Today’s security entrances can last 10 years or more, so your organization can go years without installing a single new entrance. This fact alone intensifies your need for a great experience during the buying process and beyond, so that you are assured the right entrance to meet your needs for years to come. How do you better your chances for such a great experience? Take a look at how invested the company is in staffing and expertise. Here are 10 factors a manufacturer should offer to create a stellar 360-degree customer experience. 


Global Network. Can the manufacturer deliver a premium service experience and quality entrance solutions on a global scale? Such a company will have manufacturing facilities around the world in strategic locations as well as subsidiaries and partners. Is there only one factory in China? How long does product delivery take compared to a regional/local manufacturing plant, and how much of a premium is there on shipping everything from overseas?


Personal Consultant. Most manufacturers have regional sales/business development managers, and that person is your initial main point of contact. Look for a manufacturer that has a large number of direct employees (not manufacturers’ reps) in this role that have small territories so you get the attention you deserve. They can help you determine the right entrance for your specific security needs and even conduct a site walk in person. Through the installation and beyond, you get a single point of contact to address your overall concerns vs. waiting on hold.


Accurate Order Fulfillment. The best firms have an inside sales/customer service team to manage your entire order from PO to shipment directly within the manufacturing facility. Ask if you will be assigned a dedicated representative that will communicate with you proactively, check your order for accuracy, liaise on your behalf internally about customizations, and keep you updated on production lead times and shipping timelines.


Durable Product & Fast Delivery. A manufacturer with a factory that shares the same continent with you has several advantages. They employ highly trained assembly technicians and source materials locally (lower costs than importing and lower carbon footprint). They also can conduct quality assurance in-house and will have better control over the finished product. Finally, you get faster lead times and lower freight costs.


Trouble-Free Installation. Is there an in-house installation management team that works to ensure no surprises come up during the product installation? The best such teams will walk you through the scope of work so you are aware of exactly what the installation process entails. They also prepare the onsite contractors and installers to receive and properly install the entrance solution. Isn’t that a load off your mind that you have an entire team overseeing your installation?


Installation Verified for Quality. The best companies will have a team of field service technicians based around the country who are available, upon request, to check each entrance, after installation, for proper operation. The technician can also verify the entrance integrates properly with other components of the building, e.g., fire alarms and access control systems.


Fast Resolution Time & Parts Fulfillment. How quickly can you get your issue resolved while potentially hundreds of people are being diverted to another entrance? Ask for an organizational chart for the Technical Support department: it should be robust, indicating investment in expertise and customer satisfaction. If there are only a few people, they are likely to be wearing multiple hats and stretched too thin. Ask if they measure their same-day call resolution percentage and parts fulfillment percentage – if they measure this, it shows a mature organization, and the percentage should be over 90 percent.   


Knowledgeable Service Partners. The last thing you want is the repair call where, upon arrival you hear; “I’ve never seen this type of turnstile/door before.” Where is the nearest service partner located? What kind of technical training resources does the manufacturer provide to educate and certify its service partners? Is there a dedicated full-time role or staff that educates and certifies the installer on the solution you’ve selected? The goal of the best training programs must be to prepare local partners for flawless installation. Does the maker offer training for installers to perform ongoing entrance maintenance and repairs?


Minimal Disruptions. Look for some kind of preventive maintenance plan. It’s an optional service that brings in-house factory expertise to your site to perform annual and bi-annual maintenance checks on your entrance. Planned preventative maintenance (PPM) ensures the longevity of your asset for maximum ROI. Confirm what type of preventative maintenance resources the manufacturer offers.


Standardization for Efficiency. With top, global manufacturers, you can save money, decrease time spent on training, and improve efficiency by planning and executing the same, high-quality product line to all your building locations around the world. Being able to standardize on one manufacturer across your entire organization is a huge advantage in cost- and time-savings.


The above ten factors represent a comprehensive checklist of what you need to ask about and evaluate in choosing the best manufacturer for an increasingly vital component of any building:  the security entrance. This checklist will help ensure you pick the very best maker for your needs so that you are delighted long after your entrance has been installed.