School administrators wanted a way to efficiently track student movements beyond issuing conventional written hall passes. We developed a feature called “Hall Pass” that provides teachers with proximity devices they issue in lieu of conventional hall passes. Through the placement of access readers in the classrooms and at all entrances to the main school building, students are monitored with a predetermined amount of time to walk from their classroom to the building. If a student fails to report in the allocated time period, the system issues a general alert.
This is just one example of how advanced access control software can be easily programmed to provide an effective solution outside of traditional security system models.
Networking for Success
Another avenue for resellers to engage in new business development activities involves networking — in the business rather than technology sense. Independent access control resellers are typically local and/or regional in nature, which often prevents them from competing over larger system solutions for companies and organizations with multiple facilities spread over wide geographic areas.
By networking among themselves and establishing intra-dealer partnerships, independent resellers can pool their resources to deliver local support services in their respective territories. For example, Galaxy has a reseller partner in the New England area that handles a major insurance company’s facilities nationwide. The reseller is a local access control dealer that handles the main facility but does not have the resources to deploy the system in the insurance company’s field offices, which are scattered across the country. To help secure the account, we introduced the reseller to a network of our resellers across the country to handle local deployments. All sales activity goes through the New England reseller’s office, which maintains supervision over the main software installation at the insurance company’s headquarters location.
This intra-dealer partnership arrangement enables the local dealer to efficiently support a national client. It’s a win-win for the local dealer, its network of dealer partners and the end-user.
New technologies — including those that are also backwards compatible — require new techniques to ensure they are properly implemented and utilized to their fullest potential. Continued training and education is critical to ensure the long-term success of every access control reseller’s business, given that technologies continue to evolve at a rapid pace.
Just as technology continues to change, so should the manner in which manufacturers train their reseller partners. It is important to be sure training programs continue to evolve to meet today’s challenges. In past years, training sessions (including ours) consisted of an agenda of items that manufacturers wanted to convey to a group about our latest products. Although information on new features, implementation and installation tips is still important, it is only part of the curriculum that resellers need to be more efficient. The information resellers need is often quite different from what was previously covered in training sessions and technical documents.
In recent years, we have evolved our training program to reflect real-world issues culled from input received directly from installing dealers and customers via our technical support team. We log every issue our team encounters in the field and over the phone, and we look for trends or patterns. It is important that these issues are incorporated into training programs to address different audiences and to provide attendees with the information that they need most, without spending time on subject matter that is not entirely relevant to their responsibilities or level of expertise.
We feel that it is advantageous to conduct monthly training sessions supplemented by 8 to 10 regional training sessions throughout the year, in addition to electronic training sessions which can be conducted on line by individuals or presented to a group at any location with an Internet connection.
No Silver Bullet for Success
Success in this fast-changing industry is dependent on what you put into it; and the truth is, there is no such thing as a silver bullet.
New access control, video surveillance and security system technologies will continue to evolve and converge, providing more robust, integrated solutions that accommodate both legacy and new system installations. The key is to select the solutions that deliver the most customer satisfaction today and tomorrow, and to stay abreast of new developments so that you can implement the best solutions possible.