Minuteman invests in engineering

Massachusetts integrator anticipates 40+ percent growth next year as result
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Friday, December 9, 2011

ANDOVER, Mass.—Minuteman Security Technologies CEO Joseph Lynch is anticipating more than 40 percent revenue growth in 2012, but the business outlook was not so sunny three years ago.

In April 2009, the systems integrator, which is based here, saw business “fall off the edge of a cliff,” Lynch recalled. “Revenues dropped 35 percent within three months and stayed that way for a year and a half.”

So, how did Minuteman go from that steep decline to predictions of record growth? “We really made a change in our approach to the market,” Lynch said.

Specifically, Lynch invested in more engineering resources, which allowed him to “approach a larger client base who wanted a more sophisticated offering.” Minuteman recently added the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) as a client, for example.

In business since 1988, Minuteman, a PSA Security owner, designs and installs mainly IP-based security technology including access control, video surveillance, emergency phone, mass notification systems and integrated proprietary intrusion alarm systems.

Often Lynch’s customers, which include colleges and universities, mass transit and other commercial, industrial and government clients, do not use central station monitoring for their security systems because they have their own command and control centers.

Minuteman ended 2010 “close to where we were prior to the crash,” and Lynch said the company will end 2011 with about $5 million in revenue. Next year, “we will be way north of $7 million. We have one-third of next year’s projected revenue in backlog already,” he said. That backlog includes four large projects and some smaller ones.

“It all goes back to our engineering resources. We have network engineers, software engineers and electrical engineers—those three distinct [skill sets] are very important,” he said.

Where previously Lynch’s clients have had to augment their existing networks or install new networks to accommodate new security technology, now, particularly with his college and university clients, “more often than not they already have a robust network. That was not necessarily the case a couple of years ago.” That helps the sale of security technology, he said. “They can now realize the benefits of that investment in IT infrastructure.”

Lynch said his clients have been asking to integrate security systems with other business management systems and with older access control systems. “We utilize our software development expertise and developed middleware to bridge the gap and create an integration [between the new security technology and older access systems],” he said.

“Some companies call themselves integrators, but we actually are an integrator because we brought in all of the engineering resources to do that,” he said.