PSI upgrades Sonitrol central

Renovations will include software, equipment upgrades
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Sunday, June 1, 2003

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - A Sonitrol franchisee here is undertaking an extensive renovation project that will ultimately relocate and expand the central station while upgrading to a new monitoring software platform.

Protection Service Industries, which has operated a Sonitrol franchise here since the early 1980s, is gutting its entire office, which serves as the Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.-based system integrator’s Southern California regional office. Located in a strip mall-type structure, PSI’s Sonitrol central station will be moved from its present location in the center of the five-bay building to its own bay on one end of the building.

The new 1,000-square-foot central station will be able to more easily comply with Underwriters Laboratories’ standards for such items as fire-rated doors and an uninterruptible power supply, said Alan Evanston, vice president of customer communications for PSI.

“Those were requirements that were hard to meet when the central station was in the middle of sales and service,” Evanston said. “Now we can lock it down tight and UL will be out this fall to recertify us after the move.”

Not only will the relocation solve certification issues but it will allow for  much needed breathing room for the central station’s staff of 12 and room to dedicate to the company’s remote video monitoring product, which has two dedicated video workstations.

“At the rate we are growing, there is a potential for 50 percent growth over the next two years,” Evanston said.

While PSI monitors about 1,600 Sonitrol accounts from its central station, the installation of the new SonNT software will allow an account capacity twice that size, Evanston said. The new software can also be networked, allowing for greater flexibility in remote access to the central station’s servers as well as in managing customer information. PSI is purchasing the software from Sonitrol over a five-year period. The company has also renewed its franchise agreement for another five years.

Not only will the $250,000 project - $100,000 of the cost was dedicated to the central station - improve operating conditions within the central station, but also for the 30 employees that perform sales and service functions for PSI’s traditional security business. Now, office configurations in the remaining 4,000 square feet will allow for better workflow between the installation coordinators, billing, service coordinators, and other departments, said Keith Company, PSI’s Southern California general manager. About 60 percent of the company’s business originates from the operations here, he said.

Company officials said accounts would be switched over to the new central station July 19.