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Paul Spruiell

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December 4, 2020

Are we compatible?

You’re probably already thinking this blog is about your cameras vs. NVR or access control vs. video system integration. Sadly, I think we all know these pitfalls as many articles have been written about it or you have already experienced the dreaded “sorry” this product won’t work with this product while your install is underway thus delaying your project and possibly adding additional costs.

But compatibility goes further than just the products you decided upon. Compatibility “a state in which two things are able to exist or occur together without problems or conflict”. This process starts with the vetting of your integrators and finding that perfect compatibility you’re looking for. Similar to dating before jumping into a full-fledged relationship and possibly a long-term marriage, no one wants to make the wrong decision. This is not just for the professional responsibility of selecting the right vendor partner, but this investment is one that individuals take very personally as the key to their personal success.

Salesperson after salesperson, meeting after meeting, demo after demo, I am asking industry peers their thoughts. Do I issue an RFP and just take the lowest price bid? And if I do that, will I then suffer the lack of compatibility with said company that is responsible to perform to my company’s standards? And to make me the hero for having selected them? Most of you can probably relate to all of these thoughts and actions when trying to choose the right security integrator for your business.

We at NAVCO follow the same process for the products we represent and the vendors we chose to have a relationship with and yet still, a lot of times it still comes down to compatibility for us as an organization. At NAVCO we ask a lot of the same questions you would ask of your integrator. We just do so with our customer needs in mind. Is this a quality product? Are they offering new features we can’t get from our existing product line? Is the vendor and the representative trustworthy? What does the manufacturer warranty look like? What is our investment in our field personnel to make them “experts” on the products we represent?

Having an expert team is key to so many variables. As an integrator, being a jack of all trades and master of none serves no one. We often ask “why would we bring another CCTV or Access Control line to our offerings just because it was on the latest RFP” if we know nothing about the product? One might say we limit ourselves by not having a wider product offering. But we look at it differently. We are offering a quality product that we stand behind and our proof is in our 1.1 Trips to Resolution service call resolution average, meaning 90 percent of the time we fix a down system on our first trip. It is a measurable key performance indicator that we take a lot of pride in. And not one that you can maintain if you are installing subpar equipment and not installing it correctly.

NAVCO’s company values of Teamwork, Respect, Quality, Integrity, Responsibility and Honesty is not just a poster on a wall somewhere. Its the lifeblood of making NAVCO a great place to work. Being in business for nearly 50 years has given us the opportunity to continue to grow and refine our capabilities while also remaining consistent to our customer’s expectations. Approaching every potential new client during the vetting process is a two-way street and always should be. NAVCO might not be compatible for the customer’s needs and the customer’s needs might not be compatible to NAVCO.

Understanding the needs and expectations of your customers’ is extremely important to having and maintaining a healthy relationship. And building the trust that we will be an expert team from sale, to installation, to service. And hopefully in the end they don’t want a divorce…

Paul Spruiell – Paul Spruiell has been with NAVCO since 1992 and has held every field position at NAVCO from Technician to Installer. In 2015, Paul was promoted to the Vice President of Group Operations for the West, a title he still holds today. Paul developed NAVCO’s National Dispatch Center in Alpharetta, GA and currently oversees the quality of customer service NAVCO delivers every day.  He also was key in the creation, development and implementation of our field service platform that optimizes our scheduling resources, boosts efficiency, and helps us deliver top-notch service to our customers.