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Following ‘Best of the Best’ Practices

How the industry's "Best" are facing challenges head-on.

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Whether your security company is large or small, commercial or residential, focused on integrated systems or alarm monitoring, or any combination therein, you can always pick up pearls of wisdom from colleagues and competitors. They range from handling a problem account to building a new profit center to acquiring or selling a business. I just returned from this year’s ESX show, an event that keeps getting better, and its organizers — the Electronic Security Association (ESA) and Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) — embody that philosophy. It is also at the heart of what SSI does daily online and monthly in print.  

The more you network, brainstorm and commiserate with your peers in this industry the more you realize and appreciate how universal your issues are, and in doing so more effectively work toward solutions — or at least find a shoulder to cry on! What you find is no matter the level of success, the common threads of being a fellow security professional typically permeate the competitive fabric. This is evident in the stories and profiles that comprise our Best of the Best Issue.

The articles not only celebrate some of the finest installing security contracting companies but also show how opportunities can be seized, obstacles overcome and best practices implemented. The projects and businesses depicted (if you want yours among them next time, be sure to submit an entry before the end of this year!) span the gamut of dealer and integrator businesses. Approach them with an open mind and you might just learn something.

For example, I bet your company’s challenges are not as unique as you might think. You may find solace in what this year’s Best of the Best said were complicating their business plans the most, and inspiration in some of their solutions. Here is some of what they shared:

Rob Simopoulos, Advance Technology — “The industry talent pool is small and we have had challenges hiring skilled technicians and engineers. We constantly have job ads looking for positions, whether they are currently available or not. We want to have these talents in our file to reach out to when we have openings. And we are always working to retain our employees by ensuring they love coming to work. My attitude is, ‘Let’s have fun!’ We try to bring humor and positivity to our workplace. Lastly, we are very focused on the latest and greatest technology. But some of these products are not quite ready for primetime. We invest time and resources to vet out these new solutions before we implement them at customers’ sites.”

Jamie Haenggi, Protection 1 — “A good challenge to have is growth. Our mission is to grow while maintaining a personal level of service and high value interactions. Health and wellness initiatives have become a focus for Protection 1. Promoting fitness, healthy eating habits and regular doctor check-ups is a way to increase productivity and reduce health costs, but also create a more balanced individual who feels better and contributes in a more positive manner.”

Pam Petrow, Vector Security — “Our top challenges are making the right decisions on product offerings, training our people in all segments and developing the go-to-market strategies that differentiate the new offerings in a more crowded market. We are increasing our focus on developing and hiring talent in areas we do not have the level of expertise we need. We have also developed internal teams to evaluate new products and service offerings, and a more streamlined process for approval and launch. Finally, we are really listening to the needs of our customers and proactively looking for solutions that address their needs.”

Alex Dunn, Vivint — “We have dedicated ourselves to industry innovation and thinking ahead to provide groundbreaking home automation. We do this by filling industry gaps left by our competition, hiring talented executives who pursue new ideas and products, and researching the market to see what customers need. Another challenge is executing Vivint’s vision of creating a connected life. Many large telecom providers are expanding into this space. Reaching out to this new market and being first to offer high-quality, affordable solutions will be critical.”

Follow me on Twitter! Scott Goldfine @SSIEditor.

Article Topics
Business Management · Between Us Pros · CSAA · Electronic Security Expo · ESA · 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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Between Us Pros, CSAA, Electronic Security Expo, ESA

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