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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 · ESA · ESX · 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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