OAKWOOD VILLAGE, Ohio — With its acquisition of Chardon, Ohio-based ABLE Security & Automation Corp., Gillmore Security Systems, based here, has increased its recurring monthly revenue (RMR) by 8%. Terms of the deal were not released.
In 2011, Gillmore Security COO Alan Gillmore IV approached ABLE Security Owner Ray Laino because of the similarities between the two companies, Gillmore tells SSI.
“I had heard all kinds of good things about his company, and he’s a very honest guy,” Gillmore says. “So I just kind of planted a seed and said, ‘If you ever think of selling your business, keep us in mind.’”
A year later, Laino, who plans to exit the security industry, told Gillmore he was ready to sell. The transaction allows Gillmore Security to provide services such as access control, fire alarm, intrusion alarm, IP video surveillance and monitoring to roughly 650 new customers, bringing the company’s total number of monitored accounts to 6,000. The acquisition now brings Gillmore Security’s RMR to $280,000, an increase of 8%.
Founded in 1971, the family-owned company serves the high-end residential and commercial markets. Gillmore Security also operates its own UL-Listed Five Diamond Certified central station. Additionally, the integrator offers security consultation, equipment installation, maintenance and repair as well as fire and environmental monitoring.
Gillmore Security will retain all four of ABLE’s full-time employees, and Laino will stay on the team for year to help transition and expand the company’s presence.
“We’ve added two technicians that do both installation and service, and that will bring our exclusive service team to six,” Gillmore says. “So now if somebody goes on vacation, we can still service our clients’ systems. We’re also adding ABLE’s inside operations manager, who has 22 years in the business, to manage our central station.”
Gillmore Security is no stranger to expanding its business. Last December, the company acquired 177 accounts from Akron, Ohio-based World Wide Security. However, Gillmore says growing his firm through acquisitions is not necessarily a full-time strategic initiative.
“We’re a relatively small company, and as a result, there aren’t that many companies that we want to buy,” he says. “We’re a company oriented toward taking care of the customer. So when we look at a possible acquisition, we ask, ‘Can we do at least as good of a job as this company is doing already?’ You don’t want to do an acquisition and then things get worse for the customer.”
Gillmore, who says that his company had internal growth of 5%, last year, notes that his employees’ strong customer service skills have helped keep the business afloat.
“If you don’t have happy employees, you’re never going to have good customer service,” he says.
A key to having happy employees is hiring the right people for the job and placing them in a position that best fits their skills and talents. Providing the proper training is also important, although it can be harder for smaller companies to provide due to budgetary concerns, Gillmore says.
“Maybe have your management team spend time to train their people,” he explains. “It’s really more about educating your managers so that they’re doing the right thing.”
Lastly, properly compensating employees for all their hard work boosts company morale, Gillmore says. “Of course, not everybody has extra money to throw around, but it can be done.”
Ashley Willis is associate editor for SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION. She can be reached at (310) 533-2419.
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