Investing in the Custom Channel
- By Ralph C. Jensen
- Dec 30, 2013
When Matt Sailor went out on his own in the
security business, he received a tidbit of
good advice from his father: “Be thankful
for stupid people. Without them, you will not shine.”
The world is filled with all kinds of people: some
driven to success, others hitting every bump in the road
for lack of vision. Sailor has vision and is doing very
well in the security business.
IC Realtime is Sailor’s vision that started in 2005,
in large part because he didn’t feel the company he was
then working for was doing things right. He saw a void
in the security industry and felt certain he could fill it.
“Our original mindset was that we wanted to
work with everyone and anyone who believed in an
open architecture solution,” Sailor said. “We always
want to be the best solution available, not just for
commercial and industrial applications, but also
for the consumer—who has designs to protect their
home and belongings.”
Having earned a reputation as customer-friendly,
IC Realtime has online operations 24/7, and an integrator
with a question has the ability to participate
in a live, real-time chat. If an integrator knows
when they will be on a job site, he or she can make
an appointment with IC Realtime professionals to
help walk them through any tough spots or questions
should issues arise during installation.
IC Realtime officials have devised a question and
answer booklet that contains the 30 most asked questions
when an integrator calls in with a particular need.
Operators are not trained techs, but with the booklet,
they can assist many of the callers. If the questions become
more detailed, a trained tech takes over to answer
questions and resolve issues over the phone.
“Most questions can be answered from our Q&A
booklet,” Sailor said. “The one thing we won’t do is
fail at support. We listen, that’s what we do, and that
is how we help integrators resolve any issues. We also
rely on those people in the field to help us resolve issues.
They are the ones on the front lines of security,
and when they share stories and information with us,
we incorporate it into our service platform.”
Inspired to fill a perceived void in the security industry,
Sailor will have as many as 15 network techs
on the phone working out issues at any given time,
though he is likely to have integrators schedule calls
when they know where and when they will be on site.
“We like to ask our audience what works so we
can always be better prepared to answer questions,”
Sailor said. “No one likes surprises and if we know
what the integrator is up against, we can be of better
service to them. Knowing the answer helps calm the
Integrators seem to be very impressed with the
company’s technical support, because when they call
in for help, they will request the same technician over
and over again. Working with one partner has helped
with service calls.
Service is where it all starts with Sailor. Not just in
the security industry, but also in the consumer market
where IC Realtime holds a significant lead in sales
IC Realtime is booming with business these days,
totaling about $35 million annually, but it’s not all
about sales. Sailor said that everyone in the industry is
on a level playing field, but going to an IP system does
give manufacturers, integrators and end users some
advantage. He said that no one really has the secret to
systems installation; the secret for success is service.
Sailor knows service. Every Friday, Sailor and IC
Realtime principle Bob Odierna host a chef-prepared
lunch for the Pompano Beach, Fla. crew. Odierna is
a trained culinary professional, and with a hot plate,
microwave and toaster oven, anyone who wants can
partake in a first-rate lunch.
That’s the way Sailor works. He is service oriented
and likes to take care of his people, whether they are
staff or end users.
“In the business world today, a person has to be
more creative, flexible and offer more attention,” Sailor
said. “The same goes with the dealers that we work
with. Once they join our efforts to provide quality security
equipment, we take care of them and make sure
they stay with us. You’ll always make more money
when you offer great service.”
Sailor said that it is critical for manufacturers and
dealers to know their products and what they can provide
the end user. It’s all about the people you work
with and knowing what they need to complete a job.
“I’ve learned a lot of things over the course of my
career, but the one thing is to not repeat the same mistake,”
Sailor said. “You have to learn from that mistake
and pay attention to the people you are working
with. That has been a learning opportunity for me
and that is why our business is growing. People will
always tell you what they want, and it has been my
opportunity to help them achieve their security goals
This article originally appeared in the January 2014 issue of Security Today.