ISJ Exclusive: Going beyond traditional security

Boon Edam

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In this exclusive interview, Valerie Anderson, the newly appointed President of Boon Edam Inc. discusses her plans for the role.

What are your immediate plans in your new role?

In my earlier roles at Boon Edam Inc. here in the Americas, working with the business development team, I worked closely with customers which provided me with considerable insight about how our customers perceive value. In my new role as President, managing all facets of our commercial organisation, it’s important to share this insight with our operations teams. I am passionate about strengthening the integration of all facets of our commercial organisation. This will help us to provide a seamless experience that goes beyond product sales to a full solution that encompasses installation and support – a complete turnkey solution for the life of the product.

For our integrators, I want to instill the confidence that Boon Edam is here to support them with expertise in recommending the best entry solution and providing the installation and support that is needed. We are here to take the burden off our integrators so that they can focus on running their businesses and supporting multiple technologies. Ultimately, the goal is to provide our end users and our integrators with the best experience in the security industry.

How will your previous experience help you?

My previous experience at Boon Edam has helped me build a great foundation for my new role as President. During my nine-plus years of management, I was able to work within numerous areas of the organisation, giving me insight into many differing perspectives and their needs and challenges. Using this experience across sales and operations, I have immediately began working directly with all our departments to ensure we are functioning as a single business unit.

One of my biggest challenges as President of Boon Edam is protecting the position we have built in the market as the entry leader. In recent years we have done a phenomenal job at establishing our position as the security entrance experts, even with multiple competitors in this space. My mission here is to work with our business development managers to make sure that when they meet with each customer, they have the skills and expertise to be able to take a consultative approach to the sale. To do that, we must always understand the customer’s entire scope of need so we can find the best solution to their problems.

What makes Boon Edam unique from its competitors?

Boon Edam is not like most manufacturers in the security industry, for whom the product is the output of their work. For us, it’s the full customer experience that is the output of our work. Not only do we provide a product, but we truly move in step with our customers and partners, acting in a consultative role to ensure we are providing the right solutions to fit our customers’ needs.

For us, the sale is not the end of our interaction with the customer – it’s the beginning. Once the product is installed it’s important to ensure that all Boon Edam business departments follow through to help ensure success. We continue to stay in touch with each customer to see if we’ve met their expectations and to help them prepare for their future goals as their needs change.

There have actually been times where the customer wasn’t yet ready for a long-term solution. In that situation, we listen to them and provide them with a solution that is more appropriate to their current pain points. For us it is more important to understand their needs before trying to sell a product.

We never see ourselves as a manufacturer. Rather, we work as a solutions company – and the ultimate solution we provide is a kind of insurance for companies. The products and service we provide give the C-suite peace of mind knowing their people and buildings are protected.

Boon Edam
The Boon Edam team at GSX 2019

.Do you have any new product rollouts that you could tell us about?

As part of Boon Edam’s global strategy, Product Leadership is one of our core pillars of the company’s foundation. In the past year, we’ve launched a new pedestal called the Boost to accommodate larger card reading technologies for the Lifeline Swing optical turnstile. As part of the added consultative value we always want to deliver to the industry, we’ve also launched a new troubleshooting platform on our website that enables service technicians in the channel to get answers very quickly just by answering a few questions “yes” or “no.” And, we’ve launched a new Technology Centre in San Jose that showcases all of our products integrated with the latest access control systems, biometrics, camera and video surveillance technologies to name a few – all together showcasing total solutions to drive discussions on ROI, performance and metrics.

There are also some exciting new developments coming at the end of the year. We’ve been listening and hearing that customers want something smaller that still delivers security. I can’t really comment any further on this – but it’s definitely on our radar.

What can be done to increase the number of women in senior management roles in the security industry?

I think the best way to increase the number of women in senior management roles in the security industry is to collaborate with my peers in the industry and share my experience.

I am honoured to be a senior manager and business leader in this industry. It’s extremely humbling for me considering I started in the industry 16 years ago as a young adult in a sales support role. I still remember my very first trade show, where I thought, “What am I doing here? I am going to be eaten alive in this male-dominated industry.” As I gained more experience and became more passionate about security and what Boon Edam does to protect our customers’ assets, my work was no longer just a job, it was a passion. When you have a strong work ethic and passion for what you do, it changes how you approach your work. I quickly began teaching other employees and leading teams in our organisation to link them to Boon Edam’s impact in the security market.

I encourage my organisation to be leaders in everything they do, no matter your position; own the purpose of your work and you will find success. I offer this same advice to the women in our industry. The security industry is stable and growing and women who show their ability will continue to have opportunities.

What does the future roadmap look like for Boon Edam over the next three years?

Technology is growing and changing at a rapid pace, within the security industry and beyond. Our mission as a solutions provider is to leverage this evolution in every way possible. To that end, we are always researching new integrations with emerging technologies like credential verification systems, biometrics and access control, which provide rich data that can be measured to deliver meaningful insights.

We are always mindful that security is a cost centre, so we want to give our customers a solution that goes beyond security to help manage and optimise their business operations.

The future is exciting for Boon Edam. With our strong position in the security entrance market and our goals to continue to achieve product leadership, customer confidence and operational excellence, you will continue to see Boon Edam grow and transform to meet the changing security needs of our customers and the industry.

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