Challenging Security Integrators’ Top 10 Challenges

What integrators can learn from SSI’s Systems Integration Study’s top 10 challenges.

With some people everything is a problem, even seemingly minor or reasonably expected circumstances. Every challenge elicits a complaint, hysterics, brooding or withdrawal, often accompanied by an angry tirade, emotional outburst, pained grimace or exasperated sigh. They are the vessels of negative energy and disruptive forces, the sticks in the mud who put a major damper on our personal and professional lives. At their worst they are like a cancer draining the essence from your life or poisoning the well of your organization. These are the folks you want to avoid at all costs!

We all know or have encountered such pessimists and malcontents; and as the saying goes, if you haven’t then that so-and-so is you! In which case, if you are a company owner or manager, your business is suffering the consequences be-cause (to reference another oft-referenced but apt proverb) the fish stinks from the head.

Conversely, those who project a positive outlook and are eager to face tasks head-on instill same in those around them and elevate any endeavor. They are the ones you want to work for or surround your-self with; they are the people on track for achievement and success. Much to its great credit, I have found that the electronic security industry, in no small part due to its entrepreneurial core, is awash with solution-oriented individuals of high moral fiber and tenacity. So the foundation is solid, but there is always room to strive further onward and upward.

It is with that mindset I share with you the Top 10 Challenges respondents identified in the 2015 Systems Integration Study. Rather than just list them, I conferred with SSI‘s esteemed Editorial Advisory Board to get their combined hundreds of years’ of wisdom on how to cut those mountains down into molehills, turn the lemons into lemonade, convert the challenges into opportunities. Here’s a few of their ideas (for much more go to securitysales.com/category/blog):

1. Eroding Gross Margins

“We have taken our eyes off margins out of fear. Fear combined with no training forces many to compete on low price instead of value. Blow a little dust off the wallet to invest in your team with some real industry-specific sales training. A training effort that engages salespeople with compelling specifics will empower them with proven tools to defeat low price by differentiating your company from every-one else’s.” – Bob Harris, Attrition Busters

2. Technician Shortage
“Take good care of the technicians you have, treat them well, reward them appropriately, and ensure they enjoy coming to work every day. This may have the effect of becoming your competitor’s problem, as their best technicians will get the word and approach you.” – Bob Grossman, R. Grossman & Associates

3. Security Integrator Competitors
“Competition is a wonderful thing. We all would probably prefer not to have to compete for business, but doing so forces us to not only stay competitive and lean, but also remain relevant. If we are forced to compete, we want to compete against other competent and professional integrators because when we do, we always benefit in some way. If we don’t win the deal, we usually learn some things about ourselves and try to improve our offering as a result.” – Carey Boethel, Securadyne Systems

4. Cybersecurity Threats
“Cybersecurity needs to be an integral part of any integrator’s operation today. This is a new security ser-vice that all should be offering to their customers and systems. Employees need to understand the danger of direct infection in systems by something as simple as a USB thumb drive. Cybersecurity auditing and monitoring services should be as common as alarm monitoring.” – Bob Dolph,”Tech Talk” Columnist

5. Direct Competition From Manufacturers

6. Lack of Technical Training

7. Lack of Sales Training

8. Current Economic Conditions

9. Government Regulation
“Response issues will be critical. It is import-ant for integrators to support the efforts of local, state and national associations, and other groups, such as SIAC that are dedicated to educating local government and law enforcement. Stricter licensing laws may actually benefit traditional security and integration companies by providing stronger barriers to entry.” – Mitch Reitman, SIC Consulting

10. Physical-IT Security Convergence

About the Author

Contact:

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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