AMHERST, N.Y. — Amherst Alarm, a full-service security provider based here, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Founded in 1984 by Tim Creenan, who also serves as CEO, the company has evolved to meet the demands of new technology, including new communication paths and home automation.
Serving Western New York, Amherst Alarm has grown to employ more than 50 full-time employees and operates a UL-Listed, CSAA Five Diamond certified monitoring center, as well as security and home theater design centers.
“The exciting part of this industry was, is and will continue to be the work we do to protect life and property. No matter what the technology is, when our systems and people do the things that save lives and property, we get excited,” Creenan tells SSI. “What can be better than that? Now mix in the cool new ways that this can happen, and now you really have a great thing going.”
Amherst Alarm services both commercial and residential clients, and is also a leading source for central vacuum systems in the markets it operates. The company’s portfolio rounds out with intrusion and fire alarms, access control, video surveillance, automation control, distributed A/V, home theater and home networking.
Creenan cites establishing a successful business that creates jobs in Western New York among his personal highpoints as an executive in the security industry.
“This has given many of our staff the opportunity to grow with the company. All of our senior managers have grown up with the company. Starting in some type of entry-level position, they have grown in knowledge and skills that have allowed them to excel in various capacities,” he says.
Industry participation has long been a particular passion throughout Creenan’s career. He is currently president of the New York State Electronic Security Association (NYSESA) and serves on the board of directors of the Installation Quality (IQ) Program.
“Becoming part of the local alarm association has made it possible to help forge the direction of our industry in a local and statewide capacity. I was able to assist the [WNYESA], fight a requirement in the City of Buffalo that all fire alarm systems must be installed in conduit,” he says. “Going through that process was an education in the local and state building codes process as well as in determination to fight for something that needs to be changed.”
Among the biggest obstacles to remaining organizationally sound and relevant to his customers the last three decades, Creenan says keeping up with evolving technology has been especially demanding.
“Early on I realized that you must standardize on a product line and become an expert in it. This along with a constant quest for watching for the next new trends in technology and communications is key to future success,” he says. “Sometimes new things do not pan out, but you cannot be caught lacking in the knowledge to bring current solutions to the market.”
Across the nation, Creenan says the most significant challenges for a traditional electronic security company are being “the lead dog in the market.” For Amherst that happens by staying focused on service.
“One of the things we hear from people who want to leave their current security alarm company is because of services issues, either slow or just bad experiences,” he says. “We are careful to not let technology take the place of timely quality service. Being able to do this is sometimes a challenge, but keeping focus on the needs of the client will keep the client happy and our business a success.”