• Install and integrate various hardware and software elements
• Provide ongoing support and training for your team
• Maintain and troubleshoot security components as needed
• Advise on the need for security upgrades or add-ons
How Security Integrators Deliver Added Value
True security integrators generate added value for your self-storage operation. On the other hand, inexperienced or underqualified technicians create risk in the form of incomplete jobs, integrations gaps, and the inability to properly scale your security system at a later date.
One of the most important ways security integrators deliver value is by future-proofing your facility. By providing strategic insights about key security elements, an experienced integrator can help you avoid costly mistakes and create a more secure facility today while planning for future enhancements and enabling you to maintain a stable operation.
Consider the impact of a single security failure on your business. When a gate, camera, access control system, or other security component goes down, it exposes your facility to security threats. But just as importantly, it disrupts daily operations — in addition to hiring a technician to address the issue, you may need to redeploy team members to physically monitor the facility until the system is back online. And if a security incident occurs in the meantime, your brand reputation will suffer. A trusted security integrator helps you focus on achieving your property’s overall vision instead of dealing with miscellaneous security concerns.
At a minimum, do your homework and vet any electrician or vendor that works on your security components. But a proven security integrator is almost always a better option based on the added value they provide and their ability to ensure the continuity of your security system.
Creating a Tailored Self-Storage Security Strategy
A first-rate security integrator will customize your security strategy to the needs of your facility and tenants. By providing expert insights on mobile access control solutions, individualized unit security, advanced video analytics, and countless other security features, integrators can map a security strategy that aligns with your objectives and scales with your operation.
It’s also important to understand that integrators work with many different self-storage groups. Leveraging insights from other facilities, an integrator can help you weigh the pros and cons of specific components and link them together in a comprehensive security system.
The development of a tailored strategy is another way in which security integrators add value to your operation. Although it’s possible to hire a technician to install individual components, the absence of an experienced security integrator exposes your business to operational disruptions, a lack of support and training, and serious security risks.
Tips for Selecting a Security Integrator
You need to conduct a thorough vetting process when selecting a security integrator. Although plenty of providers describe themselves as integrators, some lack the skills and experience to deliver the added value you should expect.
At a minimum, there are several factors to consider during the selection process:
• Cultural fit: Does the integrator listen to your concerns and share your philosophy about site security?
• Self-storage experience: In addition to proven security credentials, does the individual have security experience specific to self-storage?
• Comprehensive systems: Does the company install specific security components, or can they assist in the creation and maintenance of a comprehensive security system?
• Ongoing support: Will they provide training and ongoing support for your security system as well as specific hardware and software components?
• Training & certifications: Does the integrator possess appropriate certifications? Have they completed training in self-storage security components?
• Long-term relationship: Will the individual simply install security components and disappear? Or will they ensure the system runs smoothly and address issues when they arise?
Your security system influences tenants’ perceptions of your facility. Security breakdowns, system disruptions, and other snafus cause current and prospective tenants to question your operation’s quality, resulting in lost revenue and missed opportunities.
An experienced security integrator can help you maintain a stable and profitable business. By ensuring the integrity and performance of your security system, an investment in a security integrator is a solid business decision that provides peace of mind — for both you and your tenants.
Whether it’s a new solution to add to your integrated security strategy or a recommendation on a security integrator in your area, PTI is here to help your operation get what it needs to succeed. Click the link below to find a PTI Authorized Security Integrator today!