One of the most common questions we get asked is about the difference between hosted and managed security services. Many people use the terms interchangeably, but they actually refer to two very different things. When...Read More
Finding the right security partner is one of the single most important things you can do for your facility.
Not only does security directly impact the safety of every person in your building, but it also protects you from code compliance issues, lawsuits and fines in the event of a crisis.
Unfortunately, not all security vendors have your best interests at heart, so it’s extremely important to vet your partners carefully before trusting them with your facility — and with the life of every person who enters it.
Even recently, we were involved in a situation where a building was damaged in a fire and had to be investigated. Thankfully, no one was hurt and we had documentation to show that our system had been effective throughout the last year. But this scenario could have been much worse if the client had worked with a company who didn’t perform routine maintenance and keep extensive records.
In my years of working in this industry, I’ve seen four significant concerns come up time and time again, both from talking to clients who had bad experiences with previous partners and from observing how some of our competitors conduct business.
The 4 Problems We See Most Often in the Security Industry
If you’re looking for a new security partner, or if you’re not sure whether your current partner is meeting the standards it should, we recommend watching out for these four pitfalls.
Lack of Communication and Information
Clients frequently tell us that they’ve struggled in the past to get timely responses from their security vendors. Then when they do hear from the vendor, it’s only to let them know how much money something will cost or to tell them something is broken.
This is unfortunate, because we’ve found many of our clients are looking for a partner who won’t just fix things when they break, but will also come alongside them to help them understand what’s needed and why.
With technological advancements developing more quickly than ever before, many customers are interested in learning more about the latest technology that could work for their facility. They want to trust that their vendor is not just trying to make more money, but will actually be honest about what upgrades are needed.
And when it is time to switch over their systems, customers tend to prefer a roadmap for upgrading over time, rather than a “rip and replace” approach.
Slow Response Time for Repairs
If something is broken at your property, you shouldn’t have to wait 4-6 weeks for someone to come fix it. But since most security companies don’t have dedicated service teams, that wait is extremely common.
In addition, many companies don’t have the space to store items that are commonly needed for maintenance, which means you may have to wait even longer while they order parts — especially now that our industry is experiencing supply chain delays.
This is why we’ve prioritized building a fully-staffed, discipline-specific service department that’s ready and able to service your systems, along with an online service portal that makes it easy for you to log and track your requests.
We also have a 10,000 square foot warehouse where we stock our project inventory, along with commonly used items that our service teams can pull from when parts need to be fixed or replaced.
Poor Quality Craftsmanship and Lack of Code Knowledge
When it comes to security, the stakes are too high to settle for installations that are not of the highest quality.
Most states, including Tennessee, have licensure requirements for people who work in this field, but there is a gray area in those laws. A small, one-person company can get the necessary licenses but then hire a subcontractor who is not qualified or experienced.
This strategy often decreases installation costs, but it’s at the expense of quality. In this industry, you usually get what you pay for!
It’s especially difficult to address this problem because customers don’t always know how to properly vet their security partners.
We believe it’s important to make sure that every member of our team is an expert in the field, so we require every employee to have an active electronic licensure through the Tennessee Alarm Board. We also carry a manufacturer certification for every manufacturer we work with.
When we think about the future of the security industry, I’ve noticed that many companies are struggling to attract young talent.
This is partly because people don’t understand the work we do. Our industry is becoming much more IT-centric and is constantly evolving and innovating. The skills needed by companies like Facebook and Google are just as needed in our field.
If I could wave a magic wand, I would make our industry one that’s as highly sought after as engineering and business degrees. But for that to happen, security companies need to take a look at their culture and understand that the hiring and retention practices we’ve used for the past 20 years are not going to attract a diverse, talented workforce in the future.
The ACT Difference
If you’ve experienced any of these issues, you’re not alone, but there is a better way! Our team at ACT is actively working to avoid each one of these problems, and we have the track record to prove it.
We’re proud of the fact that we lose less than 3 percent of our customers each year, and most of our clients have worked with us for years.
The biggest question we often get from clients is around our prices, but those prices directly relate to the quality of service we’re able to deliver. We also want you to know we are listening and continually reevaluating our cost structure to make sure we are providing the most value possible.
Along with having a full, dedicated service team, we’ve also committed to the following practices that set us apart from our competitors:
- We’re selling more and more systems that can be worked on remotely to improve our response time.
- We hire based on skill set and culture fit instead of prioritizing industry experience.
- We offer service agreements that save you money in the long run and make it easier for you to budget, since you know exactly what you can expect to spend on maintenance each month.
Invest in a Security Partner You Can Trust
You shouldn’t have to wonder if your security vendor is doing great work. When you hire ACT, you can trust that you’ll get our best effort every time, along with the peace of mind that comes with knowing we’ll maintain your systems for years to come.
Are you looking for a new security partner for your next project? Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about why ACT is the right choice for Nashville area businesses.