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What we learned from COVID-19: part two

Security professionals across Canada share their pandemic experiences and learning opportunities


December 9, 2020
By SP&T Staff
PHOTO: Adobe Stock

It goes without saying that this has been a challenging and in many ways exhausting year.

Everyone, regardless of their profession, title, company or industry, has had to adapt to new circumstances and in many cases learn new skills.

SP&T News reached out to security service providers, vendors, integrators and monitoring professionals and asked them to provide some insight into what they have learned during the pandemic.

We asked them to tell us how they have adapted to meet their employees’ and clients’ needs and this is what they shared with us.

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Carl Jorgensen, president, Titan Products Group

Adopting a “new norm” in 2020 has proven to be very challenging in our personal and professional lives.

The uncertainty of economic stability and social limitations has left us living our lives day by day. However, it has also opened the doors of opportunity so we can attempt to create new realities. Realizing trends and creating new effective and relevant processes is paramount for business continuity.

Titan Products Group has modified our business processes to connect with our customers — relationships are key to our success. Virtual meeting and online collaboration tools have been integrated into our sales process for qualifying and discovery so we can be extremely productive with compliance and negotiation. Increased return on time invested (ROTI) was the result of utilizing virtual communication methods because of social distancing and government guidelines. This has proven to be good for our business.

Roger Miller, president, Northeastern Protection Service

As a service provider and employer resident we were forced to learn quickly how to operate in a COVID environment. First and foremost was protecting our employees so we could maintain service delivery to our clients.

News coverage of the pandemic was omnipresent. Discerning accurate information from propaganda became a challenge so we relied heavily on the provincial and federal public health officers for clear, accurate, up-to-date information. As their directives changed, we learned to pivot and adapt to the changes. One example of this is the wearing of masks. Initially masks were not being recommended so we didn’t adopt that step. But as masks became required, we adjusted.

Clear communication with employees, clients and suppliers to ensure we were meeting each other’s safety needs was critical to our continued work flow. Submitting COVID screening forms became the status quo for our service team. We are now about eight months into the pandemic and I have to congratulate each member of the Northeastern team for exceeding client expectations daily. Our pandemic plan has so far been successfully tested in real-time and met our expectations.

Greg Harman, regional director of sales, StoneLock

COVID-19 has transformed the preconceived notion that virtual conferencing is a detriment to successful business relationships. Throughout the last seven months, StoneLock’s adaptation to online engagement has paved the way for quality and timely interactions with customers around the globe. The collaboration that used to occur in-person on a yearly basis is now facilitated virtually on a monthly or even a bi-weekly basis. This feedback loop has created a faster iteration process to provide exactly what our customers need in a significantly expedited manner. Our ability to communicate more efficiently, execute faster, and build strong relationships virtually have far surpassed expectations.

COVID-19 has been a reminder to our team at StoneLock that, at the end of the day, providing security technology that addresses the prevalent needs of family and friends is what keeps us developing innovative products that address real-world security problems.

Keith D’Sa, country manager – Canada, Axis Communications

Like many others, Axis Communications has shifted to remote work, employees and partners balancing their personal and professional lives. We have adjusted well to this virtual world because our focus has been on four pillars: people and culture; processes; technology tools; and phased planning.

Axis prides itself on its culture. We have worked to stay connected with our people including weekly Fika’s (Swedish for coffee break) and socials. We look for ways to engage and motivate employees through sharing a purpose for the organization and a supportive environment. We also take the extra step and use video during our calls to help us stay connected with each other. Some employees have seen incredible changes in their roles; some of our sales team are taking to blogging and others are learning new responsibilities.

Working remotely is still work and sometimes one forgets that. I would say that although it can be draining and difficult — take some time for yourself and encourage your colleagues to do the same to help maintain a good work-life balance. This pandemic is not going anywhere for now, so it’s best to get comfortable and prepare for the long race.