While these may be uncertain times for the Canadian economy, the electronic security industry continues to thrive in most markets across the country.
Our industry has historically weathered many economic down turns and continues to adapt to changes in technology as well as the competitive landscape. Maintaining a competitive advantage can prove challenging for some organizations. Keeping up with technology advances while attracting and retaining talent are universal challenges for all sectors of the economy. The electronic security industry is no different.
Margin erosion is certainly a concern for integrators as new competitors enter the market. Today, many network cable companies and even electricians have entered what was traditionally alarm and security company space. Don’t get me wrong – competition spurs innovation and can even help to balance out the market. We all must adapt and evolve with these ever changing realities. How we adapt is the proverbial work in progress. People – from receptionist, operator, technician, sales representative, manager to CEO – also make a difference in setting any organization apart as a leader in the field.
Many integrators struggle to attract and retain strong technical resources. Today’s technician deals with more complex computer and network integration than ever before. Attracting talent requires opportunities and creative employment options for all. Each unique business model, from multi-national corporations to a single entrepreneur have the potential to develop creative work environments that allow all to flourish. Like many security integrators, we focus time and resources on training and development. Monthly in-house technical training sessions help develop talent and teamwork. Specialized industry training like the CANASA ATC (newly launched online version) along with manufacturers’ certification helps to round out a diverse technical competency required for complex projects.
Recognition as a “profession” continues to elude our industry. While many provinces have recognized our trade, there remains the unregulated cloud that still consumes much debate amongst many in our industry. We should all remember that the work we do every day contributes to the safety and security of our communities.
Life safety products and services are deployed across the country that help protect life and property. We aid in crime prevention, detection and deterrence. We help solve crime and limit loss from theft, fire and other calamities. There is still much work to be done to secure the “profession” banner; I for one think we are a profession. This industry is filled with professionals – to all the others out there in the industry, I hope you think of yourself as one too.
This article originally appeared in SP&T News.