Security Industry’s Top Installers on How They’re Addressing Their Biggest Challenges

Editor-in-Chief Scott Goldfine asks a trio of SSI’s 2022 Installer of the Year finalists to share their top challenges and how they are addressing them.

Security Industry’s Top Installers on How They’re Addressing Their Biggest Challenges

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In talking with leadership of some of the security industry’s best-run dealer/integrator businesses for SSI’s 2022 Installers of the Year program, I ask them to identify their top three challenges. The answers are never less than fascinating, and their solutions are of high value. Oft cited are talent, technology and procurement.

Al Lanclos, Dir. of Operations, Acadian Total Security: Finding, acquiring and training the right staff is an issue. We are trying to remedy that by attending more job fairs, posting openings on social media, focusing on frontliners who can be trained up and having our supervisors take on more of a training role. Cybersecurity concerns are another challenge and we have leveraged our parent company’s IT department to assist us in this area. We also implemented strict password requirements and dual verification across the board, as well as moving certain software into a more protected environment.

Lastly, supply chain issues have hindered our growth. To combat this, we updated our software to identify alternate parts, ordered parts and products in bulk, and are hiring a purchasing assistant to aid in streamlining and organizing our warehouse and inventory processes. We also encourage improved communication between the sales rep and customer so expectations can be set or shifts in purchases can be made.

Dan Bresingham, EVP, ADT Commercial: ADT Commercial is facing much of the same challenges as our industry counterparts. From supply chain issues and market pressures to rising costs and talent shortages, we recognize how much we have to overcome. Our response has been to double down on our commitment to service excellence, and to invest in people and technologies that we believe will be key differentiators.

We’re amplifying convenience to customers and more effectively utilizing our resources with an increase in virtual service calls, remote resolutions for system issues and more direct engagement with first responders. We’re committing to innovation, specifically with our customers’ needs in mind.

We’re developing new technologies, including humanoid robotics, autonomous indoor drones, ethical AI, AR solutions and more, in collaboration with our end-user pilot partners to ensure that everything we bring to market is creating true value. And we’re doing all of this with the best people in the business. Our dedication to identifying, encouraging and investing in top talent has continually set us apart.

Eric Widner, GM, LOUD Security: First is keeping up with technology. We try to offer the latest industry advances to stay up with and even ahead of the curve. This means constant training and education for our operations and sales teams. Second is pricing ourselves competitively and correctly. One way to encourage that is flexibility in pricing models and how our customers can pay.

For instance, low upfront system cost vs. monthly costs. Lastly is marketing our differentiating value points. We have to succinctly highlight what sets LOUD apart — whether that’s emphasizing our customer service deliverables, i.e. [President] John Loud puts his personal cellphone on our website, or by highlighting a service that others don’t such as automatic water shutoff service.

Pam Petrow, President/CEO, Vector Security: First is workforce challenges. We have changed our recruiting strategies and hired someone to work with our teams to build their skills in this area. We’ve also changed numerous positions to be permanently remote and others to be hybrid. We’ve updated our onboarding process to accommodate remote team members and are working with our managers to become better at leading them.

We’ve developed career paths for most positions and have managers regularly ask their teams about goals/aspirations. We implemented an annual performance bonus to support our “Win as a Team” value, and we are making sure our compensation is market competitive.

Next is supply chain. Similar to other businesses, we are challenged with getting products and the escalation of pricing. We are managing the inventory by having more on-hand than we have historically carried. We have also opened up additional vendor relationships to fill areas where we have been challenged to get parts from existing partners. We are also setting expectations with customers so they are aware of these challenges. We have a team making sure all price books are updated and we are communicating with the sales team on outstanding proposals.

Third is technology as new products and services are being introduced at an incredible pace. To be nimbler in our delivery we have deployed more video training and learning sessions. We are also reorganizing our product and vendor management team to create areas of expertise.

About the Author

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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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