New services, new growth for Z-Tech Central

Memphis-based monitoring company touts customized approach for dealers
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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

MEMPHIS, Tenn.—Building on a service formula that has allowed it to carve out a market niche in the Southeast, Z-Tech Central has rolled out a virtual operator app for its dealers and is expecting double-digit growth in 2013, partner Jonathan Frase told Security Systems News.

Z-Tech, a wholesale monitoring provider based here, evolved in the early 1990s from what was formerly Memphis Alarms. Frase, CEO of Frase Protection, now owns Z-Tech along with the proprietors of four other local security companies.

“We started because a couple of different alarm companies in the Memphis area wanted to be able to do their own monitoring,” he said. “[The previous owners] were divesting themselves of the monitoring center, so our partners came in and bought the interest in the central station. It was almost like a cooperative at the time, and it’s still that way in a sense.”

Z-Tech has since moved to a larger facility, a UL-listed 5,000-square-foot central that the company owns in north Memphis. Frase said Z-Tech has grown steadily and now serves 100 dealers, primarily in Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. It monitors about 20,000 accounts (80 percent residential, 20 percent commercial).

“We continue to add dealers and we’re adding three right now, which is a lot for us,” Frase said. “We’re probably going to show about 15 percent [revenue] growth this year.”

Frase said that because Z-Tech is not a “megastation,” it can customize its services to fit the needs of its dealers. The company offers products from Bosch, AlarmNet, Uplink and CheckVideo, two-way voice for medical and burglary accounts, and the option of CRN Radio transmission for dealers in Memphis.

“We find that a lot of times, smaller dealers are concerned about their customer interactions being handled precisely the way they would handle them themselves, so we customize the services to give the dealer peace of mind,” Frase said. “We also act as an answering service and tailor it to what the dealer specifies.”

Z-Tech’s latest perk for dealers is a virtual operator app for iPhone or Android. The app allows alarm technicians to remotely put accounts on and off test, review signal history, and extend test times for specified accounts.

“We think it’s an awesome feature,” Frase said. “It allows [technicians] to complete installations faster and service calls faster.”

Frase said Z-Tech is also working on a virtual monitoring terminal that is expected to launch this summer. It will allow larger corporations that have their own internal monitoring during the day to utilize Z-Tech’s central station at night.