Security-Net focuses on national accounts

With 92 branches, this group says it can compete with any national integrator
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Thursday, March 31, 2011

CLIFTON, N.J.—The members of Security-Net, a group of 18 independent integrators, believe they’ve got the best formula to take on national account jobs. And, they’ve been hard at work over the last year to ensure that member companies are coordinated from a sales, technical and fulfillment perspective.

Group members will be meeting at ISC West next week.

“We can give the attention to detail that a small regional integrator has to do to survive along with the prominence of being able to cover a large geographic span,” said Joe Liguori, president of Access Control Technologies, based here. Liguori is VP of Security-Net and will become president of the group in January 2012.

And for member companies, a coordinated national accounts platform will be a “tremendous vehicle for the flow of business,” Liguori said.

A small group of individuals founded Security-Net in 1992, and they would get together to talk about best practices, insurance, coordinating engineering and project management. “It stayed on that platform until last year when the group—which had grown in number—decided to formalize its national accounts offering,” he explained.

The group also has five international members, so its coverage is not just limited to the United States.

“We surveyed our members and asked them to rate the five most important [efforts the group could make] and all 18 [members] said national accounts,” Liguori said.

The initial impetus behind the national account effort was a request from a customer to do “a large multi-million dollar project” which Liguori and five other Security-Net companies are currently working on.  The group is also currently “involved in several other proposals,” he said.

Security-Net has mandatory meetings four times a year and monthly conference calls among company principals. It created “Tech-Net” and “Sales-Net” groups to align technical and sales know-how. Tech-Net, comprised of head engineers and integration specialists from each company, “regularly shares design solutions, troubleshooting tips, and technology updates.”  Similarly, Sales-Net includes senior security consultants and integration specialists from each company, who are aligned to “develop national sales.”

The group is also standardizing on some products. It formalized a relationship with UTC Fire & Security and Tyco last October, and will be meeting with both companies at ISC West next week.

Security-Net put together a committee to work with the manufacturers and broke that committee into three segments: sales and marketing (responsible for business development, lead-tracking software, etc.); fulfillment (coordination on items like estimating software and developing standards for engineering and drawing); and, post-installation (contract fulfillment and other items).

“We’re really trying to structure it and make it interactive,” Liguori said. Ligouri expects this effort to “change the culture” of the group and “make it a revenue-producing entity.”

Security-Net is seeking some additional members for geographic coverage, Ligouri said, but it’s not looking to expand its numbers greatly.

Ron Ludvigsen, president, of integration firm CGL Electronic Security Solutions in Norwood, Mass. joined Security-Net a couple years ago. “There was a rigorous process of vetting,” he said. They were interested in CGL’s geographic coverage, products offered and they wanted see the CGL’s financial information, as well.

Ligouri said he’s seen how his association with the group will translate into more opportunities for ACT. A couple weeks ago he met with a “fairly large customer in Manhattan who was unhappy with its national accounts provider ... They said, ‘We have these locations, do you have coverage in all these areas?’”

Before his association with Security-Net, he would have had to say no, but now,“We have 18 companies [with a total of 92 branch offices] over $375 million in sales. We’re as big as anyone and we have hundreds of certified and trained technicians,” Ligouri said.