24 March 2009
Cost-cutting has become one of the watchwords of today as a result of the global economic downturn.
But, warns Neil Gillespie, Training Manager of Elvey Security Technologies, slashing training and development budgets will erode the competitive advantage required now to retain business, and later to increase market share when the economic climate starts improving.
“Rather than cutting down on training, it makes sense to empower staff who will then be well-equipped to help you ride out the challenges of the changing economy and meet the demand that will follow at the end of the downturn,” he says.
Customers are always value-conscious, and never more so than in difficult financial times, notes the veteran industry trainer. “In tough periods, the companies that will survive will be those giving the best service and quality installations, coupled with strong product knowledge. The bottom line is that poorly-trained personnel chase customers into the arms of your competitors.”
Michael Brett, National Sales Manager at Elvey Security Technologies adds: “It’s a sad fact that some organisations are unable to compete in economic slowdowns. This paves the way for other entities to step into the breach created by their closure. In many instances, these new opportunities require staff development in order to realise their potential, which is where training becomes paramount.”
Aside from being a key tool with which to triumph above the current economic downturn, staff training is vital for security organisations hoping to win tenders. Explains Jack Edery ,CEO Of Elvey Security Technologies: ”I’m not only referring to the tenders that are being awarded around South Africa’s ongoing infrastructural development, but also those coming on the back of the country’s status as the host to major global events such as the Confederations Cup later this year and then the highly-anticipated 2010 Soccer World Cup. These events will require security to be beefed up everywhere: on roads and trains, at train stations and in stadiums, to mention but a few areas. Those who will be awarding these high-profile tenders will be looking for companies with accredited and well-trained personnel,” he points out.
“South Africa will be the focus of the world’s attention during these events, the success of which will hinge on properly installed and monitored CCTV (closed circuit television) and stadium access control systems,” Edery continues. “The technical demands of installing this equipment, in terms of both complexity and volumes, can only be met by highly-trained people who are sensitive to the challenges of monitoring the large crowds expected to attend the events. Should these systems fail to operate optimally, as a result of poor design or shabby workmanship, it could reflect badly on us as a country.”
Aware of the importance of being able to provide internationally-benchmarked training to its own personnel and the industry as a whole, Elvey Security Technologies joined forces with the acclaimed UK-based Tavcom Training Institute in 2005.
Since then, Elvey has taken its place as one of the country’s leading training providers, offering internationally-recognized certificates, Tavcom’s BTech programme and in-house technical training to players throughout the security sector.
Says Edery: “In these times of economic hardship, we must never lose sight of the fact that we have a perfect opportunity to empower ourselves. Good training will enable us to ride out this tough period on a wide surfboard of knowledge, so that when the seas calm down and the world’s economies stabilize, we will have used the worst of times to pave the way to a better future.”