‘Best’ Ideas to Optimize Security Operations

The electronic security industry’s top leaders share best practice tips to help companies improve business operations.

In business – particularly in today’s evermore competitive installing and monitoring security systems industry – everyone is looking for that often elusive edge. Some sort of extra intelligence, gut instinct or faster path that provides a leg up on those other guys. Instincts are on you and whatever valuable experiences you have been able to acquire, but my job and that of Security Sales & Integration is to deliver the market information and insights that give you the best chance at success. Of course, it’s also on you to absorb and execute it.

Those qualities are conspicuous among the leaders of companies spotlighting in our annual Best of the Best Issue. They are all planning, implementing, executing, re-evaluating and adjusting in a continuous loop that has placed them and their businesses at the pinnacle of the profession. One of the prominent strategies, that for many was spurred by the recent recession and endures due to escalating competition, is operating smarter and more efficiently. I asked some of the ‘Best’ how they are pursuing this ideal, and here are excerpts of what they had to say …

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Jeremy Bates, Bates Security: “Working harder isn’t about accomplishing as many tasks in one day as possible. It’s about accomplishing tasks thoroughly by simplifying workloads and eliminating stress. One of our managers likes to use Mark Twain’s analogy of eating frogs. ‘Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day.’ For our company, it means to not procrastinate; get the more difficult tasks done and out of the way as soon as possible – complete is better than perfect. Our technicians and installers all have mobile phones and laptops in the field that assist them to communicate with our office and monitoring station at any time.”

Damon Kanzler, Diebold Security: “Automation technologies we employ include automated workforce management forecasting and scheduling, a software tool that predicts how many monitoring center associates should be scheduled for each half-hour increment of the day based on the past three years of call volume. Also automated system call scheduling, an automated service request system that assigns the technicians who are best suited for specific calls based on their availability, proximity to call locations and certification levels. And automated agent statistical feedback, so associates can review work schedules, call statistics including the number of calls they take and how long each call lasts, and more via an online interface.”

Steve Firestone, Select Security: “Through the use of technology, the focus of our core values, and the transparency of our KPIs [key performance indicators], we empower those in our organization to know where we stand as a company and where we should be looking for improvements. We encourage participation through all levels of the company in these discussions through our weekly customer experience and operations meetings, as well as having an open-door policy for suggestions.”

Mark VanDover, TycoIS: “We’re working smarter and more efficiently by fostering a positive environment that values individual and corporate responsibility, innovation, creativity, and collaboration.”

Pam Petrow, Vector Security: “We have a large focus on using technology to reduce our level of effort. We recently launched a new workflow management system for our National Accounts Division. We are also upgrading and launching our new Dealer Portal. We continue to write programs that allow for data transfer between systems to eliminate duplication of data entry. We are also implementing technology to reach our customers via text, E-mail and auto notification. Recent programs have reduced our level of activity with a specific customer by more than 50%, providing better service to the customer and reducing our labor effort. We have a dedicated IT team that evaluates each project and determines which provide the most significant benefit to either our customers or our internal users and we budget and prioritize accordingly.”

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About the Author


Scott Goldfine is the marketing director for Elite Interactive Solutions. He is the former editor-in-chief and associate publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He can be reached at [email protected].

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