How Security Company Leaders Are Contending With Common Challenges
One of the strongest indicators of a well-run company is how proficiently and consistently it identifies, confronts and overcomes challenges.
Funny how when business is humming and sales goals are being hit everyone seems to have a little more pep in their step and smiles on their lips.
With the way the security industry has trended the past couple of years, I am glad to say many dealers and integrators have experienced that boost to their progression and expression. How sweet it is when times are good.
However, what often separates the merely competent (or worse) companies from the really successful ones is how that growth is managed and the plans put in place to remain resilient regardless of economic conditions.
Perhaps the strongest indicator of a well-run company is how proficiently and consistently it identifies, confronts and overcomes challenges — and does so as a never-ending process.
The great companies recognized in this Best of the Best Issue for 2018 Installer of the Year (see them here) are prime examples of businesses that embrace that mentality and, most importantly, execute on it. When you read their profiles you will learn a lot about how they got where they are today.
But I wanted to dig a little deeper to uncover what’s ruffling their feathers as they look to continue to rule the roost. Here is what Acadian Total Security President & CEO Blane Comeaux, Advanced Cabling Systems President Michael Kennedy, Bates Security President Jeremy Bates, LVC Companies CEO Bert Bongard and SAF Technologies President Alan Weeks said when asked to name their top challenges and how they’re being addressed.
Blane Comeaux: Our top challenges are landline customers, legacy systems and educating customers on new technologies. We are dealing with these issues by sending out postcards, newsletters and emails to encourage customers to upgrade and to educate them.
Michael Kennedy: People, people and people. In theory the solution is an easy formula — find the best people, treat them like adults and let them go do more than you would ever imagine. So we are actively recruiting to build the team that will continue the growth.
Jeremy Bates: Our top three challenges are 1) adjusting for fast growth; 2) attrition; and 3) maintaining sales. Our weekly branch manager meetings and monthly financial meetings allow a healthy process for reviewing our company structure, all of our systems and policies to make sure they are best for who we are today.
We have several team members responsible for managing attrition and have given them tools to help them succeed saving customers. The larger we become, the harder we have to work at making sure we continue to do all the things that made us successful. Our customer referrals and word-of-mouth advertising continues to be one of our biggest lead sources, as is repeat business.
We offer incentives to professionals such as realtors, insurance agents, even employees for referring our business, and we offer discounts to employees who work at commercial sites we secure. Social media and email blasts help us market directly to our customer base for upgrades and add-on services.
Bert Bongard: Our top three challenges are finding quality talent, brand management and culture. Rapid expansion, added geographic locations and acquisitions are the core drivers behind those challenges. We have an employee referral incentive program and encourage them to be on the lookout.
Community service and industry networking also help us to attract potential employees. To a lesser extent we participate in job fairs, ads and sites like Glassdoor, CareerBuilder and Indeed.
Brand management is another area of significant focus. We continue to bring all areas of our business in line with current brand standards, and through many initiatives have found areas to streamline our visual brand.
Our software implementation includes modules that allow users access to company-approved templates and messaging. Our company has grown and changed dramatically in recent years, and so promoting company culture requires significant effort.
There is the need to be more transparent and open, request feedback and ideas from all employees, communicate more regularly and foster environments that promote collaboration and teamwork.
Alan Weeks: The first challenge is we have is to find a new CRM and financial program to run the company from a software perspective. We are currently evaluating several different software companies. Secondly is talent acquisition.
We have several new key positions to fill. We need individuals with the experience required and who share the same core values. Thirdly is to make sure as we continue to grow we adhere to the original values SAF was founded on. We have to remind ourselves of that every day.
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