Between Us Pros: Marvels Expose Nemeses
Two-time Technology Marvel winner National Monitoring Center and 2023 runners-up Edgeworth and Statewide share top challenges.
One could make the argument that the security industry’s deepest and highest concentrations of technologies can be found in its central monitoring stations — particularly the wholesale, third-party providers focused on an ever-expanding array of recurring revenue services and solutions.
This has long been the case due to the need to maintain mission-critical signal processing and communications capabilities under even the most demanding circumstances. But it has been driven to new and constantly evolving heights due to major tech advances, especially developments like video, Cloud and AI.
These dynamics have made SSI’s annual Monitoring Issue a thrilling proposition. At the heart of that is this month’s cover story on the Monitoring Technology Marvel Award — a program under the stewardship of TMA and SSI — which spotlights centers that are transforming the industry.
As such, I thought it would be telling to ask these leaders to identify their top three challenges and how they are managing them. Here’s what executives from the Marvel winner and runners-up had to say:
Woodie Andrawos, President, National Monitoring Center (NMC): NMC is proactively addressing three significant risks: labor shortages, consolidation in the marketplace and technology advancements. To combat labor shortages, we are investing in training and development programs to enhance the skills of the existing workforce and attract new talent to fill critical roles.
In response to consolidation in the marketplace, NMC is exploring strategic partnerships and collaborations to strengthen our market position and expand our capabilities, ensuring we remain competitive and adaptable.
We embrace continuous learning, encouraging employees to enhance their abilities and foster a culture of innovation. By addressing these risks head-on, NMC demonstrates its commitment to maintaining a strong workforce, staying competitive amidst market changes, and leveraging technology to provide cutting-edge solutions to our customers.
Holly Shenk, COO, Edgeworth Security: Like most companies, hiring and retaining talent is always a challenge. We are growing and finding people to grow with us can be challenging. We have been working with recruiting firms and finding creative ways to retain in-house talent to help keep up with the demand.
Next would be finding and testing new technologies that are out there. There’s so many new video analytics, weapon detection, facial detection and other security tech that has come out. Finding what actually works and testing it thoroughly can be challenging while keeping pace with everyday operations. Luckily, we have an in-house team that can go to various test sites to vet these technologies.
Lastly, we are working to integrate and develop new procedures for our Hybrid Executive Protection with Remote Guarding services. We are one of very few companies, if not the only one out there, that can offer a unique security package like this.
We have had to go through some trial and error to understand how best to complement one another. Luckily, we have a great team in place that has been working to develop new SOPs and best practices so this service can be an elite offering for customers.
Steven Coppola, Co-President, Statewide Central Station: First is dependence on third-party services. We rely on external services such as phone carriers for communication, and any disruptions or outages can impact our operations.
To address this challenge, we maintain open lines of communication with our service providers, promptly report any issues and closely monitor their resolution progress. Additionally, we have backup communication systems to ensure continuity during unforeseen service interruptions.
Second is accommodating different dealer preferences. Each dealer may have unique product preferences and procedures. To navigate this challenge, we prioritize clear and regular communication with our dealers to understand their specific requirements.
We strive to accommodate their preferences while ensuring compliance with industry standards and regulations. By fostering strong relationships and actively listening to our dealers, we can adapt our processes to meet their needs.
Third is adhering to regional procedures and codes. As we expand into different areas and regions, we encounter varying procedures and codes that govern our operations. To overcome this challenge, we invest significant effort in researching and staying updated on local regulations and requirements.
We collaborate closely with local authorities and industry associations to ensure compliance and maintain a comprehensive understanding of regional procedures. Regular training and knowledge-sharing sessions with our staff help us stay aligned with specific area codes and procedures.
Through proactive communication, adaptability and continuous education, we effectively manage these challenges. Our focus on building strong relationships with third-party service providers, understanding dealer preferences, and staying informed about regional procedures enables us to navigate these obstacles and deliver reliable monitoring services to our customers.
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