From Technician to Sales: Richard McKinney’s Career Story and How it has Evolved | 3Sixty Integrated

Richard Mckinney smiling in front of a 3Sixty Integrated truck. In this blog we discuss his career story

Richard McKinney is a Senior Technical Account Executive at 3Sixty Integrated. Throughout his 13 years at the company, he has worked his way from a service technician role, to engineering and sales. In this interview, we discuss Richard’s career story and how he developed his expertise in the industry. Richard also provides insight into what drives his passion for the field and how his job has allowed him to make a lasting impact.

Question: Tell us about your career story and how you connected with 3Sixty Integrated. 

Richard: “How I got into the security industry was really by accident; it wasn’t anything that I was set out to do. It all happened by chance. 

I started with an electrical company, a small mom-and-pop shop, and worked there for about two years. When it eventually went under, my friend recommended me to a security company that was hiring. That’s how I got into security. 

It was a challenging position with lots of travel all over Texas, and after working there for about three years, I decided I wanted a position that would allow me to stay around the San Antonio area. That’s when I learned about 3Sixty Integrated, and the rest is history. This year marks my 13th year with the company. So in total, I’ve been in the security industry for 15 1/2 years.”

From entry-level to veteran security professional, that’s quite a journey. How would you describe your journey? 

Richard: “I started as a tech for 3Sixty Integrated and, from there, moved into a service role for a few years. For about five of those years, I was spending the majority of my time at one of our largest clients, University of Texas at San Antonio, running the installation jobs and taking care of any service work coming through. We did a lot of work with them back in the day.

Through that work, I was able to familiarize myself with the industry. I eventually gained enough knowledge to begin building quotes, then later transition fully into an engineering and design role.” 

What was the biggest challenge for you to go from tech to design and engineering? 

Richard: “The biggest challenge for me was having the weight of creating a solution on my shoulders and understanding that the design was my responsibility. When you’re a tech, you’re essentially just following orders and implementing a solution. As an engineer though, you’re responsible for understanding how all the components coordinate and piece together. 

Transitioning into design and engineering, I definitely had to adjust to the fact that if a solution didn’t work, it fell back on me. 

I eventually settled into my new role and responsibilities, and after a few years in design and engineering, I grew in my skill sets and was fortunately promoted to lead the department. After five years, however, I was interested in finding an additional challenge in the industry. Most recently, I am excited to transition my knowledge into a more sales-oriented role. Using my background in engineering, I feel I can serve clients in a dynamic and strategic way.” 

With your impressive background, how do you adjust your approach when designing security technology with different customers in your new sales role? 

Richard: “When working with security technology, customers may have different requirements depending on their infrastructure or specific security threats. Although they may need similar systems, we must consider the overall picture of their situation before implementing any technology. 

For example, most access control systems have similar static elements such as: card readers, request to exits, servers and boards. So although it’s the same system, depending on the customer’s needs and different programming requirements, we adjust our approach to fit accordingly.

With my background in engineering, one of the biggest differences I can make is being able to understand the depth of each unique programming requirement and implement those effectively across each vertical. Now, working on the sales side, I can help guide customers to approach their security plan with a full-scope perspective.” 

3Sixty Integrated has a comprehensive framework to guide clients throughout the security design and implementation process. How do you utilize that framework?

Richard: “Yes, we call our comprehensive framework our proven process. At the first meeting with a new client, it’s all about understanding them. What do they currently have, what are their goals, and how can we help them get there?

From there, I like to provide a virtual design. So typically, I’ll hop on a Team’s call and we’ll go through the plan and place all the devices digitally. This helps the client visualize what’s happening and participate in the process. 

The challenge is that there’s always a person sitting on the other side of the table who has no clue how security works. They’re about to make a huge investment, and if you don’t have the right information, it’s not an easy decision to make. 

So I like to get in there, find those people, and help them make that decision.” 

What type of security projects excite you the most? 

Richard: “I really like the projects people are scared to go after. Once we build a strong relationship with a client and understand where they want to go with their security infrastructure, we can work as a team and either succeed or fail together.

Since most security projects bring their own unique set of challenges to the table, it becomes a fun problem-solving endeavor for me to help each client. Typically, the client just gives me their list of requirements and I get to be creative with how I execute a comprehensive solution custom to their needs. Our ability to do this sets us apart from our competitors and builds retention with those we do business with.” 

How do you build strong relationships with clients? 

Richard: “The tightest relationships we have with our clients are those we have done workshops with. It’s something that we offer our clients that other companies don’t even consider. During a workshop with a client, we dive deep into their root security pain points, identify strategic solutions and outline a path for how to achieve their future security initiatives. 

During our in-house workshops we partner together and focus collectively on solving unique challenges. In addition, we process their long-term security goals and ultimately learn more about their organization and their objectives. 

These workshops provide an opportunity to collaborate at a higher level and result in a deeper client-integrator relationship. Many other integrators would not invest their time into these types of conversations, therefore missing out on true solutions and only providing customers with piecemeal quick fixes. 

I am very excited to focus my efforts on client relationships moving forward, so I can bring the most value possible to each organization. I am grateful to have learned so much throughout my career and look forward to using my background to support future clients.” 

3Sixty Integrated is a Texas-based systems integrator that specializes in the design, installation, and maintenance of physical security technology. We partner with organizations who want to streamline their electronic security infrastructure. Additionally, as a division of The Cook & Boardman Group, 3Sixty Integrated and our sister branches have a nationwide reach and over 65 years of experience offering total opening solutions, from custom doors, frames and hardware to security integration technology. Contact us today to discover how we can help your organization find the most effective security solutions.