‘Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come – get up and make them’ declares Mark Wall, Managing Director of the Wall2Wall group.
If we reflect on a year gone by, in 2021 we were just learning about a new variant of COVID and whether we would need to spend another Christmas or New Year in lockdown conditions. In the end, we stayed open. We saw the light at the end of the tunnel.
And if the pandemic taught us anything it was an opportunity to rewrite the rule book, especially when it comes to sales and marketing. Today, brands are competing for space in an unknown world and it has become our role to handle a much wider range of responsibilities that in previous years.
To reach an audience, we must do more than shout loudest (or wear the brightest flowery shirts,) but also deliver genuine value. We must know who we want to talk to and have the solutions ready to provide for a specific need.
The focus on mental health and wellbeing, identified as a significant factor during the pandemic and lockdown, means that in the new world, bringing our authentic selves to the workplace made a significant difference.
Identifying with family challenges and looking at those that went above and beyond even in a professional capacity. And I include Maddie Wall who ran five miles for 25 days, raising £7,800 for the NHS.
In the security industry, whilst exhibitions and events were halted during the pandemic, the commitment to research and development was not.
With many identified as key workers, the dedication to delivering our services had to continue, especially in support of stretched security and facility teams, who were trying to understand the dynamics and protect vacant offices, against increasing threats of vandalism, arson and theft.
The New World
While many assumed that when the pandemic was over, we’d just shift back to working in a pre-pandemic way, the reality has been more complex. A significant proportion of the workforce have reset their working expectations.
The term hybrid today is now well known, well used and here to stay as a way of life for many businesses and their employees. It allows us all to adapt to the changing environment, balance our ‘work and personal lives’ and continue to be productive.
Here, we have a new responsibility, to support Facility and Security Managers who need to quickly meet demands. With so much technology and advanced security systems available, all evolving at a rapid pace, it can be overwhelming knowing where to start.
This is set against turbulent economic uncertainty and the predicted “winter of discontent”, generating public protest and the real prospect of an increase in crime.
Whilst in times of plenty, when purchasing technology, immediate needs are often prioritized over future requirements. When budget and resource is stretched, a different mindset is required. It requires a long-term scalable view, where every investment and work programme is scrutinised far more closely. It is essential to build a strong case from the ground up.
When looking to amalgamate the lessons that have been learned from the pandemic with the new world, the significance and welcome return of exhibitions and events has been well documented.
Our security industry is proud to celebrate many opportunities for brands to get together to introduce and present latest technology systems and solutions. It’s fair to say, as an industry, we are good at utilising latest technology to offer high quality security and systems that can blend seamlessly into their environment, whilst ensuring they actively protect from crime.
These often benefit from advances in integration and cloud technology. Allowing end users to benefit from the opportunities such as remote monitoring from anywhere, at any time, via a mobile phone.
Delivering on these showcase products is dependent on having the right teams in place, to be available with customers for as long as required. But this is all set against a skilled shortage, where jobs don’t match the people and compounded with component and supply chain issues, affecting delivery dates and impacting on project delivery.
Whilst recruitment may not be the answer, we must work harder as an industry to provide partnerships that can support objectives such as safe and secure maintenance of office and home environments.
Returning to the new world, it means introducing a level of authenticity and attention is placed on the personal relationships where listening to and responding to individual needs is key to success.
Back to Basics
If we step back from all of this and consider what security is about then, essentially, it is concerned with protecting people and assets.
The “people” side can either be straightforward protection through to a far more complex picture of protecting the public and a wide range of different employees, for example in a major transport hub or retail development.
The “assets” element can also be complex, ranging from the protection of the physical buildings, to securing equipment, through to increasingly managing data, either on site or in the cloud.
There are undoubtedly some amazing security products available to tackle these issues and offer the real protection required. But in this noisy and complicated world, managing how to get the message out with a complex realm of communication channels available, to reach a targeted audience with specific systems to meet individual requirements, may be mis-understood.
Wall2Wall Group was established to help promote the solutions available. Acting as an add-on sales department, utilising 30 years of experience in the industry, its role is to understand the product, aligned with the end user requirements and invite the conversation.
Tying this together comes with connecting people, based on successful relationships to enhance the product offering and demonstrate the authentic capabilities of each service.
This means Wall2Wall Group, even as a start-up has been selective in who to work with and taken the time to understand the products in terms of features and benefits, alongside the installation and technical capability. We want to ensure we open the right doors, to those who want to push them. It’s not every door and it’s not to everyone. Hence Wall2Wall’s profile states that ‘if we like it, our customers are going to ‘love it!’
The company has grown exponentially, since it was established in July, highlighting the need in the market and the determination to add value.
In summary, the security industry itself is going through a dynamic period of change as we seek to understand new ways of working and embrace latest technologies, both physical and in the cloud. It’s fast paced and exciting, but also means we must keep at least one step ahead to ensure we can continue to offer the ultimate in safety and security for our customers.
The key to success is being open to adapting team works to introduce new ways of working, learning from within the industry and externally. The gap in the market that Wall2Wall Group has filled was clear to see to allow our industry to meet demand. And for me personally it was Steve Jobs who famously highlighted how the only way to do great work is to love what you do.
For more information, visit: www.wall2wallsecurity.co.uk
This article was originally published in the November 2022 edition of Security Journal UK. To read your FREE digital edition, click here.