On April 13, Security Industry Association (SIA) members gathered virtually for ExecShare: The SIA Small Business Strategy Session, an event hosted by the SIA Executive Council. In this highly participatory virtual event, a select group of business leaders from SIA member companies joined an engaging discussion about business continuity, strategy and most importantly, recovery.
In this interactive session moderated by Ken Francis, president of Eagle Eye Networks, Inc., and discussion leaders Eddie Reynolds, president and CEO, iluminar Inc.; Daniel Krantz, CEO, Real-Time Technology Group; and Yaron Zussman, general manager, Magos America, attendees had the opportunity to introduce themselves and their companies and share their top business concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic. Francis, Reynolds, Krantz and Zussmann helped to facilitate the discussion, respond to participant questions and share ideas for continuity and recovery during this uncertain time.
Key topics addressed in the discussion include the top challenges businesses are facing and how they are addressing them, communications with customers and employees, addressing financial and cash flow challenges, how business may evolve following the pandemic, key takeaways and opportunities and how businesses are positioning themselves to ramp back up when the pandemic subsides.
Remote Management & Communicating With Teams
First, participants addressed the challenges of remote management and communicating with teams in the current climate. Andrew Lanning, cofounder of Integrated Security Technologies, mentioned that, with his team all remote, his company is increasing the number of times it meets virtually each day to ensure projects are getting done. Krantz emphasized that it is important to “think about how to protect your own people and keep them motivated in the spirit of doing work and not ‘corona vacation.'”
Stuart Rawling, director of segment marketing at Pelco, discussed how working entirely remotely can help staff learn more about each other and their home lives and how video can help keep teams engaged. ” I’ve worked at home for years, but recently I’ve been using a lot more video,” he said. “It helps to have a personal touch and allows us to be in the work mode versus distracted mode. It forces people to pay attention in meetings as well.”
“There’s a lot of communications that are different than the past that we have to stay on top of on the supply chain side and on the employee side,” said Krantz. “Integrity and positive attitude are important – it’s not just you keeping in touch with customers, but keeping your own people in tune with leadership and what direction we all have to go.”
Business Challenges, Shifting Strategies & Communicating With Clients
Next, attendees discussed business and sales challenges and how strategies are shifting in the current climate. Reynolds discussed how some companies are facing challenges with getting products shipped and orders fulfilled with travel restrictions and shutdowns amid the pandemic. “You have to keep the clients abreast of what’s happening and that you haven’t forgotten about them,” she said.
Zussman highlighted that while business is not completely dying down for small companies, the top vertical markets in need of solutions may be shifting, including “more federal, more government, more critical infrastructure, less commercial.”
“If this is a longer recovery, we have to look at what will come out first,” said Krantz. “One thing we should all look at is critical infrastructure and critical infrastructure bills. Whatever focus we can shift toward capital construction market is helpful to anyone in the industry. We’re focused on what’s going to recover first and how we get ahead of that. ”
Fabiola Francisco, chief of operations at Condortech Services, Inc., discussed how it is important to think about what changes will “stick beyond the pandemic” so that companies can pivot toward those changes moving forward. Additionally, she highlighted the importance of recognizing technicians and security engineers who are continuing to work in the field.
Cameron Javdani, president and co-founder of SoundSecure, said that his company has taken this time to focus more on longer-term initiatives and strategies that will lead to success over six, 12 or 15 months.
“A lot of things are failing in this current situation, and it’s easy to get lost in the tragic, dishearting news,” said Javdani. ” We’ve been trying to find positive stories to keep a positive focus toward what our contributions to SIA and the industry at large can be and try and brighten people’s day a little bit. That mindset has made us a little bit more effective in our relationships with customers and in what our future looks like over the next year or so.”
SIA will continue to host webinars and other virtual events in the coming weeks; check the event calendar for more details.