Perhaps one of the single most popular foods in North America is the hamburger. From huge chain restaurants to your corner diner, burgers are consumed in incredible numbers.

Now there are many people who will champion their burger choice. Some will say that In-N-Out Burger is the best, while others will praise Shake Shack, 5 Guys, or other purveyors of ground beef and cheese.

As I travel extensively I get to sample burgers from coast to coast, as my expanding waistline will attest. Once I get back to my home town of Chicago there is only one place with the best burgers in the land.

About a month ago I went into Choppers to pick up a “Chop Pack” (also called the “happy meal for adults”), which is a cheeseburger, fries, and accessories. I noticed that George had added something new. A digital sign now hangs above the ordering counter, advertising daily specials and other Choppers delights. I asked George how much the sign had cost him; he said that there was no installation cost and he is paying $125 per month. The installing company provides all service on the sign, but George has complete control of the displayed contents via his Wi-Fi LAN.

These numbers really got my attention. Our traditional intrusion alarm market is being pilfered by non-traditional companies such as cable and telephone service providers, with up to 40 percent of new monitored alarm accounts going to these fresh competitors. Add in the profusion of DIY alarm systems available at retail locations and on the Internet and we are seeing an erosion of RMR potential as more players crowd into the security space. All the while we are brawling to get minimal RMR in a highly competitive market and have to deal with the issues of alarms such as central station interfaces and false alarms.

I have done some investigation on digital signs and I believe these can provide security dealers with an excellent opportunity to boost RMR. From a technical side digital signs are a straightforward installation. An AC outlet is needed somewhere near the display to power it and specific heavy-duty mounting brackets are used to securely hold up the screen. The driver for the display is called a “media player” which is controlled over Wi-Fi using typically free software from a LAN-connected PC. The displays can be large or small, indoor or outdoor, single or double-sided — it just depends on the customers’ wants and needs.

As the display is the expensive part of a digital sign setup it’s important that security dealers understand that the major vendors of digital sign displays, such as LG and Clinton Electronics, provide various levels of service, most of which include on-site service by their authorized servicing companies. So installing companies just have to make sure the signs they sell carry on-site servicing; this eliminates the issue of trying to fix a dead display if it were to fail.

The market for digital signs is huge and simple to understand. Every non-residential customer is a potential digital
sign account, including restaurants, medical facilities, schools, factories —you name it. Right now this market is red-hot and will likely stay that way; why not get involved?

Think about the functional assets of your company and how you could get started in the digital sign business. With IP-savvy technicians, trucks, insurance, and financing capabilities alarm installation companies are in a perfect position to grab a big chunk of this growing industry.

To get started take a look at the LG 65LX540S. This is a 65 (diagonal inches) single-side display with a built-in media player. With a cost in the range of $1,400, this is a great indoor sign which includes free SuperSign Lite Software with 74 image templates. Appropriate mounting hardware is inexpensive at less than $100 and that’s all you need. These products are available nationwide at quality distribution outlets.

With a variety of mounting hardware options available, these digital sign packages are simple to install and commission. So let’s get out there and boost our RMR with digital signs, a proven technology that is sprouting up everywhere.

And if you’re on the north side of Chicago, stop into Choppers and get the best burger that money can buy.