Securing Its Market Position

While we are all well familiar with our home security solutions, we rarely stop to think about security in larger commercial, industrial and infrastructure applications. With the development of new technologies, perimeter security technology companies have been providing more complex and more secure solutions in this sphere; and Senstar – a Canadian company based in Carp, Ont. – provided the leading security technologies since 1981, and the company is one of the global leaders in this security segment.

To maintain its leading edge, Senstar continues to research, develop, manufacture and market the largest portfolio of sensor technology security products and systems in the world. The company’s manufacturing facilities (certified under ISO 9001:2008) provide perimeter security solutions for applications such as borders, critical infrastructure sites, airports, ports, utilities, oil and gas sites, VIP residences, government sites, agencies, correctional facilities, commercial operations, and military sites.

The Canadian Business Journal spoke with Brian Rich, President and one of the six original employees of Senstar, and Jonathan Murray, Director of Marketing, about the edge Senstar provides to its clients. “The security market space is worth up to US$100 billion globally, including security personnel, security construction materials, and so on. We are a specialist in perimeter security (outdoor systems that detect intrusion of adversaries into a property), and the world market for these technologies is in the $300 million to $400 million range,” says Rich.

According to Rich, the biggest challenge in this industry is to build reliable technologies that are capable to work outdoors consistently, reliably, and without service interruptions, and Senstar has to address a wide range of issues such as rain, snow, sunlight, darkness and freezing ground (in regards to the ground sensors), and while the technologies have evolved immensely, the outdoor elements continue to represent a challenge.

“We are achieving larger market penetration due to our technological edge, and our R&D is a very important factor to us. There is a lot of technology that goes into these sensors to achieve the levels of performance necessary. We invest close to 10 per cent of our revenues into R&D every year, with strong commitment to stay on top of the competition, and the size of our R&D team alone is larger than many of our competitors,” says Rich. “We also operate a large test site, which is possibly one of the largest privately operated perimeter security test site in the world, and our 10 acre site possibly rivals the sites owned by governments.”

With its extensive network and offices around the world, Senstar provides its products and solutions to clients right across the world, protecting thousands of sites in over 80 countries (including Canada, the United States, Latin America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Oceania), with over 30,000 kilometres of installed product. “Our competition is usually local – offering security products in a single country – without the global reach. That’s why we have seen exceptional growth in places like Latin America due to our presence in the market. We offer exceptional customer service for our product, and we see a great potential in the emerging markets,” says Murray.

The company’s broad product offering can satisfy even the most challenging security situations, and gives Senstar an unparalleled edge against competition.

“Our product range is what takes over in the customization aspect of the perimeter surveillance business. We are capable of offering a specific Senstar solution to most of the applications, combining our products into a total package,” says Murray.

Rich noted that Senstar manufactures products per order, meeting clients’ specific demands. “We have a wide variety of products. There is no one universal solution in this market, but our large variety of products comes with custom solutions for clients. Our most popular product would be produced in the quantities of few thousand a year. And when we outsource some of the parts production, it is most often outsourced locally.”

Senstar offers its clients world leading technology and the company plans to roll out both updated and completely new products into the market in the years to come. “Our OmniTrax buried cable product has very few competitors in the market, and the features that Senstar offers are far more superior to that of the competition,” says Murray.

The company remained profitable throughout the economic downturn, and actively seeks additional acquisitions that may add to the company’s bottom line and expand its product offering. “We are in position of strength and we are looking to grow. We are currently looking to expand our product and services portfolio into the life safety segment. Back in 2003 we acquired a small U.S. company that was involved in the life safety business, specifically duress alarm that a person would wear on his or her person, and could be used in an emergency situation, and also report the location of the person, so this is another area we are actively looking to grow into in the upcoming years,” says Rich.

With the worldwide economic development and growth in the emerging markets, Senstar expects the perimeter security industry to grow along with it. The company’s technological edge and extensive global network, will see Senstar grow its market share in years to come.