Editor's Angle: December 2013
The Value of In-Person
SDM’s 2013 Dealer of the Year, Guardian Protection Services, has a focus and commitment to its employees and dealers that you can best understand in person.
Two years ago, I visited the Mount Rushmore National Memorial near Keystone, S.D. The photos I had seen in textbooks in school or on postcards and puzzles hadn’t even remotely done the national monument justice. There is nothing like experiencing something yourself.
The scope of the project was riveting when I was actually standing there — staring up at the 60-foot sculptures of the four United States presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. One of the reasons Danish-American sculptor Gutzon Borglum chose Mount Rushmore was because it is composed of smooth, fine-grained granite, which only erodes one inch every 10,000 years. The rock could support the sculpture and its long-term exposure.
Earlier this year, after ISC West, I had to the chance to attend the annual Guardian Authorized Dealer Conference hosted by Guardian Protection Services Inc., Warrendale, Pa. The event gave me the chance to experience the relationships Guardian and its dealers have. Yet again, reading about a dealer program is one thing, but hearing the jokes, seeing the camaraderie, getting the demonstrations of the technologies and dealer support services, and experiencing it all in person is another.
“The foundation of Guardian’s dealer culture is predicated on…building strong, long-term personal relationships,” Russ Cersosimo, Guardian founder and chief executive officer, told me in an interview at the event. Read the entire article at “Guardian Packs a Valuable Punch With Its Dealer Conference” at SDMmag.com. His enthusiasm, wit, deep industry knowledge and commitment punctuated every moment of our conversation.
I am so glad I had the chance to meet, interview, and interact with Guardian employees and the dealers in its program myself — it helped illuminate the long-term focus the company has. When Guardian won the SDM 2013 Dealer of the Year award, I could write about the company drawing from personal experience and conversations, which were much more vivid and expressive than any paper application or phone interview ever could be.
If Guardian could choose a stone for its relationships, I suspect, like Borglum, the company would choose something similar to granite. Guardian is comfortable with long-term commitments, whether its customers, its dealers or its employees. Of its 901 full-time employees, 252 employees — more than one-fourth — have been with Guardian 10 years or longer. Of that group, 26 percent have been with the company 20 years or longer.
Guardian is also a master of RMR generation, an industry hallmark that involves sacrificing the short-term gain for the higher-value, long-term return. Guardian produced double-digit RMR growth in 2012 (11.9 percent), landed No. 10 on the 2013 SDM 100 as measured by RMR, and netted annual revenue of more than $150 million.
A long-term focus has worked well for the company. While not everyone will have the chance to visit the company or interact with any of its employees, customers, or dealers, I’ve tried to pass along the company’s focus, feel, and resulting success in the article, Long-Term Titan, starting on page 38.
In This Issue
There are a multitude of applications for security locks (both mechanical and electronic) that go far beyond external or even internal doors. Karyn Hodgson examines the payoff for embracing specialized or atypical installations in “Securing the Atypical” on page 65.
Derek Rice shares three trends and technologies that will give integrators a leg up on their competition in the high-resolution video game. Read “3 Trends to Watch in HD & Megapixel Video” on page 73.