OK, Back Im back in.
In any business, growth is either organic or inorganic. (Google this for definitions) Alot of the biggest guys in our industry got that way almost exclusively through inorganic growth. One company buys another, who in turn buys another, who in turn sells the Security division off to another, etc etc. It has been my career experience that this is generally not good for the long term interests for the end users. I have no data to support that, Im just saying, my CAREER EXPERIENCE, which is vast, consistently follows that trend.
In larger organizations, there are more layers (read: people). These layers cost money. LOTS of money. And using the premise that businesses are in business to make a profit, these larger organizations have a much higher threshold for break-even than a smaller company. Smaller companies have fewer layers, thus lower costs, and thus a lower break-even threshold to stay profitable.
I want to state unequivocally, and I'm completely prepared to debate this point ad-nauseam, that doing business with these much larger companies does not consistently result in a better end-user experience. Smaller companies react quicker to their customers needs, there are less approval layers in accomplishing objectives, smaller companies empower their employers far more than bigger companies, smaller companies can adjust to trends faster, and smaller companies listen. I don't want any vendor of mine making decisions or trying to accomplish what I need done at a glacial pace. And neither do my customers. Time is money.
Thus, smaller companies are more nimble. They react to trends and new technologies far faster than the big ones and I truly believe (and I agree with Mr. Honovich) that the most talented and dedicated people this industry has to offer can (often) be found working for the smaller integrators.
Getting back to costs, always remember that data and metrics can always be manipulated to achieve a desired result. If you start bending the data and the metrics towards things like "Cost per employee" or "Cost per man-hour worked" or "Average cost per this and/or average cost per that when blended with the other thing" sooner or later, you are going to get the answer that you want or the answer that you are looking for. And when you do, just remember one thing......
It still might not be the truth.
Larger Companies have larger overheads and thus have to charge more. But you dont always get what you pay for.