Physical security and bomb-sniffing dogs drive business for MSA Systems Integration

Hennessy: Plan is to hit $50 million in revenue in five years
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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

NEW YORK—The combination of physical security and explosive-detection canines is driving business in a big way for MSA Systems Integration. At $25 million in revenue this year, MSA SI has a five-year plan to hit $50 million in revenue, Jim Hennessy, president of MSA SI, told Security Systems News.

“We are part of the MSA group of security companies,” Hennessy said. “Our parent company, MSA Security, is unique in that it's the largest private provider of bomb dog teams in the United States.” Other services offered by MSA Security include threat and risk assessments, counterterrorism threat and intelligence analysis, and remote mailroom x-ray screening through its "SmartTech Technology." 

“We have really keyed in on cross-selling,” he said. “The [parent company] has such a history of great clients [which include some iconic locations in New York]. … We grow our services to those customers and we’ve opened up our client base to MSA.”

And demand for the canines has increased among MSA’s customers since the Boston Marathon bombing in April, Hennessy said. Physical security customers, who would not previously have been interested in that service, have come to MSA to inquire about canines in recent months, he said.

MSA Security’s staff and geographical presence has grown. It had two offices in 2011. In addition to its headquarters here, it now has offices in Los Angeles, Houston, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Charlotte, N.C., and Philadelphia. Its staff has grown from 40 in 2011 to 90 today. And in locations where MSA has opened new offices, it’s now “staffing those offices with employees who can sell canine and other MSA Security services.” 

To support its geographical expansion, the company has continued to hire specialists. “Our IT support and engineering team is a lot deeper than it was a couple of years ago,” Hennessy said. 

The projected 2013 revenue of $25 million is more than double the $12 million it did in 2011. Hennessy said the “five-year plan is to be a $50 million integrator … and through acquisitions definitely a $100 million integrator at some point,” he said. 

Up until now, the company’s growth has been organic, but MSA is open to acquisitions, particularly in locations where it’s “looking to open an office to support a client.” Integrators with $10 million or less in revenue that have desirable “personnel and locations and core values,” would qualify as a target acquisition, he said.