Security Business

MAR 2019

Find news and information for the executive corporate security director, CSO, facility manager and assets protection manager on issues of policy, products, incidents, risk management, threat assessments and preparedness.

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94 Security Business / / March 2019 wrong – they are crucial stakeholders, but they are not the only stakeholders. Your role is to align your business needs as you work with vendors to develop a list of products or enhancements that are priorities to your company and customers. This ensures that any manufacturer engagement is aligned with the integrator’s strategic plan and objectives. Potential pitfalls: Let’s say a manufacturer develops product enhancements for your intrusion line that you have not previously considered. You pause – as you should – to evaluate how these enhancements will benefit your company or not, and then quickly fall prey to accepting the new features “lock, stock and barrel.” Make sure that these changes are aligned with your strategic vision, your customers’ goals, internal operations, etc. If not, you risk distraction from your company’s strategic priorities and product development goals – often creating internal chaos. 2. Have a clear understanding of what you are being sold. It is important to first schedule multiple product demonstrations and research customer testimonials and integrator references. Be sure to reflect back on your strategic goals and company mission to confirm alignment. For example, the product may serve as a good use-case into a previously unpenetrated vertical market that you have been considering. This could be a nice transition into that vertical – but only if it is in concert with your company’s mission. Potential pitfalls: Innovations without a clearly-defined purpose do not deliver value to the end-user. Picking the wrong products and services can sink a launch. Determine the expected lifecycle of the product and ensure the vendor provides a product roadmap so you can make informed, long-term decisions. 3. Consider marketing, operations and other key company stakeholders early in the process. All too often, we leave key stakeholders out of the preliminary discussions – only to pay a hefty price later. Brad Wilson, CPP, President and COO of RFI Communications and Security Systems, presented with me at an industry conference on this topic. He explains that when RFI performs an evaluation, they look at the “3-C” model for Success: Customer, Competitors and Company. He identifies the investment and financial return, the value it delivers to all stakeholders, and the compelling business drivers. He then systematically develops a balanced scorecard to ensure that the product/service falls within RFI’s strategic positioning and objectives. This focused approach in decision-making has yielded positive results and mitigates “chasing the shiny penny” syndrome. Potential pitfalls: How are you going to market this new feature or product to customers? Sales and marketing are often the last department to be brought into launching a new service line – do not make this mistake. These are the people who you will depend on to champion the new product externally. Early engagement will lead to a better-developed sales and marketing plan and a successful launch. 4. Get leadership approval. Establish a focused “executive sponsor” for your product who can advocate for the new service and ensure that it stays a priority at a senior level within the organization – this is important whether the company has 200 or 2,000 employees. Get leadership approval for the business case, including product concept, preliminary design and specifications, solution outline, and finalized product requirements. This way, if the decision is made to launch or not after the evaluation, it is an informed one. There is no win-lose here – a new product or service must work for both customers and the company. If the business case is approved, it is at this point that a Project Manager (PM) should be brought onto the team, whose role is to ensure that timelines and deliverables are realistic as a more detailed business plan is created. Potential pitfalls: Ensure all cross-functional departments are on board and or have input into decisions. Keep senior leadership informed from the beginning so that no one sabotages its progress. Remember that launching any product or service is a process – not all have to agree, but you need “air cover” to collect the information and present it to the team. Not including a PM early in the process creates a steep learning curve for the person who is the “engine” and “engineer” behind the implementation. Sales and marketing are often the last department to be brought into launching a new service line – do not make this mistake. These are the people who you will depend on to champion the new product externally.

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