training to understand the wiring nuances of their equipment. Also, the
suppliers program more systems than you could install in a year, and
you can benefit from that experience.
Of course, you must vet suppliers to ensure they have received prop-
er factory authorization from the equipment manufacturers (and model
numbers) they distribute. Always ask if they have more than one trained
programmer on staff.
You may argue that there is a high cost because you can’t afford to
send technicians to an out-of-town program. However, web-based train-
ing is an efficient and convenient method that you and your technicians
can use to acquire electrical codes and standards knowledge.
Creating the plan
As you create your strategic plan, determine what challenges may keep
you from reaching your goals. Careful and thoughtful planning before beginning an installation will best address your and your customers’ goals.
This thinking time will reveal better ways to attack the common and not-so-common issues that would affect the installation.
Your strategic plan must address quality. If you are integrating
more than one other system into the fire alarm system, thoroughly review the implications and ensure you know the right methods to make
the process seamless. That way, systems operate reliably and only
Obtain a copy of the most recent editions of NFPA 3, Recommended
Practice for Commissioning of Fire Protection and Life Safety Systems,
As you develop a strategic plan to ensure profitable growth as a
systems provider, include this training and collaboration effort. That ef-
fort will show customers your expertise and commitment to get the job
Finally, in your strategic thinking, review the methods that will allow
you to consistently deliver installations on time. The market is changing
rapidly. Anyone who does not take the time now to develop a strategic
plan for corporate and personal development virtually guarantees slower
growth. Without such a plan, you will most likely find yourself chasing
the competition rather than leading the field.
Although you live each day pressed for time, you need to take the
time to plan or pay the price in lost profits and reputation.
MOORE, a licensed fire protection engineer, frequent
speaker and an expert in the life safety field, is a principal
member and past chair of NFPA 72, Chapter 24. Moore is a
vice president with Jensen Hughes at the Warwick, R.I., office. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.