Editorial: Take Your Expertise

May 10, 2013
Stay educated and help the client

If you’ve started to get comfortable with new technologies—don’t do it! Keep moving forward with innovation at your company and always think ahead on what your customers will want.

Coming off a highly success ISC West event, the likes of which we haven’t seen since 2008, it’s easy to become complacent, but now’s certainly not the time to do that. You and your team have to think about what’s coming next and how you can continue to pursue excellence in everything you do.

There are a number of reasons that I think this is what you should do. First, now that technology is in place it will move even faster than the Moore’s Law 18-month change premise. So although it may seem change is not eminent, surely it is. You saw it at ISC West—new mobile apps, an emphasis on cloud based services, interactive residential offerings, video surveillance as a value-added service and on and on. But it’s up to you to realize what all these technologies can do for you and your company and how they can make your company stand out from the competition.

There are so many places to get education today. And in this issue alone we step out of the box with a story on the value of IT certifications and networking credentials, starting on page 40. There’s also a story on the importance of service and maintenance contracts, page 44 and our special section on Fire & Life Safety, including NFPA 2013 as well as products in that category as we get ready for the NFPA Conference in Chicago, June 10 through 13 at McCormick Place—see page 20. Check out all the new products in our special section on page 56 and also, read the latest news starting on page 10.

Keeping current isn’t difficult once you have a strong foundation in place. But think back to when you were in school and the early classes on physics, engineering or networking seemed so difficult. That’s because once you have that initial foundation you can add to that expertise more easily and fluidly and that’s what you and your employees should do every day. Take advantage of manufacturer courses, webinars and special training events. Attend courses at NFPA, PSA-TEC and the ESX Show, coming in June to Nashville.

Herald the emphasis on service

In addition to technical prowess, customer service is a critical component to your success. Many of the companies in the Fast50 rankings invariably talked about how they work tirelessly to satisfy the customer. They make sure they install the best products with the least failure rates; follow up consistently and often; take time to make a phone call; make certain they have service and maintenance contracts because that too is how they assure the customer’s system is operating at the highest level. They also talked about how they don’t really focus on product—but first work on building a relationship and rapport with the customer to find out exactly what they want to accomplish with their security and also, how their system may assist with more than security—with human resources management, accountability, liability checks and so much more. Once they know the value goes beyond traditional intrusion detection you can see it in their eyes—and you know they will look upon you as a trusted advisor and partner.

Any type of business today is much more than a sale of equipment. It’s an understanding of the challenges of those you serve and their budgets and how you can help them today and in the future. It’s also a big consultative emphasis. Many times you will provide consulting expertise but perhaps you won’t get the job. Or maybe you will, maybe not immediately but in the near future. But the important part is that you have shared your knowledge and helped make your customer’s lives a bit safer and more secure and that’s always the bottom line.