Select Security restructures management team

With a 38 percent increase in RMR and attrition around 5-6 percent, Select looks to do more door knocking and amp up inside sales in 2014
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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

LANCASTER, Pa.—Select Security, a super-regional based here, is starting 2014 with a restructured management team and goals that include a new inside sales program and additional growth of its summer sales program.

Steve Firestone, who has been the company’s EVP of sales and marketing since 2012, became Select Security’s new president as of Jan. 1. Patrick Egan, the company’s owner and formerly its president, also got a promotion—he’s now CEO of Select Security and its sister company, Security Partners, a wholesale monitoring company that in 2013 added two additional monitoring centers across the nation. 

When asked about his goals for 2014 as president of Select Security, Firestone replied: “Grow the business.”

He said Select Security has grown steadily in its 10 years of existence. The numbers show that 2013 was no exception. RMR climbed to $680,000 in 2013 from $493,268 in 2012, an increase of nearly 38 percent. The number of customers grew from 10,680 in 2012 to 15,000 in 2013, and total revenue went from $10.4 million in 2012 to $12 million in 2013. Select Security now has 120 employees, up from 100 in 2012.

And 2013 also was a year of changes for Select Security, Firestone said. He led several initiatives that included a companywide enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, a centralized customer care organization, a full-time technical training program, and sales force automation, the company said.

The company now uses a SedonaOffice ERP system, Firestone said. “Transform is a pretty strong word, but in terms of management reporting and processes and positioning us to be able to serve our customers better, it really has transformed the business,” he told Security Systems News.

Just one example, he said, is that Select Security now is able to run its service organization much more efficiently. “We know what our backlog looks like on service calls, which service tech is dispatched where [and] where the next available call might be, based on proximity of where our service technicians are today,” Firestone explained. As a result, he said, techs are able to handle more service calls.

Egan, who has more than 40 years of experience in the security industry, told SSN that now that Firestone—also a security industry veteran—is leading Select Security so capably, it was time for Egan to concentrate on being CEO. 

“I grabbed the CEO role a year ago when Mike Bodnar came on as president of Security Partners and now … it just makes sense for me to step into the CEO role [at Select Security],” Egan said. “I’ll have finance report to me and I’m going to focus on acquisitions and still keep my toe in the water on my RDS program, residential direct sales, which continues to grow.”

Egan is known in the industry for adding a small summer sales program to his traditional security company in 2010.

He told SSN the program continues to be very successful. “We did about 2,700 accounts last year when we thought we’d do about 2,000 and we think we’ll do 3,000 or more maybe 3,500 this year,” he said. “We’ve recruited some really good managers and teams.”

Select Security sells in the mid-Atlantic states, in cities such as Baltimore and Pittsburgh, but mainly in small markets in Pennsylvania, Egan said.

He said one of his favorite sales maxims is: “There are diamonds in your backyard.”

“We don’t have to go a million miles away to find quality, credit-worthy customers,” he said. “We focus on those small markets and that’s why I believe our attrition is lower than a traditional program and lower than a dealer program, because they’re not as invested.”

He expects gross attrition in 2013 to be about 6.8 or 7 percent and net attrition to be just below 5 percent. “For a company our size to hang around that 5 to 6 percent attrition [rate], we’re doing something right,” Egan said.

To compete with the larger door-knocking companies, Select Security in 2011 opened a recruiting and call center in Orem, Utah. Now, Egan said, that call center is expanding.

Firestone said Select Security has just hired a new director of call center operations: Tony Roberts, who he said formerly worked for Devcon Security and then ADT, which bought Devcon last summer. 

Firestone said, “In addition to having the Utah organization expand and continue to support the RDS, we are starting an inside sales organization that will be under Tony’s responsibility out there in Utah.”