It took only a glance into the Exhibit Hall of the Pennsylvania Convention Center last week to get a sense of modern policing. Booths of hundreds of exhibitors at the 2013 conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police filled the hall, with the air pierced routinely with bursts of simulated gunfire and sirens. Vehicles from the latest in patrol cars to high tech helicopters and mobile command centers drew lots of attention. Even more common than these “big ticket” items were firearms, the latest software applications (including CrimePad®), uniforms, and other gear.
Whether it is a million dollar mobile command center or a hundred dollar backpack, all these products have one thing in common – somebody in the organization needs to know or figure out how to buy it. It might seem that getting the buy-in to make the purchase might be the hard part. In some cases that’s true. Unfortunately, sometimes it easy the easiest part!
With budgets continuing to decline, technology can be a force multiplier and increase efficiency, effectiveness, or both. But those savings and other benefits will only be achieved if the purchase is made in the first place.
Getting buy-in will be addressed in another post. Let’s assume for now that there’s enough support at the right levels of your organization to support a purchase. Now the questions include is there sufficient funding and how do you run the internal wickets to close the deal? In law enforcement, the end users want to invest their time doing their jobs – making arrests, investigating crime scenes, conducting investigations. So, the people that need the product are not usually the ones that know the ins and outs of buying stuff.
Ideally, your rep for the particular product of interest will be at least a little bit familiar with how your organization or similar organizations do business. A little bit of homework will go a long way to closing the deal on that shiny new helicopter or whatever product you need to do your job better.
At Visionations, we’re with you all the way – from exploring CrimePad and trying it out to making the purchase, training, and integrating in your organization.