2 Leading Integrators Identify Today’s Top Challenges

The July issue of SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION features a special Best of the Best section that profiles the 2009 Installer of the Year award winners, The Protection Bureau (small to midsize company, fewer than 300 employess) and Stanley Convergent Security Solutions (CSS) (large company, 300 or more employees). As is typically the case, there was some interesting material that did not fit into the print version. Thank goodness for the Web!

Following are the responses I got from Stanley CSS VP Felix Gonzales and Protection Bureau President L. Matthew Ladd when asking them about the impact of the recession and their top challenges at the moment.

How has your business and practices been affected by the recession?

Felix Gonzales: Due to the current economic condition we continue to challenge and evaluate every initiative; pushing everyone to be more diligent with every dollar spend. Each program or campaign is tracked for ROI and overall effectiveness. For instance to save on travel costs this year, our national roll-outs and training sessions were held via WebEx for virtual roll-outs, which reduced travel cost, but also provided for real-time interactive discussions and presentations. We have each branch bring their local team together for these virtual meetings, so they view and listen to the presentation remotely, but yet can discuss the material and have break-out sessions in their local offices with their local teams.

L. Matthew Ladd: Each program and expenditure needs to be reviewed. We have established a two man review, before purchases are made, to ensure their need and best pricing.

Stanley CSS VP Felix Gonzales.

What would you identify as your company’s top three to five challenges and how are they being addressed?

Gonzales: One of our challenges would be continuous improvement. With already high customer satisfaction scores and positive business results improving on previous performance requires an extraordinary amount of effort and attention to detail. There are many diverse technologies in the industry today, so driving technology balanced with proven performance can be a challenge. We work with key strategic product partners to ensure quality and consistency.

Ladd: Challenge No. 1 is the current failing economic situation. To succeed we must tighten our belts and make sure all expenditures are reviewed; that projects are bid competitively, completely and correctly; and that each job/project is managed successfully. Challenge No. 2 is customer retention. With a challenging economy, customers are more likely to shop around for better pricing. Excellent customer service provides a reason not to search. Challenge No. 3 is balancing the need to provide high levels of customer service, but be profitable at the same time. This requires that the winning team is comprised of ‘A’ players. Only top level performers will provide a pathway of success.

The Protection Bureau’s Matt Ladd shows off the new Installer of the Year award as well as SAMMY trophies.

How do these challenges match up with your own? I want to know.

As always, thanks for reading,

Scott Goldfine


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