AMAG's secret to success

AMAG Technology is a company with a great following and a suite of products that integrate and converge critical functions for the end user. I’ve had a chance to discuss their successes with Bob Sawyer, president of AMAG Technology and he gave me these thoughts on the topic: “The last recession proved unfortunate to many security companies which were required to make drastic changes in their organizations to stay profitable. I often spoke with colleagues about layoffs and office closings. Companies were cutting back in many departments, including sales and marketing. The recession was an eye opener for many. AMAG Technology was very fortunate throughout the recession and we were able to avoid layoffs and gain market share. Through research and careful planning, we were able to capitalize on growing markets, while others declined. My professional philosophy is similar in many respects and incorporates a number of great ideas as discussed in the book, "Good to Great," by Jim Collins. Jim believes a key secret to success is having the right people in the right positions on the bus. By hiring the right people—people who have an excellent track record, are honest, ethical and forthright, and have the right skill set and an attitude of exceptional service—a company has the ingredients to excel. For example, rather than hire sales managers only from other security manufacturers, we branched out and hired sales people from the integrator and consultant communities. By hiring people who have worked for an integrator our team was able to learn what integrators need to be successful from an insider’s point of view. This information is valuable and has helped us provide better support for our customers. My management team and I made decisions and implemented changes based on this input. It’s easy to get wrapped up in what we the manufacturer think the integrator needs, but to learn from someone on that side of the business provides a fresh perspective. The same is true for the consultant side of the equation. We also hired people from outside our industry who have technical backgrounds and passionate ambitions to succeed. These people tackle the subject matter, understand it quickly and learn how to educate our customer base. They ask questions and delve into challenges. The basics of exceptional customer service span over many disparate industries but its applications are pertinent to all of them. Paying attention to the marketplace is critical in a recession. There are always certain vertical markets that are so vibrant that they will continue to expand. There are companies and government agencies, municipalities and quasi-government entities which have budgeted monies that will continue being applied. Concentration in these areas will prove fruitful in difficult times. Our sales team worked these areas in partnership with our customer base. And as during the last recession, we found this an excellent time to add a few more great people to our bus, as well as expand our headquarters facility and start a new facility in the Washington, D.C. area. As our customers know, AMAG is truly committed to providing Exceptional Customer Service. And in keeping with the spirit of Exceptional Customer Service, we increased our service offerings during this period. We ramped up our Professional Services Department and can now offer many pro services benefits to our customers. This helps us collaborate with our customer base to plan large system deployments and provide on-site support, factory acceptance testing and oversight. We also invested heavily in training with new programs, people and a training center in our new East coast office. Paying attention to the market, investing in the right people at the right time and investing in the service side of our business have helped AMAG prosper even in the grips of a recession. As always, the real secret to success is a great group of service oriented employees, a great product offering and a great customer base.”