Security 101 adds new location

Franchise model a success; national company going global
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Monday, May 8, 2017

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.—Security 101, a franchise-model commercial security company based here, recently added a franchise location in Philadelphia, giving the company 37 in total.

“We try to add, on average, five locations per year, which is a good number for us,” Steve Crespo, Security 101 president, told Security Systems News, noting that limiting the number ensures that there is proper training and support provided for each new franchise owner. “We look for franchise owners who are going to match up to our culture, which is very much based on a blue-collar mentality. So, we want an owner who not only has the ability to run a business but who is also really going to roll up their sleeves and engage in running the business and understands the importance of our culture of fanatical customer service.”

Crespo said the company found that type of owner in Andrew Benson, a security industry veteran who will run the new Philadelphia location. Crespo said Benson brings “a strong 17-year background to the business, and whose core values and ‘fanatical’ approach to customer service match well with the culture we have built this company on.”

This new location's physical office space is situated west of Philadelphia in Chadds Ford, Pa., strategically located to easily service and maintain clients in both Philadelphia proper as well as the majority of the Delaware Valley. The office will serve clients across multiple vertical markets with a great deal of experience providing enterprise security solutions to the pharmaceutical industry, financial corporations, healthcare organizations, and higher education, according to the company.

The franchise model has been a great success for Security 101, and “has matched or exceeded where we thought we would be in 2017, and we had some pretty lofty goals of where we wanted to be when we first started with franchises in 2008,” said Crespo.  “Overall our compounded annual growth rate is in the mid-20s and we have now exceeded $100 million as a company. When we look at year-over-year growth, and we are only in May, but right now we are in the mid-30s, and our goal is to be a $200 million company by the end of the year 2020.”

The National Accounts program has helped with that growth, and “is a tremendous piece for the company,” said Crespo. “Our national group, which over the past few years we have been referring to as the global group because of the level of business we are doing outside of the country, is headed up by the president of that group Tom Echols, and that group has had a tremendous impact on the overall growth of our company. In fact, in the last nine months we have nearly doubled the employee count of that group. We also acquired the talent of Mike Trilk, who is our VP of sales, and added some national account managers and program and product managers.” 

Crespo pointed out, “Today it is so much more than just sales; it is about understanding large scale enterprise users and what their challenges are and being able to bring total solutions to the table. A lot of people in sales come from technical and operational backgrounds now.”

One of the guiding principles for the company is creating high standards across all locations.

“We strongly believe that you need to have good solid processes in place, repeatable processes, so if you walk into one of the offices in Florida or one in Dallas that, in large, you will see those businesses running the same,” he explained. “One of the key things we did was we created our own software called 101 Ware, which, from a technology standpoint, is the backbone of the business and is what we use to manage and run the entire company.”

In addition to creating the right culture, training and support for franchisees and employees, Crespo said the focus is also “on having the best products in the industry, and we are not carrying 30 different brands, we streamline our product mix and we carry the highest levels of certifications to make sure that we know the product inside and out.”