Protection 1 Pursues Perfection
Protection 1 has transformed from a primarily residential company to serving a range of customers including national account clients in retail, banking and food/hospitality. In 2012, P1 made several key acquisitions such as Integration Logistics and Suntera to serve niche markets in the integrated space. The firm employs more than 2,500 people and its 70+ locations include five world-class call centers monitoring in excess of 1 million accounts nationwide. Impressive indeed, but there’s much more to the story and why P1 was named an SSI 2013 Installer of the Year finalist.
Other P1 highlights include: same-day customer onsite service and live customer care operators; approximately 50% higher sales compared to 2011, with 400% growth in multifamily business; leveraging social media marketing and increasing “likes” 100% in just three months; developing, rewarding and retaining employees; sales management trainee and call center mentoring programs; and a robust community service program in which funds donated by employees are matched.
“At Protection 1 our employees and their motivation set us apart,” says Jamie Haenggi, Protection 1 chief marketing & customer experience officer. “We relentlessly focus on the customer experience — delivering what the customer wants, when they want it — keeping our promises and compensating our employees so every day you receive their best. The combination of advanced technology, high quality service and passion of our employees make P1.”
A data-centric business model second to none in the industry is another key factor to which management attributes P1’s success. It tracks just about every imaginable facet of company operations and customer care, with the company analyzing results and reacting accordingly on a daily basis. Closer relationships are also fostered as clients appreciate P1’s transparency and can interface with their systems as they please.
“We’ve made no secret that we are a data-driven company,” says Betsy Scott, vice president, organizational development. “Our ‘best practice’ is to measure everything, hold people accountable and change things up when the opportunity or need arises.”
Vector Security Victories Pile Up
How accomplished is Warrendale, Pa.-headquartered Vector Security? Having been recognized with a plethora of industry awards through the years, Vector was the only company selected a 2013 finalist for both SSI Installer of the Year and Integrated Installation of the Year (see page 42). On top of that, CEO Pam Petrow is a member of SSI’s Industry Hall of Fame and the firm was just announced as the first repeat winner of the Police Dispatch Quality (PDQ) Award.
Vector Security, which was founded more than 40 years ago and employs about 1,500 people, recorded revenues of more than $233 million in 2012 with almost half coming from commercial business that included 7,600+ installations. More than 50% of Vector’s revenues are recurring, much of that associated with its award-winning central monitoring stations.
As Art Miller, vice president, marketing explains, constant soliciting and monitoring of feedback is a hallmark of Vector’s success formula. “We do a lot of customer satisfaction surveys,” he says. “We have our service and installation technicians leave surveys with their customers, and have incentive programs that encourage and reward exceptional customer service. We also obtain valuable input via ongoing customer feedback to drive overall company performance and improve the customer experience.”
Other factors that led judges to tab Vector Security as an Installer of the Year finalist include: better serving customers by using scheduling and routing software to optimize scheduling, reduce travel time for technicians, and allow them to test alarms via smartphones; fostering a culture of communication using monthly reviews, supervisor “ride-a-longs” that give technicians immediate feedback, and town hall meetings; and emphasizing community and industry trade group participation.
While security technology is great, for Petrow it all comes down to doing right by the customer. “We really listen to the needs of our customers, and proactively look for solutions that address their needs and concerns,” she says. “Listening to the customers and not being driven by technology for technology’s sake is critical to making the right long-term decisions.”
Vivint Has Voracious Appetite for Success
“Vivint attributes much of its success to its door-to-door sales approach, affordability and award-winning customer service,” says Vice President of Innovation Jeremy Warren about the 2013 SSI Installer of the Year finalist. “We run an ‘innovation pipeline’ where new ideas enter at one end and new products, services and business concepts exit at the other. New ideas can come from anywhere. We refine them and ruthlessly weed out lower caliber ideas so we can focus our attention on the best options.”
That approach along with the application of leading business practices and marketing strategies helped Vivint sell for $2 billion in 2012. In June last year, the Provo, Utah-based company reached another financial milestone by topping $30 million in recurring monthly revenue — an increase of 940% the past five years. The firm was also named CSAA Central Station of the Year for excellence in monitoring, training and quality relationships with customers. “Vivint is on a trajectory to grow its customer base by approximately 200,000 new customers this year,” says Warren. “In addition to our very successful door-to-door sales approach, this year we are expanding our focus on reaching new customers through more traditional marketing methods such as Internet and TV.”
Vivint ensures its personnel are properly trained via a rigorous program that includes a Wiki-format training Web site, mobile videos, weekly Webinars and podcasts. Real-time metrics and dashboards are available to all field employees to measure performance. “Vivint’s ‘work hard, play hard’ philosophy resonates within its entire employee base,” says David Powell, V.P., human resources. “Todd Pedersen, Vivint’s CEO and founder, was taught by his father if you treat those who work for you like gold, everything else will fall into place. He took that to heart and founded Vivint on a philosophy of respect at every employee level.”
Vivint is also very philanthropic. Josh Houser, president of Vivint Gives Back, explains the program: “Employees at every level are engaged in Vivint Gives Back, the company’s charitable foundation, which they say creates a stronger connection to their company, their coworkers and their communities. In 2012, 2,900 volunteers donated 9,300 hours and Vivint aided 20 organizations.”
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Installer of the Year
Tyco Integrated Security