A big part of training also comes from being in the field and at security tradeshows held each year across the country. The PSA-TEC conference, presented by the PSA Security Network, Westminster, Colo., brings dealers and systems integrators together for an entire week with one focus—training, training and more training. While attendees have to pay to access the event, (for members, the cost is $399 for week; for non-members, the cost is $449), the value in attending educational sessions without interruptions for vendor visits allows folks to really make the most of their time and get the targeted training they paid for.
“Installers have to invest in their education,” said Sharon Shaw, director of Education, PSA Security Network. “It comes to the question: ‘are you working on your business or in your business?’ We have a lot of integrators who focus quite a bit on employee development. But often times, people get stuck trying to evaluate what training is going to bring back to their business.” Shaw added that Webinars, whitepapers and additional online resources are a great way for professionals to educate themselves throughout the year.
One of the other training challenges that dealers and integrators must overcome is the idea that an hour of training at a security tradeshow is enough.
“The greatest disservice I’ve ever seen a dealer do to themselves is to try and short-cut the training process,” said Eller. “There are a large percentage of folks who sit at one of these educational sessions at an ASIS or ISC West and think they know all they need to know about a topic.” Eller stressed the importance of knowing state regulations and abiding by them. “The 90-minute courses are not enough,” he continued. “Installers have to abide by laws to get licensed.”
According to Shaw, many questions that the PSA Security Network received at last year’s conference addressed additional services and training and networking best practices. What training is available for those wanting to offer managed services? How do I compensate my team for selling these services?
“Our whole goal is to help our integrators improve their businesses to better serve their market,” confirmed Shaw.
The tools and resources are available. It is up to systems integrators and dealers to get on that training ladder and take it to the top—one step at a time.