Security Systems News

JUL 2018

Security Systems News is a monthly business newspaper that reaches 25,100 security installers, product distributors, central stations, engineers & architects, and security consultants. Our editorial coverage focuses on breaking news in all major se

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Head briefs ADS makes second buy in Miss. in same month By Spencer Ives L A N C A S T E R , P a . — S e l e c t S e c u r i t y i n e a r l y J u n e announced a variety of acqui- sitions, one in New Jersey, one in New Mexico, and two in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas. In New Jersey, the company acquired Garden State Fire & Security, based in Matawan, N.J. With this transaction Select bought more than 2,500 accounts, with an even 50/50 mix between residential and commercial accounts, and the company gains an office in New Jersey. "The addition of Garden State Fire & Security to our organization brings lots of opportunity for Select Security as we continue to grow in the region," Patrick Egan, Select's founder and CEO, said in the acquisition's announcement. "Michael Ash Sr. spent years building an excellent company and we are excited to expand on what he and his team have built in this growing market." In the Southwest, S e l e c t p u rc h a s e d A r m e d R e s p o n s e Team in Albuquer- que, N.M., Universal Electronics in Dallas- Fort Worth, Texas, and a bulk purchase of select accounts from DFW Security, also in Dallas-Fort Worth. Collectively, these purchases added about 10,000 accounts to Select's total base and also included full-service branches in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Albuquerque markets. "Our purchases in New Mexico and Texas mark our official entry into the region with full-service branch opera- tions in those areas," S t e v e F i r e s t o n e , president of Select Security, told Secu- rity Systems News in an email interview. "As with any deal, t h e re a re s e v e r a l variables that help us decide whether or not to pursue the oppor- tunity, including the health of the business and its customer base, our potential for growth in the market, and how well it fits within our current trade areas." Firestone continued, "In cases like this, where we have well-run organizations with an established and loyal cus- tomer base, and what we see as a growth market, we felt com- fortable including it into our expansion plans. We've proven that with our focus and disci- plined approach we can suc- cessfully acquire, integrate, and quickly achieve consis- tency of operations across our entire enterprise." Select now has more than 80,000 accounts. "Our entry into the Texas and New Mexico markets m a r k s t h e n e x t e x c i t i n g phase of our growth plans," Egan said in the announce- ment of Select's southwestern deals. SSN Select announces several acquisitions Better Business Bureau teams up with security industry to fight fraud BATON ROUGE, La.—As one of the lead- ing states for deceptive sales practices, Louisiana consumers will be targets of deceptive doorknockers this summer who con them into switching their alarm service. Common ploys include offer- ing an "upgrade," or saying their current alarm company is "out-of-business." To combat these elicit practices, the Better Business Bureau teamed up with the Louisiana State Fire Marshal, local victims, ADT and national industry asso- ciations including ESA and TMA to speak about this issue and offer consumer pro- tection tips during a news conference here on May 18. "We applaud the industry for continu- ing to root out the few bad apples who practice deceptive sales and con con- sumers," Carmen Million of the Better Business Bureaus serving Baton Rouge said at the news conference. "Through today's outreach we hope to prevent more front-door fraud." Million told Security Systems News the BBB feels the best protection for con- sumers is through education and events like this. "So not only do we want them to do their homework and investigate these companies, we also want them to know what their rights are before they get that knock on their door," she said, point- ing out that a security company should be licensed in the state, and many times within the county they are doing business. "What the BBB does is vet some of these companies for consumers," she said. "So it is vitally important that con- sumers check with the BBB before they sign on the dotted line." She noted that if the contract is for more than $25, a con- sumer has three days in which to can- cel the contract, and the company can't install any equipment on their property before those three days are up. In 2017, more than 700,000 consum- ers across North America used BBB resources to research information about home security companies. But thou- sands also complained about dishonest and misleading sales pitches, or reported door-to-door scams. While in 2017 consumer complaints about home security sales ranked in the top 25 of the 3,500 business categories BBB tracks, Merlin Guilbeau, executive director and CEO for ESA pointed out that the industry was ranked in the top 10 when they began this campaign a few years back. "That is a great stat to point to and say, 'Yes, this is working,'" Guilbeau told SSN. Jay Hauhn, executive director and CEO of The Monitoring Association, told SSN, "These events have absolutely had a positive impact on it, but that does not mean that we have won the battle and we are not going to take our foot off the pedal." By Paul Ragusa NASHVILLE, Tenn.