AvantGuard adds new facility in Idaho
REXBURG, Idaho—After growing its account base by 26 percent in 2013, AvantGuard Monitoring, based in Ogden, Utah, has opened a third facility in this farming community of 25,000 that sits in the shadow of the Teton Range. The new 10,000-square-foot facility will allow AvantGuard to realize its plan of nearly doubling its staff in the coming year.
The move to Rexburg runs counter to the rationale typically employed by monitoring companies trying to pin down an ideal location, Josh Garner, AvantGuard CEO, told Security Systems News. Central stations, he said, tend to post up in large metropolitan hubs, availing themselves of a larger labor pool and greater proximity to a higher concentration of dealers.
Though off the beaten path, Rexburg has some characteristics that make it a good location for a central. The majority of the community’s residents—16,000 people or 64 percent—are college students at Brigham Young University – Idaho, Garner said. “As we talked to city leaders, we found that 85 percent of the student body was unemployed or underemployed, and we just saw a great untapped talent pool in this little community with a very highly educated, highly motivated workforce,” he said. “That’s what caused us to go there.”
Garner added that another advantage of the talent pool in Rexburg consists of the fact that much of the student population speaks multiple languages, a valued attribute for central station operators.
Garner emphasized that the move is a clear signal of the company’s priorities. “Our logic in going to Idaho is just straightforward: It’s to get the people,” he said. “We know if we have really great people it doesn’t matter where our dealers are at. They’re going to be really happy with the kind of service we’re delivering.”
As far as what’s fueling growth and necessitating space and staff expansions, Garner credits substantial gains in the PERS space, both with traditional and mobile units, which together comprise 50 percent of AvantGuard's total accounts. Though Garner said mPERS units only began to gain traction two years ago, the offering has since come to account for between 5 and 10 percent of AvantGuard’s total PERS accounts. “It’s growing at a rate that significant,” Garner said. “Some of our fastest growing dealers are mobile PERS dealers."