Investing in the Custom Channel

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 integrator down.”

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 and integration.

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 and shine.”

This article originally appeared in the January 2014 issue of Security Today.

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