Diebold expands to take on Mosler accounts

 - 
Friday, November 1, 2002

NORTH CANTON, Ohio - Nearly a year after picking up $28 million worth of assets of a now-defunct former competitor, Diebold has wrapped up an extensive renovation of its Ohio central station to accommodate the acquisition.

The upgrades to the central station were meant not only to prepare operations for future growth, but also to merge two central stations together, Diebold's central station and a former Mosler central station in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The decision to close the Cedar Rapids facility was made in December 2001 and the doors were closed in May in a phased approach that took less than six months, said Steve Ipson, business development manager for Diebold's event monitoring center.

Diebold purchased the central station and most of its accounts in October 2001, two months after Mosler announced it had filed for Chap. 11 bankruptcy and would be liquidating its assets. The acquisition was expected to add $100 million in revenues through acquired contracts with existing Diebold customers and new venues of operations acquired with the Mosler assets.

"We had 57 percent growth this year," Ipson said. "We not only had to staff appropriately to accommodate the increased volume but had to put people through additional training because of the new technologies that were introduced."

In all, signal volume to the central station has nearly doubled in the last year, with a 63 percent spike in alarm incidents and 119 percent more incoming calls.

Although both central stations were on the MAS platform, staff required training on items such as different alarm panels, converting billing from Mosler's to Diebold's, pricing, as well as other contractual issues that differed between the two companies. Where Mosler used Sur-Gard receivers, Diebold used Radionics, so a rack of Sur-Gards was installed. Some walls in the central station were also knocked down to make room for 10 additional workstations and monitors for video monitoring, providing about 1,500 square feet of additional space.

"It was a convergence of the whole business aspect, not just the sites" being monitoring, Ipson said.

The Cedar Rapids facility was staffed with about 25 employees, all of which were invited to relocate to work for Diebold. Only two elected to uproot, said Joseph Richardson, global communications for Diebold. Their knowledge of Mosler operations made getting over some initial customer service issues much easier, he said.