B Safe adds density with Pennsylvania buy

The company is acquiring in 2014, and also enhancing its customer service
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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

WILMINGTON, Del.—B Safe, a regional security company based here, has strengthened its position in eastern Pennsylvania with the purchase of Alarm Surveillance Technologies (AST) of Ambler, Pa.

The buy brings about 650 mostly residential accounts and about $15,000 in RMR, according to B Safe customer service manager Mary Cakir. B Safe now has about 10,450 customers and approximately 295,000 in RMR, she said.

The AST acquisition is part of an aggressive acquisition effort the company has undertaken in 2014. Cakir said there are still more buys to come, but declined to provide specifics.

B Safe, which also serves Delaware and New Jersey, already had customers in Pennsylvania. Two alarm companies in that state—Accredited Security Systems of Newtown Square, and Precision Alarms Systems of Mechanicsburg—were among five companies B Safe acquired in 2012.

AST marks B Safe’s first buy in Pennsylvania since that time, Cakir told Security Systems News. She said B Safe liked AST because the company, located near Philadelphia, had high-end customers, quality installations and was “a large player in a small market.” The buy “adds density” to B Safe’s existing customer base there, Cakir said.

AST’s owner wanted to retire and liked B Safe because “we have a really good reputation and he felt it was the right match for his customers, Cakir said. She declined to discuss terms of the deal, which was assisted by John Colehower of Mergers & Acquisitions. AST was family-run, so the buy didn't add any employees to B Safe's approximately 40-person staff, she said.

B Safe will be able to offer AST’s customers automated services they couldn’t get before, Cakir said. Customers will be serviced from B Safe offices in New Jersey and Delaware, she said.

Customers also will get “phenomenal customer service” from B Safe, Cakir said, because “we’re not only growing but we’re growing customer-servicewise.”

B Safe recently rolled out a new customer retention program, emphasizing how every staff member is responsible for making sure customers get good service, Cakir said.

“I want us to be the company that people say, ‘Wow, every time I call there, everybody is so friendly and helpful, from the receptionist to the service department to the installation to the security consultants.’ That’s my goal,” she said.

Also, she said, the company is about to initiate a new way of alerting customers about service calls. Customers will receive emails the day before reminding them of the call and giving them the name and photo of the tech that will come to their home, Cakir said. Afterwards, customers will get a survey to ask how the call went and if they had questions or concerns.

“I think that’s just going to benefit everybody,” Cakir said.