SAFE moves central station, boosts dealer program

Company aims to improve efficiencies with shift to corporate headquarters
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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

SAN RAMON, Calif.—SAFE Security has moved its central station to its corporate office here, updating its monitoring technology in the process and bolstering its dealer program to take advantage of the upgrade.

SAFE, a full-service alarm company founded in 1988, had been monitoring accounts from a central station in San Mateo, COO Randy Perkins told Security Systems News. Before acquiring that facility three years ago in the California Security deal, SAFE used wholesale sites for its monitoring.

The move in late February to San Ramon “basically allowed us to build a state-of-the-art central station,” Perkins said. “It allowed us to put in some new equipment, upgrade everything, gain some economies of scale, and provide better customer service by being in one location as opposed to being in two.”

The 3,500-square-foot, UL-approved central station uses SGS’ Stages redundant monitoring system and a fully integrated Tadiran phone switch, Perkins said. The upgrade extends to the work environment for operators, with new equipment to help improve efficiency and reduce training time.

“There are new computers, monitors, the whole nine yards,” he said. “[We’ve] upgraded workstations, upgraded software and added new servers.”

Paul Sargenti, president and CEO of SAFE Security, called the changes “seamless” for the company’s subscribers and said the improvements position it well for expansion.

“The central station move not only improves efficiencies, but allows a capacity for growth we would not have been able to maintain in the old facility,” he said in a prepared statement.

The company used the transition to San Ramon to help launch the SAFE Dealer Network, which was announced on April 6. The network builds on the company’s existing program for about 40 dealers that it services nationwide, Perkins said.

“We brought in Jason Grelle [new VP of sales and marketing] and a sales force for support,” Perkins said. “We have a new field team to support dealers, whereas we didn’t really have that before. Obviously we all went out and visited dealers, but this is a more formal structure.”

Perkins said SAFE’s approach includes the bulk acquisition of accounts, wholesale monitoring, funding, billing and collecting, and servicing of dealer contracts.

“We’re not just purchasing accounts with competitive multiples in the range of the other guys that are out there,” he said. “We also do co-branding, which is different from many others.”

Perkins said SAFE will continue to build its dealer program throughout 2012 and is actively looking for acquisitions.

“We’re going to do a number of large deals this year,” he said.