The security alarm industry has long lacked a stamp of approval to instill consumers with buying confidence — its very own Good Housekeeping Seal. Being loosely regulated, standardized and licensed hasn’t helped. However, for monitoring providers that has begun to change thanks to the Central Station Alarm Association’s (CSAA) Five Diamond Certification designation. This year, to assure the program is leveraged to its full advantage the CSAA Five Diamond Marketing Marvel Awards was established. The first recipient is Tallahassee, Fla.-based Redwire LLC, with Alarm Tech Central of Ronkonkoma, N.Y., named runner-up (see sidebar).
“We received our CSAA Five Diamond certification in April this year and went right to work! Our central station team continuously proves they are committed to our customers and our company so we could not wait to recognize their hard work,” says Redwire Marketing Manager Nan O’Kelley. “We became aware of the Marketing Marvel Award on the heels of receiving our certification, so it was easy to keep the ball rolling and share the initiatives put in place.”
The Five Diamond program was established in 2003 to differentiate the best CSAA companies within the monitoring industry. Qualifying providers must satisfy the requirements of five points of excellence: professional development and standardization of training for all central station operators; a commitment to random inspections and quality criteria standards by a nationally recognized testing laboratory; delivering a high level of customer service; and a pledge to reduce false dispatches. More than 130 operators have achieved Five Diamond status, which must be renewed annually.
Conducted in partnership with SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION and reviewed by an independent panel of judges, the Marketing Marvel Awards:
- Recognize and honor firms that use their CSAA Five Diamond designation to better position themselves in the central station monitoring marketplace
- Inspire other certified firms to market their Five Diamond advantage
- Heighten awareness of the Five Diamond program throughout the industry
- Elevate profile of Five Diamond firms for their professionalism to mainstream media and the general public
Being just a two-year-old company and newly certified as CSAA Five Diamond makes Redwire’s accomplishments all the more impressive. In capturing the inaugural Marketing Marvel Award, the firm truly exemplifies and has further defined what the program is all about. These smart and energetic businesspeople share their recipe for security monitoring success.
The South Rises Again
Redwire’s brief history belies its veteran leadership. Company President Doug Smith has been in the security industry for 26 years and also owns several Sonitrol franchises. The business employs 68 people and serves regions within the Southeastern United States through its Tallahassee headquarters and Florida branches in Panama City, Pensacola, Tampa, Sarasota, Florida East Coast and Orlando, as well as a location in Mobile, Ala.
“Since beginning operation, Redwire has grown rapidly,” says Smith. “We have achieved solid growth and success even during the recession. We continue to show continued growth in profits, customers and employee count. And our Tallahassee central station has been responsible for dozens of apprehensions since Redwire was founded only a few short years ago.”
From its inception, Redwire placed a high level of importance in belonging to CSAA, the security monitoring industry’s most respected trade association. The company values the benefits CSAA membership brings, including a variety of wikis, newsletters, standards updates, seminars and training materials. “The information we have access to as a member will only make us better as a company and more informed in the ever-changing security industry,” affirms Smith.
The central station was additionally driven to aspire to a higher level of distinction by achieving Five Diamond notoriety. Management believes the certification is a means to set the business apart from its competitors, especially since Redwire is the only central in eight of its nine markets to have earned the credential.
“CSAA Five Diamond certification gives us a true marketplace differentiator,” says Smith. “This status allows us to go to market as the only Five Diamond central station in most of our immediate markets, which is a great advantage. It also allows us to ensure customers we are committed to CSAA’s five points of excellence.”
Fortunately for Redwire, earning certification was a natural extension of the corporate values and business practices already being put forward. In fact, in many cases the firm was already meeting or exceeding the criteria. However, as Central Station Manager Sean Githens explains, it wasn’t all a walk in the park.
“The CSAA training modules was one area that did present a challenge,” he says. “Finding a place in our ongoing training schedule to add more training modules required a large effort on our part. Nevertheless, once our operators enthusiastically completed the process, what we learned and being able to improve our level of service made it a rewarding experience for everyone.”
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Five Diamond Certification
Marketing MARVEL Awards
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