-1) An NSI or an SSAIB accredited company should be your starting point, same as looking for a Gas Safe approved plumber. Those companies have been audited and this is not a one off accreditation; this is a stringent twice a year on site audit, not just a membership. Also how long have they held the accreditation for? Passing on year 1 is not a proof quality. It takes time… but you can be assured that Clarion puts quality improvement at the heart of its business.
-2) Once you have identified three installation companies, check their website, case studies, and testimonials. Who they have worked for, in which areas and how long they have been in business are important pointers to help you decide whether the security providers you are putting your enquiry to are stable and reputable. Clarion will provide you with as many references as you may require, for the service you are looking for, for the system type in question or simply in your industry sector or geographical area. Security is serious business.
-3) You could also visit their premises, ask for a demonstration and ensure the installer is ready and equipped to deal with 24hr response. This requires a mobile stock and a team of on call engineers. Clarion has heard many stories of clients waiting months for parts but this is not the way we service our clients. A large secure stock room on our own premises and accounts across multiple distributors will never leave our customers with an sub-standard system.
-4) Make sure you understand their emergency call out service:- will they be available on Christmas Day as any other day? Will there be any extra charges? Many end-users select a security provider based on a cheaper maintenance contract but forget to add the potential cost of site visits. Once you have signed, you will have to pay those bills so don’t hesitate to question the process and small prints. Are they offering 24hr telephone support, thus giving you the opportunity to resolve a problem without incurring site visit costs? Are you better off appointing a company who charges less but likely to have to come out twice to fix the issue, or a company who excels at fixing the issues first time or over the phone, and charges a little more? This is typical of what our clients have experienced, and an hourly rate is only worth considering once you know how efficiently that time is going to be used. Clarion engineers have been with the team many years and have the necessary experience to deal with most technical issues autonomously. Should this not be sufficient, a second and third line of back up are available out of hours to the team managers.
-5) Also, very importantly, you must check the financial stability of your potential providers. A security installer should be with you and your business for the long-haul and credibility also comes from a quick credit check. How long have they been in business? Any CCJ’s? Any failed business ventures before that directorship? Are they likely to be here next year? Looking for a partner rather than a supplier is probably a more appropriate definition of a security installer. Think about your accountant or your insurance broker rather than just another supplier to add to your list of overheads! Clarion ethos is to be professional all the way, starting at pre-appointment selection.
Be very selective with your provider. Unfortunately Security is usually perceived as a grudged purchase but there is nothing better than prevention through the appointment of an established professional partner like Clarion.