The National Systems Contractors Association (NSCA) has announced the winners of the 2016 Excellence in Business awards in five categories:
- Customer Experience: Tech Systems Inc., Duluth, GA
- Differentiating Strategies: Custom Alarm, Rochester, MN
- Employee Engagement: IMS Technology Services, Garnet Valley, PA
- Strategic Transformation: Wayne Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Orlando, FL
- Talent Development: Audio Acoustics Inc., Springfield, MO
“This year’s winners are an inspiring collection of integration firms,” said Chuck Wilson, executive director of NSCA. “We’ve never seen a more diverse group of award winners in terms of company size and scope of work. The information they will convey during the opening-night program will deliver so much value and set the stage for an incredible. The shifts these companies have made to achieve business goals, improve the customer experience, engage employees, and differentiate themselves are changes we can all learn from.”
This year’s Excellence in Business awards honor five systems integration firms in their efforts to adapt to the constantly changing industry:
Audio Acoustics Inc., winner in the Talent Development category, decided to re- evaluate hiring and training practices to improve retention of its well-trained technical staff. The company wanted to close skill-set gaps while remaining competitive. The result was a plan that changed employee attraction, hiring, and retention tactics; improved onboarding and training processes; and emphasized cross-training technicians. A new focus on hiring for stability and growth, and providing training through training videos, jobsite mentoring, and in-house training courses, has provided encouraging results, including an increase in full-time, permanently employed technicians.
Custom Alarm, winner in the Differentiating Strategies category, deals with emerging security technologies every day. But the company realized that its website was clunky and outdated – not making for a great first impression. To differentiate itself from the competition, Custom Alarm set out to create an interactive, fully responsive, aesthetically pleasing website. Working with a local web programming company, the redesign was a joint venture. Spending more than 360 hours on the project, Custom Alarm took the time to solicit feedback and add several user-friendly features per customer requests. The firm has seen a 30% increase in web traffic as a result, with a 60% increase in visits to the commercial security page when comparing month-over-month to the previous year.
IMS Technology Services, winner in the Employee Engagement category, was impacted by Keynote Mike Abrashoff’s presentation at the Business & Leadership Conference in 2015 so much that the company decided to shift its focus to empowering each team member to make decisions. To recognize employees for working so hard to achieve their goals in 2015, IMS Technology Services hosted its annual meeting at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field. The entire event was centered on the employees – not the company or its managers – which helped continue to build engagement and rapport.
Tech Systems, winner in the Customer Experience category, made several internal changes that positively impacted the customer experience. Developing a unique strategy for qualifying prospects to ensure value proposition on both sides, the company tracks every document, procedure, and process for consistency and quality. Despite an increase in service calls in 2015, success rate for response time, 100% functionality upon initial service call, and preventive maintenance schedules still improved, meaning that customers were more satisfied with the service they received. In 2015, Tech Systems also became a 100% employee-owned integrator. Every recommendation is heard, documented, and tracked through to resolution. Open-book management allows employees to engage with Tech Systems’ financial success. With a vested interest in company performance, employees are now more focused on customer service.
Wayne Automation Fire Sprinklers, winner in the Strategic Transformation category, was facing total revenues cut nearly in half, employee layoffs, and an 80% reduction in profits. Instead of giving up a few years ago, the company redefined what it wanted to be. Transitioning to a recurring revenue company, the company had to make several changes: defining which new construction work it would pursue, and articulating a recurring revenue growth strategy. In the last five years, ending Dec. 31, 2015, it has grown company-wide revenues by an average of 12% per year. More importantly, it has achieved the recurring business growth target by increasing profits by an average yearly rate of 16% per year over the past five years.
Award winners will be recognized at NSCA’s Business & Leadership Conference, Feb. 25-27, in Dallas, TX. Ron Gabory of Yorktel—Commercial Integrator’s Integrator of the Year—will join the winners as they share the critical steps they took, and the lessons they learned.