‘Tech Talk’ Author Talks Tech Recruiting, Training & Other Tactics

SSI technical writer and well-known industry installation and service expert addresses top integrator challenges.

My April issue editorial discusses security integrators’ top 10 challenges as indicated in SSI‘s annual Systems Integration Study. I consulted with a handful of trusted colleagues and contributors to the publication for ways integrators can best overcome these challenges, perhaps even turning them to their full advantage. In one of several posts, here are several comments from Tech Talk Columnist Bob Dolph.

No. 1 Eroding Gross Margins
Encourage your employees to treat their workday as if it was their own business, because in a way it is. Make them more accountable. Make employees feel like a part of the company. Encourage them to come up with methods to make every install and service call more profitable. Do you have a suggestion box?

No. 2 Technician Shortage
This should not be happening with so many talented young people looking for a meaningful and rewarding career. I have seen little that our industry has done on the national public stage to promote the values and excitement of installing and servicing simple to complex integrated systems. There has been a lot of talk lately in the media and federal government about
votech training but when I talk to education professionals they have no idea of the employment opportunities for people in integration technologies.

No. 3 Competition From Other Security Integration Companies
Today’s technologies allow for so many specialized services that can set your company
apart.  Get creative. Encourage your employees to provide ideas for new products and services. They are on the street every day and probably would love some recognition and company status for being creative and making your company more competitive.

No. 5 Direct Competition From Manufacturers
Manufacturers have the right to go wherever business is best. However, they should understand and respect fair discount and volume pricing relationship they have had for years with dealers and integrators. The DIY market will drive direct pricing, but then the manufacturer is on their own as to customer support. Some will learn the hard way as they have in the past. It is just that the temptation of direct pricing is greater now days.

RELATED: 2015 Systems Integration Study: 94% of Integrators Bare Their Teeth

No. 6 Lack of Technical Training
Oh no, not again. This still surprises me with all the technology opportunities to deliver training today. Everyone could do more, manufacturers, dealers, integrators, and employees. It used to be that a company would invest in training for a new employee as long as they agreed to stay with the company for a period of time. Many manufacturers’ Web sites have little meaningful training opportunities and those that do how many integrators are taking advantage of the training opportunities.

No. 8 Current Economic Conditions
We have had much tougher times in the past. There are plenty of opportunities for integrators that are will to seek new technology offerings and are listening closely to what the customer wants and expects from a professional organization.

No. 9 Government Regulation
This is the real back-breaker for small companies. Government regulations need to be reduced drastically. Business risk can be worth it but only if you still have control over your business. I feel that there are many experienced individuals and organizations in our industry just sitting on the sidelines because that see to much risk with today’s ever changing government regulations.

No. 10 Competition From Network/IT Companies
Don’t compete with them, make them a partner. They need your security expertise even though they may not realize it. There is just too many IT opportunities today to be fighting. This is the same with your customer’s and prospect’s organizations. Often they just need to see a way at how all can get along. You may be that matchmaker.

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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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