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Custom Alarm: Training for Success from Day One

Posted By Jeaneen Bengtson, Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, February 18, 2014

At Custom Alarm, employee education is the key to success. Since 1968, the Rochester, Minnesota-based security integration and monitoring company has focused on developing and maintaining well-rounded employees through on-going training efforts.

From the first day on the job, Custom Alarm employees are enveloped in a comprehensive training program. Not only will the new employee receive necessary training on a specific skill set relating to his or her job, but he or she will also observe the functions and roles within all other departments, such as monitoring and billing. This inclusive program was implemented to help new employees cultivate an understanding of each role in the company. New technicians take part in a three-month orientation period. During this time, new technicians must complete an observational checklist as well as formal training and a supervised solo installation.

In addition to their own training program, Custom Alarm began integrating courses from the ESA's National Training School (NTS) into their training and education program after learning about NTS at ESX a couple of years ago.

"We got involved with NTS after reviewing the curriculum,” said Custom Alarm Chief Operating Officer Melissa Brinkman. "We thought it would be valuable to have the certification and credentials that the CAT Level 1 would provide.”

Since then, many of the technicians at Custom Alarm have successfully completed the Certified Alarm/Security Technician Level 1 (CAT Level 1) training course. This 22-hour foundational course has provided Custom Alarm technicians with the knowledge and skill set to produce more efficient, higher quality work. Technicians at Custom Alarm that have completed course work through NTS are pleased with the skills they’ve learned.

"The technicians have added confidence in what they do because they went through the formal classes,” said Brinkman. "NTS taught them some better ways to do their jobs and be more efficient. It also gives them more credibility as they have certifications to back up their knowledge and skills.”

In the future, Custom Alarm plans to take full advantage of the courses offered by NTS.

"We are working toward having all technicians certified through NTS,” said Custom Alarm Operations Manager Jeff Springer. "One of our focuses is to have our technicians certified to the level and area in which their primary responsibilities lie.”

Because Custom Alarm has a wide selection of products, Custom Alarm provides in-house product-specific training for employees. In-house training is comprised of classes taught by Custom Alarm project managers, product vendors, distributors and manufacturers. This type of training is considered to be beneficial to both the technicians at Custom Alarm and vendors.

"We rely on the product vendors to provide support when a new product is introduced to our company,” said Springer. "They are eager to come to our office and conduct on-going training with our staff. They see the benefit of having educated and trained dealers selling and installing their products.”

The education and training efforts both in-house and through NTS have had a major impact on the success of Custom Alarm.

"Our training and education program has had a very positive effect on our employees and company as a whole,” said Springer. "Our people are our greatest resources. We have invested in them throughout the years and our company and customers have benefited from that in immeasurable way.”

Tags:  Custom Alarm  NTS  Training 

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