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Why embracing a Digital Strategy is Key to long term survival for our security installers

June 24, 2021

June 23, 2021

Paddy Kyle, Head of Sales UK & Ireland for Texecom Ltd, has stayed in the security industry because he truly enjoys it; the people, their passion for what they do and the products he works with. Having joined Texecom more than 12 years ago as Regional Sales Manager for the North, he says it’s a great industry to work in, with lots of committed individuals “doing the right things”.

Texecom’s strapline is: ‘Looking after the things people care about, wherever they are’. And it’s true according to Paddy, wherever possible, the UK organisation tries to make changes for the better, instigated by both legislation and technological development.

A good example would be advances in wireless capability which has grown year after year, now making up a significant part of intruder sector sales. Twenty-five years ago, wireless solutions accounted for less than 15% of sales and the other 85% were wired solutions, particularly in the domestic arena.

The reliance on wireless solutions, coupled with digital solutions being provided to end users has led to a step change in the required skillsets for many security companies and their engineers.  A basic knowledge of dealing with firewalls, routers and cloud solutions is quickly becoming the norm. In that way, digital transformation has certainly occurred.

Providing digital and technical solutions in an industry that is renowned for shortages in skilled labour indicates a need to develop different working practices to keep up with growing customer demands.

Paddy and Caroline Cooper from Norbain SD discussed Texecom’s focus for 2021 and beyond, along with the importance of developing and encompassing a Digital Strategy in today’s security sector to survive medium to long term.

1. What are Texecom’s priorities for 2021 and going forward?

Texecom have seen trends accelerate in the digital marketplace and have aligned themselves closely through a structured digital strategy disseminated across the business. The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 saw this accelerate at an even greater rate with increasing demand for Texecom’s Cloud Services (TCS).

Paddy explained that the business has a very clear vision – partner with security specialists to build solutions that provide a greater level of easily accessible information for installers whilst also increasing service levels for their customers.

Texecom’s solutions – both hardwired and digital – are developed for all sizes of specialist, from local security companies and SMEs up to National Security Companies. Their focus is to support qualified and accredited installers making their lives easier by striving to combine information into a single platform meeting the needs of operations whilst increasing customer service levels. Texecom’s solutions can unify information across different types of systems, ensuring that all the information is in one place and that the end user and engineer view is consistent.

The business also is also investing in future-proofing the technology – Texecom panels and communication devices are the only intruder products on the market with ‘over the air firmware upgrading capabilities via Texecom Cloud..

Paddy noted that smarter, forward-thinking companies are getting on board with this approach but that it can be trickier to persuade smaller installation businesses, who still prize providing a personal touch to their customers on a local level.

Texecom are working hard to outline to these businesses how utilising new technology can actually facilitate offering a personalised service at the same time as streamlining their customer management process. For example, a customer could be scheduled for two face to face visits a year, but time on site could be reduced by utilising a system which pinpoints anomalies. Added to this could be quarterly health checks run remotely which provide another customer touchpoint. And so, the installer’s service levels are actually enhanced.

Offering things like health checks also highlights useful management information on how clients are using equipment and what they’re doing – providing detail the installer could use to further cross or upsell and personalise their approach.

2. What is meant in this instance by a digital strategy and who does it apply to?

Paddy outlined how digital strategies can vary depending on the profile of the company. Utilising every touchpoint of digital technology to improve efficiency of course makes life simpler for an alarm company, for example, increasing customer satisfaction. It really does lend itself to so many parts of business life.

Taking Intruder systems, by providing a cloud-based app with system management, visibility is improved for the end user along with opportunity for relevant customer interaction, creating greater customer retention. It also allows  the security specialist to provide faster, reliable, smarter, innovative technologies.

This applies to everyone, regardless of the type of end user. Using integrated security systems facilitates providing the end customer with an overview of their solution – whether that’s a residential client with intruder and CCTV, or a corporate who wants visibility of their whole estate.

