Top Tips to Get More From Your Security Techs

Let’s focus on a few guidelines to help security technicians be more productive.

Over the years I have had the privilege to work with many experienced technicians. I will split them into two groups: let’s call them technician Alpha and technician Bravo, both of which have very good technical skills and knowledge. However, there was one distinct difference between the two … which we’ll get back to in a moment.

Recently Security Sales & Integration conducted its sixth annual Operations & Opportunities Report. Nearly 300 industry executives, supervisors and managers from across the United States and Canada, representative of all sizes of operators, were queried about a wide range of topics aimed at benefiting security businesses. Of particular interest were two main areas that should be dear to all company owners and managers: reducing costs and increasing profits.

This month we’re going to focus on some tips and guidelines to be more productive. One key survey question we will focus on was “If you had to identify a primary way to reduce costs in your business, what would it be?” A whopping 41.9% of respondents selected “Increase productivity and efficiencies of technicians.” All other selections in this survey question earned 18% or lower response, which reinforced that this issue is of serious concern to all. The other two highly relevant survey questions for our purposes asked to “Identify a primary way to increase profit” and “The main issues in implementing that action?” as a follow-up. The leading responses were “Reducing callback/Do jobs right the first time” (21.6%) and “Maximizing efficiencies” (27.6%), respectively.

Put Technicians on Right Path Early

Let’s get back to technicians Alpha and Bravo. As I had mentioned both groups appeared to be very skilled and experienced. However, Alphas always seemed to get the job done quickly and required fewer callbacks on their work. The customer was always happy with their results and enjoyed being kept in the loop on project progress. Bravos technically knew their stuff but were often slow and only discussed the project with the customer when the customer was frustrated and inquired. In the long run Alphas were many times more efficient than Bravos. Was something about the Bravos themselves at fault for this or was their technical upbringing to blame?

One thing about being older and wiser is that I can look back at how I learned and developed my skills of the trade. You may consider these questions, too. Did I learn on the job? Was it from a mentor? Was it from one or many of my mistakes? Was it from vendor training? Was it from a conscientious and dedicated boss or owner? Was it from reading Tech Talk (sorry, had to throw that in)? Additionally, what can I do as an owner to help my technicians be more productive and happier, and make my company more profitable? So many questions and, hopefully, here are some answers.

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About the Author


Bob is currently a Security Sales & Integration "Tech Talk" columnist and a contributing technical writer. Bob installed his first DIY home intercom system at the age of 13, and formally started his technology career as a Navy communication electronics technician during the Vietnam War. He then attended the Milwaukee School of Engineering and went on to complete a Security Management program at Milwaukee Area Technical College. Since 1976, Bob has served in a variety of technical, training and project management positions with organizations such ADT, Rollins, National Guardian, Lockheed Martin, American Alarm Supply, Sonitrol and Ingersoll Rand. Early in his career, Bob started and operated his own alarm dealership. He has also served as treasurer of the Wisconsin Burglar and Fire Alarm Association and on Security Industry Association (SIA) standards committees. Bob also provides media and training consulting to the security industry.

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