What Keeps Integration Company Leaders Up at Night?

Planning sessions for NSCA’s Business & Leadership Conference involves taking a firsthand look at integrators’ biggest challenges.

Tom LeBlanc Leave a Comment
What Keeps Integration Company Leaders Up at Night?

The 2023 Business & Leadership Conference in Dallas, taking place February 28 to March 2, marks the 25th time NSCA has brought together integration company leaders to discuss the industry's biggest challenges.

NSCA doesn’t want to waste your time. Our goal as a trade association supporting integration companies is to help them be successful, and wasting an integration company leader’s time would be contrary to that. 

When we invite integrators to attend our annual Business and Leadership Conference (BLC) — this year’s is February 28 to March 2 in Irving, Texas — we want to make sure that it’s an extremely valuable use of their time. The formula is simple: Plan keynotes and general sessions that matter to integrators. The process for identifying those topics is even simpler: Ask integration company leaders what’s keeping them up at night. 

NSCA’s Board of Directors is made up entirely of integration company leaders. Here, four of them share insight on their most pressing priorities: 

Finding Focus Amid Chaos 

Chaos and potential distraction seem to live behind every door and around every corner. As leaders, we are left to determine which challenge, conversation or task we should complete next. (That’s not to mention our never-ending to-do list, which includes ideas from employees, our personal goals, requests from customers, and day-to-day business-operations elements.) 

It’s easy to become overwhelmed as you try to make everyone happy at the expense of what your business needs. Taking on everything at once is where risk begins. With each small distraction, you lose focus and let things get away from you. You’re busy, but you’re not accomplishing things. You’re trying to fix every problem without having a specific focus, which can put everything that your teams and you have worked for at risk, leaving your company behind where it could or should be. — Kyle Habben, Electronic Contracting Company (ECC), an NSCA Board of Directors member  

Understanding How to Evolve with Customers’ Needs 

The pandemic impacted the entire world, but it also opened a window of opportunity for our industry. We emerged running headlong into the need to address new technology demands to help the workplace function smoothly. As employees returned to workplaces, they desired collaboration tools like the ones they used at home (e.g., Microsoft Teams, Zoom) — namely, platforms that are easy to use and that support meeting equity. Organizations had to step up to meet these employee demands. 

Good sellers learned how to respond to prospects and customers, meeting clients where they are in their workplace evolution. In many cases, this meant talking to new chief digital transformation officers or chief experience officers who create today’s digital employee experiences. Together, we’re enabling a new generation of workers who want the flexibility to work from home, but who also require social workspaces. Don Mastro, AVI Systems, an NSCA Board of Directors member 

Empowering Financial Leadership 

Now more than ever, we need to remain focused on our financial leadership to make the right decisions to guide our companies through the next year. Inflation, interest rates, a possible recession, supply-chain challenges, COVID-19, a shortage of talented workers and numerous other factors (war, climate change, etc.) are taking their toll on the integration industry and our capacity to manage uncertainty. Laurie MacKeigan, Backman Vidcom, an NSCA Board of Directors member 

Leading Through Turmoil  

In the face of confusion and chaos, we all know the consequences of giving in to panic. What we don’t necessarily consider are the costs of compromising on our values and cutting corners on our commitment to one another. If I’ve learned anything from the challenges of steering ClearTech through three years of turmoil, it’s this: Our principles and core values aren’t mere “nice to haves.” Instead, they’re the glue that keeps us together and provides the strength we need to remain a team. Christina DeBono, ClearTech, the NSCA Board of Directors’ treasurer 

It’s thanks to insights from NSCA Board members and integrators in the NSCA community that we’re able to put on BLC sessions that, we hope, will make an impact on integrators’ businesses. 

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