I just had the opportunity to spend time shadowing Eddie Yamashiro, a technician from Valley Alarm, Sun Valley, Calif. Yamashiro has worked for the family-operated company, ranked No. 89 on the SDM 100, for eight years and has been in the industry 10 years. He is experienced, but young – only 28 — having started in the alarm industry right out of high school. Unfazed by the new services and installation changes entering the industry, Yamashiro tackled installing a wireless 2GIG system at a residential home in Van Nuys, Calif., with relaxed precision.

He demonstrated all the traits of the “Future Tech” this industry needs to be able to send out to installs. Wireless? No problem. Interactive services? Excited about them. Since Valley Alarm started offering Honeywell’s Total Connect along with 2GIG systems over a year ago, he’s embraced the training — even helping others better understand the systems when needed. In fact, the continued training and open opportunities for Valley Alarm employees are just two of many things he appreciates about the company, which has been serving the Greater Los Angeles area since 1981.

“Today’s new systems are straight forward, clean cut, user friendly, installer friendly, and intuitive,” he said, waving his hand across the system parts organized across the living room floor.

He had a system, a familiarity, and an appreciation for the technology, and was also was a great source of information — patiently answering my questions, pointing out the features of the system, and explaining the nuances of his personal system.

I was impressed at the different shortcuts for installing, naming, activating and testing the sensors and system parts he’d developed. I love when something makes perfect sense why it is done – even if you aren’t the one with that skill set! That little “Ah ha” when someone explains why they are doing what they are doing.

I have to say that while it is one thing to write about the products and their installation and operational features, my time with Eddie reminded me how critical those features really are. Ease of programming, reliability, finding any possible way to build in shortcuts to save valuable time, and creating straight-forward set-ups that don't result in questions or phone calls are so important as the industry continues to evolve. But with technicians like Eddie on the job, the industry is in good hands.

A big “Thank you” to Valley Alarm and Eddie Yamashiro for the opportunity to see the industry at work.