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Protection 1 Prospers by Making People Priority One

SSI’s 2014 Installer of the Year (Large Company) is obsessed with taking care of customers. Protection 1 accomplishes this mission by aligning the entire organization around the customer experience and gby investing in its employees.

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The frequency with which many companies and management teams spout phrases like “it’s our people” or “people make the difference” has all too often relegated the concept to the realm of platitudes. Bucking that disheartening pattern is Protection 1, a full-service security company that — whether it’s personnel, customers or those in the many communities it serves — truly does put people first. This lies at the heart of a business model that has translated into tremendous success, and recognition as SSI’s 2014 Installer of the Year (Large company, 150+ employees). 

“Internally, our employees are extremely proud of the work they do and understand the quality of their output is very high in not only our industry, but outside our industry,” says P1 CEO Tim Whall, a member of SSI’s Industry Hall of Fame. “Being recognized is certainly an honor and a way to reaffirm the hard work of our employees.” 

Whall and his management team have instilled within Protection 1 a corporate culture driven to continuously improve. With just one ring, customers get a live person at P1’s call center and benefit from a commitment to same-day service at no extra cost. For its employees, the firm created a wellness program that emphasizes nutrition, fitness and sound mind/spirit. For its communities, the company launched the Protection 1 25,000+ Challenge to encourage its 2,500+ employees to donate 10 hours to a worthwhile cause.
All the while the Chicago-headquartered Protection 1 posted exceedingly attractive numbers in 2013 that included a 30% increase in lead flow a 35% decline in the average cost per sale. Innovation is another hallmark of P1 that is evident in its creative marketing, scientific and results-focused practices and services, and willingness to explore new markets such as the DIY channel and its just-minted solar energy business.

National Accounts Grow 800%

Protection 1’s story began in 1988 when PacifiCorp formed a security company. The firm grew quickly in large part due to a merger with Westar Energy and multiple acquisitions. In 2004, Quadrangle purchased Protection One (then spelled out) and, in 2007, the company merged with Integrated Alarm Services Group (IASG) to solidify its position as one of the nation’s biggest alarm monitoring service providers. Those two decades saw a pair of now well-known industry figures, John Mack (1991-2000) and SSI Hall of Famer Richard Ginsburg (2001-2010), in the CEO role.

In 2010, private equity investors GTCR in partnership with Whall purchased financial interest in Protection One, and he was subsequently appointed CEO. Rebranded as Protection 1 in 2011, Whall focused on establishing a company based on a superior customer delivery platform and building a national accounts program to rival the industry’s largest players. 

RELATED: Inside Protection 1’s Big Data Push

Under Whall’s leadership, the company has transformed from a declining organic growth business that was focused primarily on residential and light commercial clientele, to a thriving and growing concern covering a broad range of customers and markets. P1’s national accounts revenue has grown more than 800% the past four years, and its organic recurring monthly revenue (RMR) has achieved 120% growth during that same span.

Today, P1 has 70+ locations including five call centers that serve nearly two million accounts nationwide, with about 40% of recurring revenue coming from commercial and national account customers. The firm provides same-day service in more than 100 U.S. metro areas, including Hawaii following Protection 1’s acquisition of Pacific Security Integrations earlier this year. Other key acquisitions the company has made in recent years include Integrated Logistics, Suntera, Camtronics and the assets of Pinnacle Security.

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Article Topics
Installer of the Year · Protection 1 · Sales & Marketing · SAMMY Awards · 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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Installer of the Year, Sales & Marketing, SAMMY Awards