CSS: A Super Security Tool in Stanley’s Box

“The Operation Shine process includes five key standards that, when applied, ensure superior customer satisfaction,” says Jim Kopplin, vice president field operations. “From the pre-sales visit to the post-installation contact, the customer is provided an experience where total satisfaction is the only possible outcome.”

One of Stanley CSS’ unique practices is not only meticulously keeping tabs on how it’s doing with customers, but allowing clients the same total access to that feedback. In addition, for its national accounts, the firm offers a National Account Performance Scorecard. The company meets with those clients each quarter to evaluate Stanley CSS’ performance on their specific accounts against key metrics within each touchpoint, and discuss customer satisfaction and areas for improvement.

“The ultimate goal at Stanley CSS is to form a true partnership with the customer based on trust, performance and 100-percent satisfaction-backed by unedited, real data with unfettered access,” says Felix Gonzales, vice president strategic initiatives and business development. “Constantly seeking our customers’ satisfaction allows us to quickly respond to problems and to continually improve those relationships.”

Measuring Success
In addition to the FSR, eServices and National Account Performance Scorecard, Stanley CSS recently released its new “Best Fit” go-to-market strategy. This is based on the company presenting its custom solutions in a consultative way that is the antithesis of a one-size-fits-all approach. This strategy encompasses access control, intrusion detection, fire alarms, video surveillance and integrated solutions.

“Stanley CSS takes a more personal and in-depth approach to understanding the customer’s specific needs in designing a security solution that is truly a ‘Best Fit’ for them,” says Beth Tarnoff, director of marketing. “We believe by delivering such solutions we are ensuring total satisfaction.”

Stanley CSS hums along like a well-oiled machine, where one hand does know what the other is doing. So when the company introduces initiatives it is done with the utmost coordination throughout the entire operation.

For example, “Best Fit” was introduced in a nationwide company rollout that included a daylong sales training session explaining the strategy and concept, as well as interactive portions like role-playing. And supporting marketing pieces were sent to each location, including office banners, promotional items, brochures, prospecting fliers and a customer PowerPoint presentation. Each marketing item came with fliers detailing usage and sample scripting.

Stanley CSS analyzes and benchmarks all its sales and marketing efforts. For instance, dedicated 800 numbers and promotional codes
indicate what marketing items prompt call-ins. Those calls are turned over to sales reps who provide status updates on whether a quote was issued, if the sale was made, and if so the extent of the sale.

“Based on this tracking process, we are able to take the sales data and weigh it against the costs of running the program, thus allowing us to judge if the program was successful or not and what was the program’s ROI,” says Gonzales. “Due to current economic conditions we continue to challenge and evaluate every initiative; pushing everyone to be more diligent with every dollar spent.”

People Make Difference
It would be impossible to perform on the scale, at the level and meet the rigorous customer-focused methodologies of Stanley CSS without having skilled personnel with great attitudes on board. Sure enough, the company has implemented a thorough, regimented process to ensure that is indeed the case.

For example, new sales hires are issued a development manual and success road map. The company then measures their progress in completing training assignments and gauges their sales results.

“New hire sales training is a combination of sales study workbooks, online training and testing, and centralized classroom training,” says Bill Fitzhenry, vice president field sales. “We value integrity, professionalism, customer service skills, problem-solving skills and teamwork from our new hires.”

Stanley CSS has developed one of the industry’s most in-depth internal training programs. In 2008, the company instituted the “On Fire” initiative, teaming with the Automatic Fire Alarm Association (AFAA) to strengthen its fire alarm expertise. A dozen weeklong regional sessions were held, immediately followed by NICET testing.

“The ultimate goal is to have a minimum of two NICET certified employees, one sales and one operations, at each of Stanley CSS’ 75 locations across North America,” says Gonzales.

Another program launched in 2008 was “IT Matters,” conceived to increase employees’ knowledge of IT and its impact on the security industry. “The convergence of physical security and IT makes this understanding essential as we discuss security solutions with IT professionals who are now a part of the security process,” says Gonzales.

To improve its opportunities in the government marketplace, Stanley CSS launched the “High Security Initiative” in 2007 to train sales and operations specialists about government systems applications. The program concentrated on securing sensitive compartmentalized information facilities (SCIFs).

