Weathering the Storm

This article was first published in Total Installer Magazine September 2022 Edition.

In his latest thought-provoking comment, Ryan Bromley, Co-Founder of Kubu Smart Security 🔒, discusses a new segment of the home security market dubbed “Smart Security Sensors”, and explains how it could be a real differentiator for installers… 


A recent report from the Builders Merchants Building Index, has highlighted an issue that – if it hasn’t already – will soon be hitting the Fenestration industry.  And when it hits, it’ll most likely hit like a hurricane.

The report showed that although Builders Merchants had seen year on year growth in revenue, the actual volume of sales (i.e. units sold) has dropped by 11.3% through Q2! 

So far the drop in volume has been masked by some pretty scary price inflation – but it won’t be too long until that mask starts slipping and the true face of our current plight is on show for all to see.  

I don’t mean to be a doom monger, but when times are getting tougher, it’s important that we foresee the issues and take strides to avoid them as much as possible. 

With fewer sales to share around, differentiators will be the key to you winning more business. Yes, you can offer different colours, profiles, glass, locks, hardware, etc… but I truly believe that offering Smart Tech is the one thing in today’s market that will make you stand out from the crowd. 

The ‘Smart Security’ market is generally broken down into the following 4 categories: CCTV (41%), Video Doorbells (29%), Contact Sensors/Alarms (24%) and Access Control (6%).

CCTV and Video Doorbells can certainly help your customers improve their home security but as they are not specifically fenestration related products, they are somewhat outside of our remit.  However access control and contact sensors are right up our street! 

Domestic Access Control products – such as “Smart” Locks and keyless/fingerprint entry systems have really started to gain traction these last few years.  They finally seem to be losing the stigma of previous well documented product failures and are starting to see a surge in instals across the country.

However, they are still seen as gimmicky by a large proportion of the population, are mainly focused on the security of doors, and are pretty expensive too (generally £300+ per door), making them a tricky upsell at the best of times – let alone when there’s less money to go around.

Contact sensors on the other hand are pretty inexpensive, but have limited “Smart” functionality, are pretty ugly and are generally linked up to pricey alarm systems. 

This makes for both a convoluted upsell and complicated installation – so you as the installer either have to sub-out to someone else (and lose money) or go through extensive training (losing time or money or both).  Neither scenario is exactly what you’d call preferable!

“So what’s the solution?” I hear you cry…

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Well, we noticed a few years back that there was a huge gap in the market for a non-gimmicky, inexpensive Smart product that is both easy to install and improves home security. We call them Smart Security Sensors.

Creating a whole new market segment, Smart Security Sensors are finally bringing the world of Fenestration Smart Tech to the mass market, in an affordable, no-nonsense way that provides you – the installer – multiple opportunities to win more business.

Whether you choose to: upsell the smart sensors and make a few extra quid; build the cost into your quotes (like heating engineers do with smart thermostats) to differentiate from your competition; or simply install your doors and windows as you always have, but with the benefit of smart capabilities built in; there’s an option for everyone, and it couldn’t be easier.  

In fact, for you the installer there is literally NO EXTRA WORK! 

Simply purchase your products from a Smart fabrication partner, install them as normal and you’re a ‘Smart Installer’!

From a Kubu perspective, we’ve spent nearly 3 years forging this new market segment, stabilising product, implementing the supply chain and raising awareness in the industry, so it’s little wonder we are starting to see competitors emerge.

Whether direct copies or innovative concepts, healthy competition can only be a good thing for us, as it is increasing consumer awareness, ultimately providing you with the sales tools you need to weather the coming storm.

Will you be drowning your sorrows, or singing in the rain?

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