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12 Challenges That Put the ‘Best’ to the Test

This year's "Best of the Best" explain their top challenges.

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Welcome to our annual Best of the Best Issue, where we honor and profile several of the best-run and most highly skilled installing security systems contractors for their business and project management excellence. This year, we have 10 companies featured. Competition in the Integrated Installation of the Year category was so strong that it was expanded from three to four finalists. Indeed, there are so many outstanding organizations in our industry today that the Installation and Installer of the Year winners are often decided by the slimmest of margins.

Showcasing these fine operations is not just about placing them on a pedestal to stroke ownership’s egos, boost company morale or provide a powerful marketing vehicle, although these businesses certainly do enjoy all those perks. It’s just as much about exposing their successful methods and practices to enable their peer group to better gauge their own procedures and aspire to a comparable level of achievement.   

Regardless of how solid your business is, there are always opportunities for improvement and new challenges to overcome. This is true even for the Best of the Best. I asked this year’s Installers group to identify their top three challenges …

Jeremy Bates, GM, Bates Security:

  • Company efficiencies — maintaining as we grow.
  • IP and technology — staying on top of newest technology.
  • Customer retention — the larger we become, the harder we have to work to do all the things that made us successful in providing good service. 

Mark Recene, VP Sales & Marketing, HS Technology Group:

  • Conversion away from POTS lines to nontraditional methods of communication.
  • Creation of apps and the integration of wireless home automation technologies.
  • Keeping our staff and clients educated and informed on all the new technology.

Mike Duffy, CEO/Owner, Per Mar Security:

  • Government and its effects from taxes and health-care legislation, and its continued intrusion into our everyday lives.
  • Technology and the rapid changes, and how we must continually adapt.
  • Other industries coming into security wholesaling services or bundling them in ways that will reduce profitability and cloud the understanding of what we provide customers.

Shawn Mullen, President/Chief Energy Off., Protex Central:

  • Continuing transformation of our enterprise to a sales organization that happens to be a specialized protection solutions integrator from a specialized protection solutions contractor that happens to sell. It’s a 180° internal change.
  • Continuing the effort to reduce expenses is always a priority. For example, effective use of our existing fleet through the installation of GPS vehicle tracking. 
  • Attraction of talent remains as a focus in order to capitalize on new opportunities and expansion.

So how do you go about being among the Best of the Best? For starters, you have to be associated with an exceptional organization based in the United States or Canada, and you have to take the time and effort to enter. It’s that simple. While we’ll prod you with reminders in print, E-mail and online, we are not going to come knocking on your door or inappropriately submit an entry on your behalf. It does require some initiative on your part, and you have to be in it to win it. But it is free, and I believe well worth the effort.

In particular, the process can prove beneficial as a means to objectively assess how your business is measuring up in several critical areas. Try out the following questions to evaluate the present state of your operation: 1) How does your company provide exceptional service to its customers? 2) What business practices and marketing strategies does your company use to ensure its success? 3) How does your company make sure its personnel are properly trained? 4) How does your company keep its employees motivated and fulfilled? 5) How does your company contribute to the communities it serves? 6) In what ways does your company contribute to the security industry?

Article Topics
Business Management · Between Us Pros · All Topics

About the Author
Scott Goldfine
Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration, directing all editorial aspects of the magazine brand in print, electronically, online and in person. The voluminous, innovative and award-winning body of work he has distinguished himself with since joining the publication in 1998 includes groundbreaking research, landmark features, leadership roundtables, high profile case studies, and many industry exclusives. Well versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is a nationally known figure in demand as an industry presenter and subject matter expert to mainstream media. He is responsible for developing many unique products and programs, including the SSI Industry Hall of Fame, Control Panel (industry’s first E-mail newsletter), Police Dispatch Quality (PDQ), Marketing Marvel, Installers of the Year, Integrated Installation of the Year, Security Industry Census, Systems Integration Study, Installation Business Report, Operations & Opportunities Report, Commercial End-User Study and Security’s Fantastic Fleets. Recognized for his relationship building, integrity and lead-by-example ethic, Goldfine is a solutions-oriented team player who advises and collaborates with industry dealer/integrator, consultant, distributor, central station and manufacturer icons, luminaries and executive business leaders on a daily basis. He is also actively involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), PSA-Tec, SAMMY Awards, International Security Conference and Exhibition (ISC), Electronic Security Technology Summit (ESTS), Mission 500, Electronic Security Expo (ESX), ASIS Int’l, Honeywell CONNECT and other supplier conventions. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee and PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council. A certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast, Goldfine graduated with honors from Cal State, Northridge with a management degree in Radio-Television-Film. His professional media endeavors have encompassed magazines, Internet, radio, TV, film, records, teletext and books. Goldfine resides in the Charlotte, N.C., area with his wife, son and three cats.
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