In your hands are the year-end results of the top companies in security systems installation and monitoring. Congratulations to the SDM 100, those organizations that in 2003 were most successful in generating revenue during difficult economic times. On page 45 you’ll find this year’s rankings, as well as snapshot statistics of the top 100 companies as a group.

SDM presents this annual report both as well deserved recognition for the top companies and as an important indicator of the industry and for the industry we serve. Just as the Fortune 500 helps to define America’s publicly held industrials for financial markets and inform all competitors, the SDM 100 represents key intelligence for investors who follow our market and for companies who compete in it. It’s an invaluable database, as well as a snapshot in time of these important companies.

What you don’t see in this report is real-time video of what goes on behind the scenes at each of these companies. Their management and employees are busy working on this year, hardly taking time to look back at last year. Some 71% produced revenue results for 2003 that topped 2002’s. What you don’t see in this report is which companies are running ahead so far in 2004, and which ones are falling behind. And you don’t see which companies could make the ranking next year for the first time. (Stay tuned for SDM ’s June issue.)

In order to stay on top, today’s leaders must constantly outdo the competition and their own best results. They are finetuning their current programs, editing out unproductive efforts, and introducing new things. Examples abound across the business world. Counter to its fast-food success, McDonald’s announced it’s adding Wi-Fi “hot spots” across its hamburger chain. Long the favorite of the Greatest Generation, Cadillac now is pushing its sports utility vehicles. Behind in the cell-phone wars, Motorola is spinning off its chip business as FreeScale. In each case, a market leader is doing what it takes to stay on top. They’re determined to lead, not lag their markets.

If your company had a tough time in 2003, and beat 2002 anyway, you’re to be congratulated. If your company is determined to lead, not lag, in security systems installation and monitoring, you’re too busy to celebrate. Are you going Wi-Fi? Pushing cool stuff for the next generation? Spinning off a new division? Just in time, here’s valuable competitive intelligence – the SDM 100 rankings and results. It can help you focus on your company’s real-time performance as you are finetuning, editing, and introducing your own new things.