Comtronics increases revenues 23 percent with KPIs

Key Performance Indicators bring increased profits for Michigan installer and Honeywell CSS dealer
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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

LOS ANGELES—Comtronics CEO John Campau is a KPI evangelist these days. One year after tying employee compensation to a number of “key performance indicators” the $21 million full-service security company saw revenues increase by 23 percent.

“KPIs are awesome, guys,” Campau, a Honeywell CSS dealer, said to a group of colleagues during an educational session at Honeywell’s CONNECT 2013 dealer event, which took place here Nov. 8-10. 

In addition to the 23 percent jump in revenues since implementing KPIs, Comtronics has seen a 200 percent increase in video service agreements and managed access deals. Attendance and tardiness, a “huge problem” previously at his central station, is not a problem any more. And managers are happier, he said, because they are compensated when their subordinates hit their KPIs.

Founded in 1958 by Campau’s father, Philip Campau, Comtronics is a full-service security company, with a UL-listed, Five Diamond-certified central station. It has 100 employees and is based in Jackson, Mich., near Detroit.  

Campau decided to implement KPIs at this security company after he saw how well it worked in a separate division of the company—its cellular telephone division. In addition to security, Comtronics owns a Verizon cell phone store, where it implemented KPIs five years ago.

Similar to sales quotas, KPIs are basically a list of expectations for employees. The KPIs differ according to job functions, but employees’ compensation is directly tied to achieving those KPIs.

Employees receive a base pay and then receive $1 or more per hour for achieving certain milestones every week. For example, sales people have KPIs for new IP/GSM alarm activations, Honeywell Total Connect activations, video service agreements and managed access agreements.

Central station employees have KPIs tied to showing up on time and attendance, call hold times, net promoter scores, and training completed. Technicians receive extra compensation for completing training that the company values, such as NICET certification.

Campau said he aligned KPIs “with Honeywell initiatives that they require us as a dealer to embrace, intrusion, access and video.”

He also aligned KPIs to “anything Anne and I have identified as being important to our business,” he said. Anne Walker White is EVP and general counsel for Comtronics. She and Campau are also life partners. 

White told Security Systems News that the KPI system is helpful to employees. “The numbers don’t lie. It’s objective and a lot less emotional,” she said. “The program identifies you if you’re not cutting the mustard.” It’s obvious to both supervisor and employee when you need to have a talk, she said.

However, with one dollar an hour here, one dollar an hour there and potential changes every week, isn’t this KPI system an accounting nightmare? One attendee at the Honeywell educational session posed this question to Campau, who replied that it’s surprisingly easy to administer.

“Shift supervisors take care of their people and reports,” he said. Plus, Comtronics uses the DICE matrix system at its central and SharePoint software, both of which are easy to draw reports from, he said.

Campau serves on the Honeywell National Dealer Advisory Board and was Honeywell’s CSS dealer of the year in 2012.