Tenn. association VP says ‘service mentality’ is key

Greg Polley talks about goals for his company and the association
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

MEMPHIS, Tenn.—Greg Polley, vice president of Frase Protection, will become vice president of the Western Region of the Tennessee Electronic Security Association on Jan. 1.

Polley sees his new leadership role with the nonprofit association as another way to fulfill the service-oriented philosophy of Frase, a security alarm company based here that has a history dating back 40 years.

“This is just one way of serving the larger community and some of [that community] happens to be our competitors, but it’s a way we can work together to make sure we can all do business in the city,” said Polley.

Polley said that one of his goals for the association, which represents more than 200 alarm businesses, is “taking that service mentality that a lot of folks in our industry have” and using it to help foster a good working relationship between the industry and police, fire and city officials to collectively combat issues like false alarms.

When it comes to a “service mentality,” Frase stands out, according to Polley.

It’s an established security companies in the Memphis region, and 90 percent of its business is based on customer referrals, he said.

“We had a customer who described us as a kind of old-fashioned service company that provides the latest technology,” Polley said. “We like that description because we are on the cutting edge of technology, but we also are kind of an old-fashioned company in that we pick up the phone when you call and we treat you like a real person, and we get there when we say we’re going to get there.”

The company began in 1971 when Robert Frase Jr., a newly graduated electrical engineer, built a burglar alarm system from scratch to thwart break-ins at an uncle’s music stores, according to the company’s web site.

Today, the company is still serving its first client, AMRO Music, and about 5,000 other customers, about 80 percent of them residential, Polley said. Most of its business is security, but it also installs fire alarms as well.

He said the company, which has 16 employees, has new goals for 2011.

“One of our goals in the new year is to really implement and offer a lot of the new wireless technology that’s out there,” Polley said. “I think it’s in great demand.”

He said Frase also plans to expand its sales force. He said that company doesn’t have a specific quota for the number of hires, but said that when “we find the right people we are going to bring them on.”

Also, he said, Frase is looking around for possible new acquisitions. “We want to have that organic growth through building our sales force and customer base, and we’re very interested in doing some acquisitions in the future,” he said.