“Stanley CSS is one of a few national security providers with a comprehensive offering encompassing a national install and service footprint that can provide the type of quality installation and service the SCIF market requires,” adds Gonzales. “Not only does this make our employee base more skilled and well-rounded, but also allows for us to meet increasing security needs.”

Smart recruiting and training are two pieces to the personnel puzzle, but mean little without the third and final piece. Unless employees are motivated and fulfilled, their employer is likely to be staffed by an ever-changing cast as workers search for a more rewarding experience. To guard against that, Stanley CSS has developed an array of incentives for its employees. “Recognition and rewards are essential to a company’s ability to tap employees’ discretionary efforts,” says Byerly.

The company’s “100% Club” recognizes sales leaders with individual awards and a free trip where top performers who achieved their targets participate in activities with peers and corporate executives. In addition, Stanley CSS managers can offer “WIN Awards” to employees who consistently provide exceptional service to customers, or to those who go ‘above and beyond.’ The company also has several sales recognition programs. These include its “Monthly Jewel Award” in which different colored crystal jewels are handed out depending on the level of performance, and “CSSRewards Points” where reps can buy items with points they earn via their sales performance.

The most prestigious honor is the “President’s Club” award. Employees displaying a passion in serving customers are nominated by their manager and recognized with a trip to an exotic location with their spouse. All employees are eligible, with winners chosen from each department.

Beyond the awards, the company helps keep its people engaged with frequent communications. Its quarterly newsletter features company news, stories from local branches and announcements of employee accomplishments. Also, videotaped messages are delivered quarterly via E-mail to update employees on the company’s performance, and reinforce its mission.

Often, the most important communication is of a more interpersonal nature. “All of these are essential and great programs, but none replace our expectation for each leader to thank their team members personally for a job well done on a daily basis,” says Byerly.

Model Corporate Citizen
A key element in helping employees find fulfillment in the workplace is having them feel like part of a company that is inherently good, one that gives back and enriches the community. The bonus for those companies is not only loyal employees but also positive word of mouth, which is priceless.

Byerly recognizes and values such intangibles. “Sometimes good causes and goodwill simply outweigh the financial investment, because they create a positive work environment and company culture that drives employees to care about what they do,” he says.

The “Stanley Gives Back” campaign encourages employees to support local communities through fundraising events, volunteer charity work, donation collection and outreach. Taking a competitive approach, local branches are ranked to see which can raise more money, volunteer more hours and develop the most creative fundraising event.

Stanley gives the office that raises the most money $10,000 to be donated to the charity of choice. Another $5,000 donation goes to each of the offices with the most volunteered hours and most creative charity event. In 2008, Stanley CSS raised or donated nearly $100,000, volunteered 4,200+ hours and helped almost 50 charities.

All company branches are also encouraged to participate in local events of their choice, as well as four company-wide charity events during the year: food drive (spring), United Way campaign (fall), Toys for Tots (winter) and backpack drive (summer).

Being a model corporate citizen extends beyond a company’s own employees, customers and communities. It also entails stepping up as an industry leader to exchange ideas, impact standards and regulations, and help shape the future. This has not been lost on Stanley CSS, which is active in industry causes and strives to better the profession.

Steve Walker, vice president of Customer Service Centers and a CSAA board member, seeks to enhance monitoring services and reduce false alarms. The company belongs to ASIS and NBFAA and holds many committee positions.

Stanley CSS branches and employees participate in state and local industry trade chapters and associations. Executives routinely speak at events and contribute to trade publications.

“As a leader in the security industry, Stanley CSS will continue in the sharing of ideas and knowledge that not only benefi ts our industry, but ultimately enhances our ability to better protect the customers we serve,” says Byerly.

Such is the magnanimity and stellar business management befitting an Installer of the Year.

Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief of SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION. He can be reached at (704)
663-7125 or
[email protected].

About the Author


Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration. Well-versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is nationally recognized as an industry expert and speaker. Goldfine is 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), ASIS Int'l and more. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the SIA Marketing Committee, CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee, PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council and Robolliance. He is a certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast. Goldfine joined Security Sales & Integration in 1998.

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