We keep hearing it. The “R” word. Whether or not you believe a recession is inevitable, our economy is in chaos. Although employment continues at a record clip, business investment is down as companies brace for uncertain times ahead.
For most businesses, recessions are unpleasant at best and painful at worst. Then there are the lucky few – businesses described by economists as relatively recession-proof. They are in sectors that provide services or products that people depend on consistently, whether the economy is healthy or not. Also, their sales are less sensitive to fluctuations in interest rates.
In an interview with CNBC, Laurence Ball and Karen Dynan, Professors of Economics at Johns Hopkins and Harvard, respectively, list healthcare, government, computer and info tech, and education as industries fitting these criteria. We’d like to add another. Security, specifically in the form of Autonomous Remote Services (ARS). Robotic Assistance Devices (RAD) is recession-proof! Hear us out.
The need for security services is growing. COVID-19 discontent, unaffordable housing and homelessness, shifting work patterns, product shortages, and high levels of political and social unrest have led to substantial increases in violent and non-violent crime during the past two years. There’s no reason to think this trend will stop soon. Nonresidential burglaries rose by 8% in the first half of 2022 over the first half of 2021. Vehicle thefts rose 15%!
What’s a company to do? It’s nearly impossible to hire security officers. Unemployment is at a half-century low. Despite two separate 0.75% interest rate hikes in the past two months, the economy added over 500,000 new jobs in July. There are 1.9 jobs available for every unemployed person. If companies are lucky enough to find qualified candidates to fill positions such as security guards, they must pay more than the many competing, available low-skill jobs that are both more interesting and less risky.
Companies can’t afford not to pay for security, whatever it costs. If they reduce security services, they may ultimately spend far more due to crime-induced losses and liability. The free market is desperate for ways to keep prices in check without compromising safety. A recession alone will not make this happen; neither the demand for security services nor high hourly wages are likely to wane.
Substituting manpower with automated solutions is proving to be an effective strategy. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the use of robotic workers and the public’s acceptance of them. Businesses have discovered that automation performs repetitive, low-skill jobs more reliably, consistently, and efficiently than human workers.
RAD’s portfolio of AI-based security robotic solutions improves the simplicity and economics of patrolling and guard services, boosts situational awareness to enhance security, and does it all at a drastically reduced cost. By deploying interactive, cross-functional security robot devices powered by intelligent, self-learning software, ARS enables guard companies to re-balance how they utilize machine and human resources.
For example, RAD’s ROSA serves as a virtual security guard and highly effective crime deterrent. Equipped with cameras, vivid LED messaging, loudspeakers, sirens, and flashing lights, it detects and autonomously encourages trespassers, loiterers, and vagrants to leave the premises immediately. Manned guarding staff seamlessly intervenes, via remote connection as soon as an exceptional event requires their attention and response. Other hardware in the RAD suite can perform verified access control, virtually escort people to their cars, patrol expansive properties, offer concierge services, and deliver additional security-related support. All devices connect via a centralized cloud software platform that can be managed and monitored from anywhere using RAD’s intuitive SOC Dashboard.
The company is shipping its devices for use in distribution centers, airports, public parks, theme parks, offices, casinos, construction sites, auto dealerships, and more. Security professionals are still utilized to manage and work with the technology, but the need for large forces of patrolling officers is greatly diminished. So is the price.
“Our clients require security services whether there’s adequate staffing or not. Placing RAD devices like ROSA, along with limited manned guarding staff, will fill that gap, proving an enhanced security solution, and doing it for a lower cost,” says Eric Fox, VP of Operations at Nana Management Services, a leading provider of essential security and support services throughout North America.
Chris Daniels, Director of Sales and Marketing at USA Security, agrees. “RAD solutions are what the security industry needs right now. We expect to save [one of our] clients close to $300,000 over the next three years – with just two ROSAs. Our clients want to save money while keeping their properties and guests safe and secure. We’re able to do that with RAD.”
We keep hearing it. The “R” word. It’s not “Recession” – it’s “RAD.” Whether a recession is inevitable is still unclear. What is clear is that RAD and its Autonomous Remote Services strategy will play a prominent role in the future of the security industry and is recession-proof, to boot.