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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 joined SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in October 1998 and has distinguished himself by producing award-winning, exemplary work. His editorial achievements have included blockbuster articles featuring major industry executives, such as Tyco Electronic Products Group Managing Director Gerry Head; Protection One President/CEO Richard Ginsburg; former Brink’s Home Security President/CEO Peter Michel; GE Interlogix President/CEO Ken Boyda; Bosch Security Systems President/CEO Peter Ribinski; and former SecurityLink President/CEO Jim Covert. Scott, who is an NTS Certified alarm technician, has become a respected and in-demand speaker at security industry events, including presentations at the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) Annual Meeting; California Alarm Association (CAA) Summer and Winter Conferences; PSA Security Network Conference; International Security Conference and Exhibition (ISC); and Security Industry Association (SIA) Forum. Scott often acts as an ambassador to mainstream media and is a participant in several industry associations. His previous experience as a cable-TV technician/installer and running his own audio company -- along with a lifelong fascination with electronics and computers -- prepared Scott well for his current position. Since graduating in 1986 with honors from California State University, Northridge with a degree in Radio-Television- Film, his professional endeavors have encompassed magazines, radio, TV, film, records, teletext, books, the Internet and more. In 2005, Scott captured the prestigious Western Publisher Maggie Award for Best Interview/Profile Trade for "9/11 Hero Tells Tale of Loses, Lessons," his October 2004 interview with former FDNY Commander Richard Picciotto, the last man to escape the Ground Zero destruction alive.
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