Gillmore boosts commercial biz

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Monday, April 1, 2002

CLEVELAND-A small acquisition of a smaller security firm here has given Gillmore Security a boost in its commercial sector, with the addition of a sizeable local commercial account as well as about 100 others.

With the purchase of Security Options Plus, Cleveland-based Gillmore now has about 5,000 accounts, all of which are monitored through its central station housed in its headquarters.

"It's a nice little pickup for us," said Alan Gillmore, president. Gillmore said one of the main reasons his company bought out Security Options Plus was its account with a local restaurant group that operates about 45 KFC restaurants in the Cleveland area.

The company has seen its 85 percent residential/ 15 percent commercial mix change with its sales of last year; Gilmore said commercial sales made up nearly half of total sales the company brought in 2001, which was due at least in part to Sept. 11, he said.

"Our residential work has been OK, but it's been a little flat," he said. "We've just been maintaining there but in commercial we've been doing very well."

Two years ago, Gillmore Security hired a commercial division manager to guide and manage the company's commercial accounts; today the company has adopted a one-stop shopping approach to a targeted portion of the local commercial market, said Jim Bartholomew, commercial division manager, with offerings in access control, CCTV, intercoms, burglary and fire systems, nurse call system and other emergency systems.

"We want to become the dominant player in the mid-range market," Bartholomew said. "We'll continue to pursue some of the more prevalent corporate accounts in northeast Ohio and still continue to build a smaller customer base as well."

The company is working on its first large integrated system at a local Town Hall, where Gillmore will provide security, fire, access control and a seven-camera system with video transmission capabilities to central command center at another location, Gillmore said.

Smaller acquisitions, such as Security Options Plus and another purchase of 180 accounts, work well for the company, which personally meets with each acquired account to introduce the company, test equipment and make sure the customer is happy, Gillmore said.

"A lot of company's, when they do an acquisition, they swing over a bank of 3,000 accounts that are on a 800 line and all of a sudden you've got a new company and you don't even know it," he said. "We don't think that's the way to do."

To guarantee that the customer receives good service, the company requires not only a monitoring contract, which is higher than most of its competitors, but also a service contract on each residential system, Gillmore said.