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Industry data critical to CANASA objectives

Image How big is the market for electronic security systems in Canada? For those in the business, that is the multi-million dollar question. For manufacturers, distributors and contractors, understanding the size of the market, and usage rates is the key to forecasting market growth potential, which in turn, forms the basis for long-term planning and future investment.


May 6, 2008  By Ken Mitchell

For many years, CANASA has struggled to find the right formula for
scoping the size of the Canadian electronic security market.
Traditional top-down approaches, aggregating data from manufacturers,
or analyzing macro-economic data are problematic.

An alternative to top-down data collection is, not surprisingly, a
bottom-up approach. In the residential sector, scoping the market is
not difficult. Current market size and usage rates may be determined to
a high degree of accuracy by consumer market surveys. Market
opportunity equals market size multiplied by usage rates. Market Growth
Potential equals market size minus market opportunity.

It is when trying to size the commercial/institutional/government
sector that problems occur. This level of electronic security consumers
are less likely to share purchasing specifics in market surveys.  How
then, to tap in to this critical data, which many believe represents
two-thirds of the entire market?

A comprehensive market survey, compiled with a supportable methodology,
will be of immense benefit to all CANASA members in the business of
manufacturing, distributing, consulting, purchasing and installing
electronic security equipment; this survey’s benefits extend much
further. The electronic security industry in Canada is significant,
both in terms of its contribution to personal and physical safety, and
in terms of economic impact. At this point in time neither the federal
government, provincial governments, nor educational institutions have
had the inclination to measure the electronic security sector. CANASA
has had the inclination, but not the tools.


An economic impact study measures not only direct impacts on the
economy, i.e. product manufactured and sold, it also measures indirect
impacts including jobs created, payroll, multipliers, and overall value
added throughout the entire electronic security supply chain.  An
economic impact study is vital to pursuing CANASA’s vision.

Whenever I speak with a politician or a bureaucrat, one of the first
questions that I am asked is “who do you represent?” A polite way of
asking “how many jobs does your industry provide?” and “how many votes
do you represent?”

In the past, CANASA has lacked this vital information. With a
comprehensive industry study and economic impact study, CANASA will be
better prepared in the future.

Ken Mitchell is Executive Director of CANASA. 

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