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Practices Make Protection Bureau Perfect

A fanatical devotion to taking care of customers courses through every facet of The Protection Bureau. It lies at the heart of the family run firm’s success, popularity among its clientele, community and the security industry, and being named an SSI 2009 Installer of the Year.

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Matthew Ladd, president/COO of The Protection Bureau, has finally given his father and company founder Keith the trophy he always desired the most. For years, Matthew would triumphantly bring SSI‘s SAMMY (Sales & Marketing) awards back to his dad who would say, “Great job, you should be proud. But where is the Installer of the Year?”  

Keith Ladd passed away this past February, which made it all the more poignant when the company was recently named by SSI as the 2009 Installer of the Year (small to midsize company, fewer than 300 employees). “I was never more gratified than when I brought the Installer of the Year home,” says Matthew. “Although my dad was not with us to celebrate it, I know he was elated that we finally won the Big One.”

The Installer of the Year is presented annually to the security company that best meets the following criteria: exceptional customer service; business practices and marketing strategies that ensure success; properly training company personnel; motivating employees; giving back to the community; and contributing to the betterment of the security industry.

Exton, Pa.-based The Protection Bureau, which also earned a SAMMY this year for Best Promotional Giveaway Item (see the June issue of SSI or visit, edged out two strong challengers for Installer of the Year honors. They were Atronic Alarms of Lenexa, Kan., and Provident Security of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Predicated on the slogan, “Big enough to protect, small enough to care,” The Protection Bureau shares the strategies and practices that have allowed it to become a model security systems installation operation and grow into a $15 million business.

Built on Family Values
Founded in 1975, Keith and Mary Ladd initially operated The Protection Bureau out of their home. The couple developed the company based on providing the best services utilizing the best security products. Keith Ladd co-founded the Pennsylvania Burglar & Fire Alarm Association in the early 1970s and later became an active member of the PSA Security Network, among many other organizations.

Today, The Protection Bureau operates out of a 16,000-square-foot facility in suburban Philadelphia that includes a CSAA Five Diamond central monitoring station, as well as a branch office in South Plainfield, N.J. Having grown from a small burglar alarm dealer to a full-service integrator with nearly 100 employees serving 6,000 commercial and government clients, the company has become one of the Mid-Atlantic’s largest regional security solutions providers.

With a revenue mix of 40 percent video surveillance, 35 percent access control, 20 percent intrusion detection and 5 percent mass notification, The Protection Bureau, with Mary as Chairwoman of the Board (COB) and Matthew as president/CEO, remains a family owned and operated corporation, and relies on those principles to guide the enterprise.

“The Protection Bureau is all about family values and puts its money where its mouth is,” says Client Care & Marketing Coordinator Gabrielle Kotke. “Not only do we reward our employees for a job well done, we reward our clients for their loyalty and being part of our family.”

Renewed Focus on Clients
Although The Protection Bureau had long been known for its outstanding customer service, Matthew Ladd decided to turn it up a notch. He believed with money getting tighter for everyone that the timing was right to do even more to ensure customers were kept happy. So he launched a companywide Customer Service Initiative (CSI).

Through this program, all staff members are trained about every facet of customer service and client care. The goal of CSI is to reinforce those policies throughout the company. Seminars and training sessions are held on a monthly basis, and, and staff members receive rewards for jobs well done.

“We want to be proactive and handle any potential issues before they happen,” says Kotke. An outgrowth of CSI, a Customer Care Department was created to address clients’ individual needs.

“At The Protection Bureau, client satisfaction is our No. 1 priority,” says Ladd. “This department, which reports directly to me, was specifically created to address client needs, concerns and issues. We now have an entire department dedicated to client retention.”

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Article Topics
Business Management · Customer Service · Features · Industry Awards · SAMMY Awards · The Protection Bureau · All Topics

About the Author
Scott Goldfine
Scott joined SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in October 1998 and has distinguished himself by producing award-winning, exemplary work. His editorial achievements have included blockbuster articles featuring major industry executives, such as Tyco Electronic Products Group Managing Director Gerry Head; Protection One President/CEO Richard Ginsburg; former Brink’s Home Security President/CEO Peter Michel; GE Interlogix President/CEO Ken Boyda; Bosch Security Systems President/CEO Peter Ribinski; and former SecurityLink President/CEO Jim Covert. Scott, who is an NTS Certified alarm technician, has become a respected and in-demand speaker at security industry events, including presentations at the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) Annual Meeting; California Alarm Association (CAA) Summer and Winter Conferences; PSA Security Network Conference; International Security Conference and Exhibition (ISC); and Security Industry Association (SIA) Forum. Scott often acts as an ambassador to mainstream media and is a participant in several industry associations. His previous experience as a cable-TV technician/installer and running his own audio company -- along with a lifelong fascination with electronics and computers -- prepared Scott well for his current position. Since graduating in 1986 with honors from California State University, Northridge with a degree in Radio-Television- Film, his professional endeavors have encompassed magazines, radio, TV, film, records, teletext, books, the Internet and more. In 2005, Scott captured the prestigious Western Publisher Maggie Award for Best Interview/Profile Trade for "9/11 Hero Tells Tale of Loses, Lessons," his October 2004 interview with former FDNY Commander Richard Picciotto, the last man to escape the Ground Zero destruction alive.
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