Crime-Preventing Technology to Lift Securitas’ Market Share

  • New technology to lower costs for both customers and providers
  • Products to give company edge to grow faster than the market

Securitas AB says its push to develop crime-preventing technology will allow the company to increase sales and staffing even as its new offering lowers costs for clients, and as a result, Securitas’ invoicing.

The Swedish security-services provider is currently testing how it can use its data warehousing and data intelligence system as well as models for coordinating information to provide customers with new and improved security solutions, Chief Executive Officer Alf Goeransson said in an interview in Stockholm. That includes testing intelligent cameras and other tech-savvy security products in the U.K. before rolling them out across its markets.

“This is a big reason to why we’re growing faster than the markets in Europe and North America,” Goeransson said about the Stockholm-based company’s technology offering. “We’re lowering the costs for the customer, but we also invoice less. Theoretically this means negative growth, but the reality is different as we are competitive and can win more deals.”

The security business is one of the latest industries to realize the benefits of technology in cutting costs, following in the footsteps of everything from banks to automotive suppliers. Securitas says its processes and products can be used to monitor premises and alarms remotely and help stores predict when and where theft will occur by gathering data and then plan staffing accordingly. That will be key when winning business in the future, Goeransson said.

“The move toward digitalization is very fast, but I think we’re right on time,” said the CEO. “There’s a big change going on in many sectors of the society, and if you’re not part of it you’re dead. The security company of tomorrow will to a much larger degree consist of higher technology and knowledge content.”

Securitas rose as much as 0.5 percent in Stockholm and was up 0.2 percent at 131.5 kronor at 10:42 a.m. local time. It has gained 1.1 percent this year.

The company is betting that the new products will give it the edge needed to continue to outpace market growth, despite the impact on customer costs and invoicing. While the industry as a whole will have fewer employees in the future because of higher technological content, Goeransson expects Securitas to be able to move in the opposite direction and add to its 330,000 employees.

“Even if the market as a whole will have that development in a 5-10 year perspective, it could be that the strategy that we’re now at the forefront of means that we will be more successful, that we will grow faster than the market and that we therefore don’t have any need to lower employee numbers as we will grow with new projects,” Goeransson said.

Sales at Securitas jumped 15 percent to 80.9 billion kronor ($9.7 billion) last year, with organic sales growth of 5 percent. In its annual report, Securitas said it estimates that it’s growing faster than the security markets in the U.S., Europe and in the Ibero-American countries, “mainly supported by our strategy of security solutions and technology.” The North American and European security markets are growing in line with gross domestic product, it said.

To further advance its offering, Securitas plans to buy more technology companies and will target mid-sized firms in each country it operates in, after the purchases of Diebold Inc.’s North America security business for $350 million last year and German electronic security firm Draht+Schutz this year.

It’s not just Securitas and its customers that will benefit, Goeransson said. As digitalization aims to detect the risk of crimes before they have even been perpetrated, “we get a better and a safer society the more we take advantage of technology and digitalization, to make it as hard as possible for the criminal clientele to even succeed with anything.”

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