The Trust Economy of Systems Integration
End users value integrators who deliver high-performing, elegant solutions that perform, meet their needs, and complement the environment.
The systems integration business – specifically as it pertains to physical security and access control – is built on expertise, service, and – above all – trust.
End users value integrators who defy complexity and deliver high-performing, elegant solutions that perform optimally, meet their specific needs, and complement the design of the environments where products are installed.
Integrators earn trust through their process of customizing relationships one business at a time. Done right, you build a reputation around knowledge and experience, carve out a brand, and grow organically in ways you once only dared to imagine.
Then there’s the trust multiplier – otherwise known as word of mouth.
Systems integrators who have earned the respect of a core group of influential customers gain the knock-on effect of recommendations and referrals that extend to a new outer layer of clients. As a result, the business grows, and the currency of that growth is trust.
The most successful integrators can provide something unique and valuable to your customers by addressing challenges and pain points with new ideas and solutions. This can be facilitated by choosing the right manufacturers, who are vigilant about earning and re-earning trust with every product they develop.
If the brand does not provide commodity-busting features and benefits, or services like consultation, commissioning, or support, then it diminishes your capacity to stand out and deliver a truly differentiated solution.
More About the Importance of Trust
There’s increasing demand for more solutions from fewer suppliers to simplify the specification and procurement process. Brands that can offer a full footprint of door security solutions and products, for example, free integrators from having to follow up with multiple vendors, simplify points of contact, and provide greater accountability and a higher level of support.
Demonstrating responsibility is another way to earn trust and set yourself apart from other integrators. You can help your customers achieve sustainability objectives, improve efficiency, reduce costs, and improve the health of their facilities.
The dedication to sustainability best practices encompasses the entire process, from the eco-friendly manufacturing and delivery of products and solutions to environmentally conscious, high-performance, and energy-efficient buildings.
Trust is mutual and earned reciprocally between a manufacturer and an integrator. The integrator supports the manufacturer’s efforts to application engineer and customize solutions for verticals, and the manufacturer commits to training and support to make an appreciable difference in your business.
Trust also means that manufacturers and integrators who share commercial relationships also share commitments. For instance, manufacturers have an obligation to ship products within a reasonable window. This harkens to the much-discussed issue of supply chain resilience that placed some North American systems integrators under considerable pressure in 2021 and 2022.
A general rule of thumb is to look to brands with access to product ingredients and components who can readily leverage volume procurement to secure in-demand materials, and who have the cultural depth, organizational experience, and broad global contacts to overcome supply chain issues.
It’s also advantageous to partner with brands that maintain a consistent flow of open, proactive communication throughout all phases of their customers’ projects and take a more consultative approach to find product and solution alternatives to help meet specifications and timelines.
Trust extends beyond transactional engagements to community engagement and doing more than is required. Rely on manufacturers that regularly partner with organizations such as AiA, ASIS, SIA, PASS, and more to advance causes that are important to our industry and support cooperation in the broadest sense within our community.
As software applications become easier for end-users to deploy and digitally-driven solutions extend the life of hardware, systems integrators today have been shifting gears and expanding their expertise.
By partnering with the industry’s best, keeping up with the continuing advancements in integrated security technology, and focusing intently on your customers’ unique needs, you will be well-positioned to build upon your reputation as an experienced, knowledgeable resource as well as maintain the high level of trust that’s so essential for preserving strong relationships and planting more seeds for growth.
Angelo Faenza is the head of U.S. digital access solutions for ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions Americas.
If you enjoyed this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our FREE digital newsletters!
Security Is Our Business, Too
For professionals who recommend, buy and install all types of electronic security equipment, a free subscription to Commercial Integrator + Security Sales & Integration is like having a consultant on call. You’ll find an ideal balance of technology and business coverage, with installation tips and techniques for products and updates on how to add to your bottom line.
A FREE subscription to the top resource for security and integration industry will prove to be invaluable.