Poole, 8th August 2017 - Integrated security manufacturer TDSi’s Distribution Channel Manager, Andy Cross, is celebrating 30 years in the security industry. Andy’s career has seen the physical security industry evolve from largely insular and siloed systems to modern integrated IP solutions.
Reflecting upon his varied experiences in the security industry, Andy commented, “It is almost unbelievable how much things have changed in three decades. The evolution of technology is obvious, but the way people choose and buy their security systems has changed too. No longer are some customers simply looking to make a ‘grudge’ purchase of a single costly solution, these systems are now at the heart of the Internet of Things and a wider connected world.”
Although Andy’s focus has shifted towards sales, he was also an installer for many years, “I have seen both sides and it gives you a better understanding of the market and the professionals that service it. Whilst solutions must offer excellent value for money and fit the security strategy, it’s also vital that they are practical to install and commission, so it helps to understand both elements properly!”
Andy’s career, which saw him move into sales in 2005 and head up distribution at TDSi late last year, started from very humble beginnings as an apprentice with Chubb. “I had built a burglar alarm as a school project and when I left school a Youth Training Scheme put me forward for an apprenticeship at Chubb. The interviewer was so impressed with my handiwork that they offered me the apprenticeship!”
Having trained as a security installer, Andy describes how things have changed in 30 years, “It was very labour intensive back then, but lots of skills are still needed to be successful now. As well as physical installation, modern installers need to understand IP technology and must overcome IT challenges too. Overall however, installation time is faster now with wireless technology and advanced integration.”
Andy is also clear on the challenges the industry faces for the future, “We need to attract new talent to the industry and retain it – so apprenticeships are still a vital part of this. The pace of change seems to be even more rapid and further integration with IT and Health & Safety systems will bring fresh challenges and opportunities.”
Andy concluded, “I have had a fantastic first 30 years in security and like many of my peers I have many interesting and amusing stories to tell. But most importantly, the security industry is vital to all parts of our society and economy, so I look forward to being part of what is to come in the future too.”