Help Wanted

Help Wanted

There are help wanted signs everywhere, and with the pandemic being declared all but over, you would think people would want to get back to work. Some businesses are even offering a sign on bonus for new workers.

Replacement products are in short supply. Logistics and back orders seem to be hampering fulfillment of an integrator’s parts list. Oh, and if things are tough enough, integrators have to take into account inflation.

Seems like we get rid of one pandemic only to find ourselves facing another problem. Integrators are having a tough time with all parts and solutions. In some cases, it might take months to fill an order. Chips and chip sets have taken a toll on all manufacturing of all makes and models from cars to televisions. Security products fall in between and are in the mix.

From my friend Matt Barnette, CEO of PSA Security, the big problem is hiring and retaining talent, especially those workers with a technical background.

“The biggest problem is getting equipment, but an integrator is faced with the lack of labor to install all the work they have on the books,” Barnette said. “Both issues are equally problematic.”

It is obvious that they industry needs to make a paradigm shift, so says John Nemerofsky, the COO at SAGE Integration. In fact, he suggested that it is time to stop calling “ourselves the electronic security industry, it sounds like we are recruiting to work at Radio Shack.”

“We should be calling our industry Security Technologies. At SAGE, we are a security systems integrator,” Nemerofsky said. “We are not looking for technicians but system engineers and system architects. These changes open a new pool of recruits and lead to more recruiting success.”

Nemerofsky also addressed supply chain issues, suggesting the challenge will make integrators stronger and more disciplined by working closely with clients to get the forecasted dates they need to get projects started and completed. This will help integrators be better partners to technology and distribution channels and lead to more accurate forecasting.

“The supply chain challenge led to many price increases and shipping and handling issues,” Nemerofsky said. “In some cases, manufacturers, which had held quote prices in most cases for one year – or a minimum of 90 days, now keep pricing valid for six to 30 days.”

Products will abound as we walk the aisles of ISC West. Integrators and technicians will have the opportunity to see first-hand what is new, and what is possible. You won’t find any Help Wanted signs on the show floor at ISC West, but there will be plenty of attendees anxious to handle and see the newest technology.

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.

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