Recurring Monthly Revenue (RMR) and Access Control As a Service

RMR is a buzzword in access control right now, and if you’re like many integrators, you are looking for ways to increase it. That’s because recurring revenue has a higher margin and increases the value of your business more than traditional installation revenue. That’s money in the bank when you sell or pass along your company.


While RMR is great for building the enterprise value of your business, future value doesn’t pay the rent. For that you need to look at profitability. Fortunately, RMR stands out on this front too.


RMR Is Good for Business Value in the Long Run…

You’ve likely heard about how valuable RMR is, but it might be surprising to learn how much more valuable it is. The margin on recurring revenue is twice as high as installation revenue, and RMR adds 15 times more value to your business than revenue from hardware and installation.


…And Covers Your Bills in the Short Run Too

Selling an RMR contract might mean sacrificing some upfront installation revenue, but the total value and profitability of an RMR sale surpass that of an installation-only sale in years 2 and beyond.

To see how this concept works, consider an example of how profits stack up between a traditional one-time sales approach and a recurring subscription model:


Traditional Access Control Profits

Consider an example access control project with five doors priced at an average of $2,500 per door. According to industry research, average gross profits for access control projects are in the low to mid-20 percent range. If your profits are similar, then a typical job would profile as follows:


Traditional 5-door project:

  • Sell Price/Door: $2,500
  • Total Revenue: $12,500
  • Materials and Other: $5,500
  • Labor: $4,000
  • Total COGS: ($9,500)
  • Gross Profit: $3,000


Subscription Model Profits

In an RMR sale, profits earned at project completion look a bit different, but they quickly surpass earnings from a traditional one-time job. Here is the math for the same five-door installation. Profits from installation are lower than in a traditional sale, but they are offset by the added monthly revenue from the subscription contract. In years 2 and beyond, an RMR sale really shines with a predictable revenue stream at a 50% gross margin, twice that of the installation.


Subscription 5-door project:

  • Activation Fees: $1,500
  • Advanced Payment: $6,000
  • Total Fees and Payment: $7,500
  • Total COGS: ($6,500)
  • Gross Profit at Install: $1,000
  • 36-Month Subscription Earnings Gross Profit: $5,500

Recurring revenue is recurring in perpetuity too. In times of turmoil, like unexpected pandemics or other upending events, the subscription model allows monthly revenue to continue, even when new business might slow.


Take the Next Step toward Increased Profitability

Only you can decide what works best for your markets and your customers, but it pays to give a subscription model serious thought. Consider the sustainable and reliable revenue you could be creating for your business and what that ultimately means for the value of your business down the road. Read more about the different ways to sell cloud-based access control and how selling physical security as a subscription can benefit your bottom line.