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
"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
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.”