Dynamark had a good year in 2017, shares contributing factors

CEO Trey Alter sees signs of a healthy industry
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Thursday, February 15, 2018

HAGERSTOWN, Md.—Dynamark Security Centers had a good year in 2017, beating sales goals, acquiring a second central station and increasing wholesale business. Company executives talked with Security Systems News about the processes and philosophies that facilitated the growth.

“Last year was certainly our best year. We saw a very healthy industry last year, which is encouraging,” Trey Alter, Dynamark’s president and CEO, told SSN. The company’s dealer channel grew by about 35 percent and the wholesale business grew by 42 percent, including the company’s acquisition of Buckeye Protective Services in Sept. 2017.

“We also saw a lot of promising signs for the industry in general,” Alter said. “I think there was a fear that the very large security companies were going to squeeze out the smaller guys, and maybe some of these non-traditional players were going to gain a competitive advantage that the normal alarm dealer couldn’t compete with.”

Alter continued, “We’ve actually not seen that at all. We’ve seen really steady growth across the platform. We think the entire pie is getting better. … There’s room for the very large alarm dealers, there’s room for the regional alarm dealers, and there’s still plenty of opportunity for a good, solid operator in his community.”

Dynamark is a goal-oriented company. and that has a positive affect, according to Alter. “We spend about three months at the end of every year, as a team, really putting together the goals for the next year. It’s a long process and it’s full of a lot of debate,” he said. “One thing we’re really good at is when we put it down on paper, and give ourselves goals, we work very, very hard to execute on those.”

Hank Groff, Dynamark senior vice president, sales and business development, said that the company exceeded its sales goals by 41 percent in 2017. The company brought on about 90 new dealers and partners in 2017, Groff said, bringing the company’s total to more than 500. “This year was a record breaking year in the number of alarm companies who partnered with us,” Groff told SSN.

Groff outlined part of Dynamark’s sales philosophy, “Sixty percent of this business is adding new people, and 40 percent is managing the relationships that you’ve got.”

The company puts an emphasis on regional directors. “We define ourselves as wanting to support individual alarm companies to grow their business and build their brand. So, we quickly realized that the best thing we can offer them is a strong support mechanism to help them grow—and that’s why we have regionals.

He continued, “Each regional manages all aspects of the sales and account management role, and that way—we feel like—it's a one-stop shop … with one person.” This includes the alarm dealer funding program that the company started in 2016, Groff noted. “I think people don’t like the idea of going to five different people for five things that one person can handle.”

As the company grows it will add regional managers covering more concentrated areas, Groff said.

The company, at the beginning of 2018, hired Greg Peninger as its director of sales for the southern region of the United States, giving Dynamark a dedicated sales director in each of the main U.S. territories, Groff said.

Alter said that the company has identified a couple of main goals for 2018, and both are related to new technology. “No. 1: More robust dealer education and dealer resources. … We don’t see enough alarm dealers embracing—and understanding—what the new technology means to them,” he said.

“I still think the good, old mom-and-pop alarm dealer in every community is relevant and has a really good service to offer. But, they have to keep up to date with the technology,” said Alter.

The second main goal is focusing on the future of the monitoring center, and how to be more proactive, instead of reactive, he said. “I think video really is the future of this industry. It’s pretty widely deployed now but it has so much more potential. We see an opportunity to take video, and a lot of the AI technology, and to bring that to the mass market.”

When Dynamark purchased its second central station in September of last year, Alter said that full redundancy was the goal and looked at 12 months as a timeline to complete it. Now, Alter expects that both stations should be fully redundant by May this year.