There are few things that unite people better than tragedy, whether that takes the form of mourning a common loss or navigating the unknown. As industries across the globe continue to adjust to the coronavirus pandemic and a new way of life that accompanies it, we have seen a level of togetherness previously unmatched. Messages of #strongertogether and #youarenotalone are shared widely across social media. And despite the unknown nature of COVID-19 and its far-reaching impact giving reason after reason to call it quits, the world has pushed on – and the security industry is no exception.

This global pandemic is uncharted territory for each and every one of us. As a result, companies are shifting to remote work and reduced schedules, and are collaborating with partners they once deemed competitors. These newfound partnerships will be paramount in remaining successful both now and when the dust settles. As the industry continues to navigate this turbulent time, there are a few key ways to continue moving forward in a world that is seemingly at a standstill.

Share ideas

There are few alive today who have experienced a pandemic of this scale. For that reason alone, it is necessary for companies to realise they are not alone. No person, or group of people, truly know the best way to maintain business continuity when cash flow has decreased seemingly overnight. This is why it is more important than ever to think outside the box and innovate through collaboration. It is only through thoughtful conversation, trial and error, and varied perspectives that companies will be able to make deliberate decisions that will ensure current and future success for the company.

Our communication has certainly increased as we strive to move forward

At RS2, we have a number of companies we work with on an ongoing basis, but our communication has certainly increased as we strive to move forward amidst the current landscape. Open Options and Vanderbilt are both ACRE companies that we regularly meet with to share ideas of what we’re doing to better serve our people.

While end users are important to consider, it is also necessary to examine how companies are taking care of their employees during this time. Hearing from companies who are sharing what has worked for them and what hasn’t in navigating a remote workforce can be extremely beneficial in making decisions that will have lasting benefits. At RS2, that meant transferring two-thirds of our team to remote work. We can only keep business moving if our employees are safe.

Through collaboration we can complete the solutions needed for a safer, more dynamic, and ever-ready world.

Embrace remote options

A majority of the world is currently working from home, so businesses must respond to this changing landscape. While it used to be that in-person networking events and sales pitches secured new projects or opportunities, the current landscape pushes businesses to be more creative in how they reach their customers. For example, with ISC West being postponed, many companies have turned to online resources to share new product demonstrations and other company news. Others are hosting webinars as a way to discuss the current climate and what it means for the industry. This immediate shift to embrace more virtual opportunities to communicate is a heavy indicator that the business to client relationship is changing, and that companies must fill the gaps to maintain connectivity and openness.

Many companies have turned to online resources to share new product demonstrations

Another important demographic to consider when offering remote options is integrators and system designers. At the end of the day, they are making recommendations to end users, so it is important to keep them up to date on latest offerings and best practices associated with your businesses’ particular product. 

In-person experiences were often the gold standard for training dealers and integrators about the platforms they offer, but with travel restrictions in place, these same solutions providers have had to virtualise these experiences. Online platforms and programs are emerging to make these classes available remotely, webinars are replacing one-on-one training opportunities, and partners are teaming up to share the benefits and inner workings of integrations. Now is a better time than ever to ensure resources are available to technology partners. Though in-person installations are few, it is possible to continue offering educational courses that will benefit all players in the market in the future.

Stay flexible

It is important for all businesses to recognise how truly unprecedented this situation is

Above all else, it is important for all businesses to recognise how truly unprecedented this situation is and to lead with compassion. Project requests may be down as a result of stay-at-home orders, but this is only temporary. Business ethics are being tested, and those who lead with employee safety in mind will reap the long-term benefits.

Consider offering a flexible work schedule as opposed to stringent 8-to-5 office hours. Employees are expected to do their jobs well, but they are also facing new challenges: kids out of school, sharing a workspace with spouses, and coordinating meals for little ones throughout the day. Companies cannot control the variables in an individual employee’s life, so it is necessary more than ever to maintain open lines of communication and be understanding. Though a difficult time, the coronavirus will bring out the true nature of companies. How businesses lead now will determine how successful they are tomorrow. More than ever, it’s important to have employees who you can rely on to get the job done, but who can also rely on you to make human decisions. 

At the end of the day, businesses all have the same goal: to help support our partners, customers and friends during this unprecedented time. By listening, offering remote options and taking care of employees, businesses will be better prepared to navigate the uncertainty of this pandemic. In a climate where things change on a daily basis, all we can truly focus on is what we can control: keeping our heads up, keeping employees safe, and striving for a better tomorrow.

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David Barnard Vice President of Sales and Marketing, RS2 Technologies, LLC

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