Efficiency strategies for installation businesses

SMART Surveillance 2023 Editor's Choice, Security Services & Risk Management

In South Africa, the demand for security installation services is on the rise. Speaking to hundreds of customers a month, we know first-hand that operating a security installation business can be challenging, especially when it comes to managing customers, people, processes and technology efficiently.

Charles Freedman.

Margins are in constant focus, whether you’re discounting to win business, or looking to increase profit. In this article, I’ll discuss five strategies that you can implement to improve your operational efficiency and increase your profitability.

Streamline your processes

Having a process doesn’t mean having a good process. Streamlining your process involves identifying inefficiencies in your current operations and finding ways to eliminate them. Start by mapping out your process on a board from the moment a customer reaches out to the moment they pay. Bring the team together to challenge each other on what can be cut or consolidated.

Think about the controls you need and your customer experience. You may want to consider automating certain tasks or using technology to improve your workflows. By streamlining your processes, you can save time and money, reduce errors, and improve customer satisfaction.

Invest in your people

Your people are your business. Making sure they have the right skills and tools to work smarter and not harder is a key lever for improving operational efficiency. This could include providing your teams with regular training on new technologies and products, as well as offering leadership and management training for your managers.

While it’s important that the team knows the technical elements of security installations, ask yourself, who (besides you), is thinking about how to run a better business. Investing in people improves their skills and knowledge, reduces turnover, and increases productivity.

Embrace technology

In a world where ChatGPT is passing MBA exams and we’re sending people to Mars, this one should be obvious. By embracing technology, you can automate your processes, improve your communication with customers, and increase your efficiency. You may want to consider using job management software tools to manage your jobs, track your inventory, and analyse your efficiency.

Accounting software helps you make sure you’re making money and not losing money on jobs and across your business. Payment portals help you get paid faster. FYI: using emails and WhatsApp is not embracing technology (see Streamline your processes above).

Focus on quality assurance

Getting it right the first time saves you doing it a second time. Building in checks and controls in your processes will reduce the risk of your teams getting it wrong, and customers getting upset. Your business is built on trust. Quality assurance can include regular quality checks, customer surveys, and feedback mechanisms. By focusing on quality assurance, you can improve your reputation, reduce rework, and increase customer loyalty.

Build strong relationships with suppliers

It’s impossible to stay on top of all the developments of security hardware and be an expert on all things. By developing long-term partnerships with your suppliers, you can benefit from their expertise and experience, as well as their economies of scale. This can help you to reduce your costs, improve your delivery times, and ensure that you have access to the latest technologies and products.

Running a security installation business in South Africa can be challenging, but by implementing these five strategies, you can improve your operational efficiency and increase your profitability. By streamlining your processes, investing in training and development, embracing technology, focusing on quality assurance, and building strong relationships with your suppliers, you can take your security installation business to the next level.

Charles Freedman is the CEO of ServCraft (www.servcraft.co.za), a South African-designed and built job management application for security installations and other field service businesses.

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