So, integrators and Installers need to think about how they are utilising every aspect of the digital solutions available to them. A key benefit is the ability to provision real-time information which gives the security companies a genuine opportunity to differentiate themselves from the competition and from the growing number of DIY solutions out there in the marketplace.

Topics such as remote solutions seem huge, but the reality is, businesses don’t have to change everything, they can break it down into manageable chunks.

3. Why is the security industry traditionally late to the party with adapting working methods?

Paddy’s longevity in the security industry leads him to believe businesses are often reticent to adapt working methods because of a misplaced belief, “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?”.

Many businesses can be slow to see why they need to adopt new principles and ways of working if they are still profitable. For many local businesses, it can be tricky to find enough hours to adapt processes going forward or think about long term strategy when you are constantly rushing to meet the demands of your current client base. At the other end of the spectrum, the larger organisations often have multiple stakeholders who must approve significant change to procedures.

Security Installers have a variety of concerns as well – rising fuel costs, increased raw component costs and the ongoing challenge of finding reliable, skilled engineers. These span all size of organisation.

Too often, change in the industry is instigated by customers themselves or in reaction to events and competitor offerings. Paddy believes that the sector needs to take a more proactive sales approach to ensure we secure business long-term and that proactivity must be across business processes as well as how customers are serviced.

4. Why change now and what’s in it for the Integrators themselves?

“There’s never a great time to drive through fundamental change, but the impact of Covid-19 and acceleration of digital activity worldwide over the last year – demands for additional services and usage of mobile technology – shines a spotlight on the technology-based Industries, and the UK Security industry has to adapt to remain competitive and attractive to end users” says Paddy.

“Companies need to work smarter and overcome reservations to using technology to make things happen. There are so many examples across every industry”.

A key driver has to be the vital requirement of security specialists to differentiate themselves from the accelerated popularity of so called ‘DIY competition’. Products claiming to meet the security needs of the customer for a fraction of the cost where traditionally an experienced installation engineer would have been called for.

Paddy’s advice is “Don’t dumb down what you offer”. DIY vs Professional is becoming harder to differentiate, so professionals need to be thinking “How can I set my business apart?”

In order to compete, the professional has to demonstrate his competence on many levels including:

  • Offering superior quality certified products and solutions meeting today’s rigorous standards
  • Utilisation of technology to support the customer – apps, emails, online communication
  • Automation of processes as far as possible – make it easy for both installers and the end users
  • Consistency of information and communication: Response, attitude, knowledge, advice

 

This is where digital strategies like Texecom Cloud solutions can help with differentiation offering scalability according to the size of your business and the ability to grow with you. So, you can move over clients taking a manageable approach. You only pay for what you need.

You don’t have to understand how to build the cloud to use it, there are no IT Infrastructure requirements!

The main focus of any quality business offering cloud-based solutions like Texecom is to ensure their direct customer has all the support they require, including product and servicing training. Texecom are very clear on how digital solutions will support their customer touchpoints and simplify their processes.

Last Summer, at the peak of the first coronavirus lockdown with many in the industry using their time wisely, Texecom saw a huge uplift in engineers and sales managers signing up to Texecom Cloud and product training courses. At a time when they needed to rapidly adapt to the needs of their customer base

For their part, Texecom aim to differentiate themselves by ensuring they have a strong UK business, with a UK centric focus and, according to Paddy, that is key to their success – they understand the local market and are perfectly positioned to react to their customers’ needs.

The foundation of the business is quality, reliable products aimed at the trade. Texecom differentiate themselves by celebrating the skill levels of their customers and stress the importance of maintaining a strong relationship with them.

Norbain partners with some of the market leaders within the security industry to provide  cutting-edge solutions. We can advise you and your end customer on current video surveillance, access control and intruder solutions available in the marketplace and which solution would be best suited to your needs. We also understand that every business is unique, and some solutions can’t be delivered in a box. That’s why we have Solutions Specialists to provide you with ongoing support, help define project roadmaps and work with you to optimise technology investments.

Get in touch with us to discuss your requirements. www.norbain.com

Aritech

Dahua
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