The Best and Worst of 2015, According to NSCA

December 29, 2015

ADec29-images the year winds down, we took a few moments to reflect on the great things that happened in our industry in 2015, as well as some of the things we’re happy to leave behind us.

And as a treat for reading to the end, we’re also sharing what we’re looking forward to most in the New Year. Happy (almost) 2016!

Best of 2015:

  • The PASS K-12 launch, and the great work this organization is doing to improve school security across the nation. PASS might well be the most important mission that NSCA has ever undertaken.
  • The NSCA Technical Assessment Tool. Finally, a great way to screen new employees and promote technical employees using industry-/peer-developed skills and knowledge assessments.
  • Our 2015 Business & Leadership Conference (BLC) was the best ever. We came away from that event with record attendance and the highest-ranked instructor evaluations ever.
  • The Project Contribution Tool. This simulator ranks right up there with one of the most valuable member benefits we’ve ever developed.
  • Learning about R&D tax credits that we simply didn’t know could benefit our members as significantly as they do.
  • The Integration Business Survival Conference regional events in San Francisco and Annapolis, MD. We were able to connect with so many members in the smaller setting, which lead to great conversations.
  • ESPA now has 300 students in its EST training program; indications show that we should have around 500 next year. This year was the best ever for ESPA.

Worst of 2015:

  • Losing so many great friends: a former board member, a great writer, an NSCA founding member, a legendary systems integrator, and several key leaders within our industry. They will all be missed, but never forgotten.
  • Licensing battles causing uncertainty and confusion. Time will tell, but the losing battles to large corporate technology interests and lobbyists in key states could cause a major unraveling of the low-voltage and specialty licenses we carry.
  • What seems like a harmless recruitment website – Glassdoor – has turned into a place where disparaging remarks from disgruntled former employees damages member companies’ reputations.
  • Continued erosion of margin and undervaluing ourselves. Let’s hope that, with the new tools we’ve developed, this trend has bottomed out and our members better understand the breakeven number they need to manage.
  • Some NSCA members are still struggling with bid projects and the many complications of managing complex projects without proper oversight.

Looking Forward to 2016:

  • Ignite! The new program developed by the NSCA Education Foundation to “spark an interest in technology” within high school STEM curriculum and in technical schools.
  • The 2016 Business & Leadership Conference, with sessions and presentations that we know will be amazing.
  • The new employee onboarding program – C-SIP – which will be unveiled at BLC 2016.
  • Education programs focused on helping integrators use the PASS K-12 guidelines and assessment tools
  • The LEAD assessment program, and evaluating members on best practices. This evaluation process determines where a company stands in terms of leadership, and translates vision into action as a result of strategic planning and establishing goals.
  • An exciting new twist and new theme to the regional conference in Q4 2016.
  • The Project Contribution Tool becoming more widely used as a method of determining the “minimum mark” on installed systems.
  • Much more to come from NSCA on the shift to services, cloud, hosted and hybrid solutions, and helping members become their clients’ trusted advisors.

NSCA wishes you a prosperous 2016!  -Chuck Wilson, NSCA Executive Director

Image by Stuart Miles


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