—ADS Secu- rity, a regional security and auto- mation company headquartered here, made its second buy in Mississippi this month with the completed acquisition of approx- imately 1,400 customer accounts of Alarm One Inc. in Columbus. The newly acquired accounts will be serviced by ADS Security's existing branch in Columbus. John Cerasuolo, ADS president and CEO, told Security Systems News that he is thrilled to expand the company's presence in the state while adding talent from the Alarm One team. "We are excited to have three folks from the Alarm One team who will be joining ADS, and that is always an important part of every acquisition," Cerasuolo told SSN. "We view it as much more than accounts that we are acquiring; it is expertise and pro- cesses and talent that we get to add to our already existing great team that always helps to make us a little bit better." Alarm One does about 70 per- cent residential and 30 percent commercial business, and its customers will have access to the ADS advanced suite of residential and commercial services, includ- ing a mobile app, smart home technologies, video surveillance, and access control solutions, Cerasuolo said. "With our office in Columbus, this adds to our customer base," he noted. "Our goal is to be the premier local provider in all of the markets that we serve, so get- ting critical mass is important for building that reputation and the trust of customers in the market." This marks the third acquisi- tion for ADS in 2018 and its 26th since 2014. Cerasuolo expects the pace to continue this year with more deals on the way. "We have another deal that we expect to announce this summer and I am sure there will be a few more in the fall," he said. "I expect this year to be as good or better than any year we have had in terms of acquisitions, and there a couple of reasons for that. First, every deal that we do builds our reputation and sellers share their good experiences, which builds momentum. And, second, we have an exceptional team here at ADS, so that whole acquisition process—and the post-deal inte- gration process—we are able to handle, even with a large volume of deals in succession." Established in 1990, ADS currently serves thousands of businesses, industrial facilities and residences throughout the southeastern United States. SSN By Spencer Ives AMHERST, N.Y.—Amherst Alarm, a full service security company based here, gained 8,000 accounts with its pur- chase of Eastern States Sen- tinel Alarm Service of West Seneca, N.Y., the company announced recently. "The owner of Eastern States, Nancy Saad, and I have had a very friendly competi- tor relationship over the past several years, where we would help each other out on cer- tain things and different proj- ects," Tim Creenan, CEO of Amherst Alarm, told Security Systems News. "It came time where she made a decision that she wanted to retire and we were the natural choice for her to consider." This deal brings Amherst to a total customer base of just under 35,000 moni- tored accounts, Creenan said. He estimated that Eastern's account base is about 50 per- cent residential and 50 percent commercial, "very similar" to Amherst's customer base. "I think what's made it very compatible is that we're very similar in our product lines that we've used over the years—similar vendors, simi- lar processes and things like that. So, it makes it very easy for our combined company, and the staff, to service either one of the customers from the different databases." Geographically, the two companies have overlap in the Buffalo, N.Y., area and West- ern New York. Though, East- ern States had a concentration of customers in the Syracuse, N.Y., area, Creenan noted. Creenan said that Amherst offered employment to all Eastern States employees, and 12 will be joining the compa- ny, including in sales, service, and installation roles. Amherst has about 70 employees total, following the deal. "We're always looking for opportunities and sometimes they appear very quickly," Creenan said. This is the com- pany's 10th purchase since it started in 1984. "Amherst Alarm's commit- ment to technology and all the conveniences this brings to customers will be an enormous new boost for our clients," Saad, president of Eastern States Sentinel Alarm Services, said in a prepared statement. "Amherst Alarm was the ideal fit for both our clients and staff." The combined company will be under the Amherst umbrella, according to the announcement, operating out of Amherst's headquarters. SSN Amherst Alarm gains 8,000 accounts in deal Steve Firestone John Cerasuolo www.securitysystemsnews.com july 2018 SEC u RIT y S y STEMS NEWS Residential s ystems 16 residential s ystems

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