Central Monitoring values consistency

Written protocols, like checklists and manuals, help create accountability
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Monday, November 16, 2015

ALBANY, Ga.—Judy Randle, president of Central Monitoring, gave alarm dealers advice on creating consistency through checklists and manuals at this year’s Honeywell CONNECT, in the session “Run your business like a franchise: Why policies, processes and procedures are important.”

The benefit is that franchises—Randle gave chain restaurants as an example—can make customers feel more comfortable because they’ll be getting the same products and service at any location. An alarm company can use checklists to achieve that consistency.

“The processes and procedures are important,” Randle told Security Systems News. “If everybody’s doing it differently, then the customer’s not getting that common, comforting experience,” she said.

“When a technician goes into someone’s home, we want them to check everything … but we also want to make sure that they cleaned up their work area, and they left information with the customer, and took the time to thank the customer.”

These steps can be forgotten sometimes, Randle said, especially when a technician is in a hurry. “Checklists don't mean we don’t know how to do it, it just means that we have so much else going on,” she said. An attendee pointed out that the goal is to manage the processes, not the people.

Checklists and manuals “definitely” create accountability, Randle said, which is another key benefit. They present employees with written examples of what’s expected of them.

When first creating checklists, Randle advised companies to start by documenting tasks they do daily, as those are often the most important. After that, gradually move on to tasks that are less frequent—perhaps weekly, then monthly duties.

Central Monitoring started as a wholesale central station in 1984; Randle became a partner in 1991. Central Monitoring became a full-service alarm company in 2000.

The company has 15,000 accounts, she said—about two thirds are wholesale, the rest are Central Monitoring customers. The company monitors in 14 states in the Southeast.

This story is part of a Women in Security special report. For the seventh consecutive year, Security Systems News is highlighting women who are making their mark in the traditionally male-dominated world of security.