As Dallas-based Master Video Systems (MVS) searched for additional project managers and technicians to work on specific projects, the company was also looking for industry-specific guidance on job descriptions and payment structures so it could be competitive in the market.
After contacting NSCA, MVS discovered a few different resources to help determine appropriate and attractive compensation levels. Instead of doing broad-brush searches, the company was able to go right to industry-specific data to make decisions.
Accessing Industry-Specific Data
First, the company accessed the Essentials Online Library. “We reviewed the sales plans and organizational staffing information there,” says Brandon Lawshe, vice president of MVS. “It was a great, industry-specific way to make sure we weren’t getting off course.”
This online resource – available to NSCA members – offers more than 650 documents covering topics like sales, estimating, operations, project management, accounting, contracts, technology, installation, and codes and standards. Lawshe utilized the information he found on the Essentials Online Library to get a better idea about what his company should plan for in terms of compensation.
“The hardest thing is starting from scratch with some of these items,” says Lawshe. “Many of the forms and documents trigger ideas so we can take the basic information available and expand on it to make it our own.”
The Essentials Online Library is a resource that offers value to any type or size of integration firm. MVS, for example, is an established integrator that opened its doors more than 65 years ago. But smaller, newer firms can also find useful information to help lay a solid foundation – without having to reinvent the wheel every time something new needs to be created.
Deciding on Salary
Next, Lawshe turned to NSCA’s Compensation & Benefits Report, which tracks and benchmarks compensation and benefits data for a variety of key positions – including technical and administrative roles – within the industry.
“It’s a back-check to be able to say, ‘This is the fair market value we need to offer to attract and retain employees,’ ” says Lawshe. “It serves as a basis so we can compare what we’re doing against the industry when it comes to compensation.”
As the company maps out growth initiatives and plans, MVS finds value in another NSCA resource as well: the Financial Analysis of the Industry. Lawshe says the report “helps MVS take an in-depth look at integrator operations and dynamics to better understand the company’s financial health. It also helps us decide where to focus our business strategy in terms of market verticals.”