Rich Parris, The Money Store’s security director, takes Security Sales on an exclusive trip into the

Imagine if you could shrink down microscopically and venture into the brain of an end user, much like Stephen Boyd and Raquel Welch did in the 1966 sci-fi classic “Fantastic Voyage.” What would you find there? What insight could you gain into the way end users think?

Although science has yet to catch up with that film’s wild premise, you can still take a comparatively enlightening journey via Security Sales. And, there’s no danger of being attacked by hostile blood cells!

So then, what do end users want from dealers and manufacturers? “It all has to do with listening. It all has to do with not focusing immediately on the dollar or the short-term fix,” says Rich Parris, director of corporate security for The Money Store, a financial lending institution.

Parris spoke about the wants of end users at the Security Industry Association (SIA) Forum 2000 in Amelia Island, Fla. in February. Recently, he invited Security Sales for an exclusive tour of The Money Store’s new Sacramento, Calif., corporate headquarters and to share his beliefs about the dynamics of end users, dealers and manufacturers.

Parris Heads Security Staff

Parris is a dedicated veteran in the field of security, having spent the majority of his career divided between the military, federal law enforcement and his own consulting business before being hired by The Money Store in May 1997. As security director, his duties are to ensure the protection of The Money Store’s employees and property on a nationwide basis. He was brought on board at a time when The Money Store was in the planning stages of erecting a grand new corporate headquarters building on the banks of the Sacramento River. The pyramid-shaped building, dubbed the Ziggurat, has become one of the most unique features in Sacramento’s skyline, especially at night when it’s lit up like a Christmas tree.

Employee Safety Is Impetus for Security

There is no actual money kept at The Money Store’s headquarters. However, the potential threat of irate customers, upset over having their home repossessed for defaulting on a loan, for example, is something that had to be accounted for. In addition to the electronic and human security measures, a large fountain has been strategically placed in front of the building as a barricade to prevent vehicles from crashing through the main entrance.

Facility Wired for Access and Much More

Parris has seen to it that the state-of-the-art Ziggurat building and its standalone parking structure are equipped with sophisticated integrated access control, CCTV, burglary and fire systems. It took about six months to get the entire building protection system online and working properly.

Parris Decides to Go Directly to Manufacturer

Although Parris says he does not have a problem with dealers per se, he elected to go directly to the manufacturer for his security needs. Parris beams when speaking of his dealings with Honeywell and can’t seem to say enough positive things about the global home and building controls giant.

System Helps People, Machinery Avoid Harm

Although to date there have been no major threats or incidents outside or within the Ziggurat, Parris says the system prevents problems from occurring on a daily basis.

Tips for Dealing With End Users Outlined

When Parris addressed SIA’s Forum 2000, he shared the basic tenets of how he believes security professionals should conduct themselves when dealing with end users, as well as his personal integrated technology wish list. Unfortunately, he says, end users are actually asked what they want far too infrequently.

Quality Dealer Networks Boost Credibility

At the dealer level, Parris says he believes installers, on a technical level, know what they are doing for the most part, but they tend to have their own agendas. He adds that many dealers fear being circumvented by manufacturers, but advises them not to be intimidated when manufacturers deal directly with end users. One way to foster more unified relations between dealers and manufacturers is through well-managed dealer networks, which Parris heartily endorses.

Manufacturers Don’t Always Make the Grade

Parris is equally outspoken in describing his pet peeves about manufacturers, including those that are unwilling to occasionally visit their larger customers or insist that those customers visit with them, and those that use only proprietary software and hardware. He sees several other areas for improvement as well.

Dealers, Manufacturers Must Coordinate Efforts

Parris is adamant about a marriage being made between dealers and manufacturers where dealers are not threatened when manufacturers talk to their customers. He is also an advocate of sponsored user groups and forums where customers are brought in to exchange information with manufacturers and dealers.

Security Directors Can’t Rest on Their Laurels

Security technology is evolving more rapidly than ever, which adds to Parris’ challenges as a security director. He is especially intrigued by the developments in biometrics, such as hand geometry readers and retina scanning, as well as the advantages digital video offers.

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