SHREVEPORT, La. — In an effort to remain an independent alarm company, Bayou Security Systems has joined Pelican Security Network (PSN), a nationwide network of independent security system providers.
Baton Rouge, La.-based PSN has 36 members nationwide with a concentration in southeastern states, such as Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. The network also provides specialized financial services for independent alarm companies, integrators and electrical contractors.
"There are 14,000 independent fire and security companies that struggle to compete with the ADTs and Protection 1s," PSN President and COO Lou Resweber tells SSI. "Our idea was to level the playing field and allow the mom-and-pop independents to effectively compete against the big guys."
For 30 years, Bayou Security has provided security and life-safety systems to its several thousand customers in the Shreveport/Bossier City area. However, when founder Richard W. Norton III died in January, his family researched every option to maintain operations, Bayou Security Business Administrator Brenda Revils tells SSI.
"They knew they wanted to keep the company and to keep the employees secure," she says. "They also wanted to expand because they realized that we needed more opportunities as a business."
Steve Rubin of Long Grove, Ill.-based Davis Mergers and Acquisitions Group helped Bayou Security find the best fit for the company. After reviewing several options, the company decided to join PSN because it allows partners to maintain branding and to carry out business operations as usual.
"We're really pumped," Revils says. "We're keeping the same name, and when our customers call, they will talk to the same people. Our customers are big here with us being local."
In addition to keeping all 14 members on staff, Bayou Security will now offer equipment and technology it had not offered before, such as video surveillance. PSN also allows the company to make bulk purchases of advanced technology solutions at lower costs.
"With the new equipment and software PSN is bringing to us, there are going to be amazing things that we can do," Revils says. "Our people here wanted those things, but we weren't able to offer them. Now we can. We'll be able to do three times more than what companies here are doing. That's really exciting for us."
Bayou Security also plans to expand into Florida, Mississippi and Texas and now has the option of hiring more employees.
For its part, PSN does not advertise to attract dealers. Instead, it usually relies on referrals from independent central stations, equipment manufacturers and law enforcement agencies and trade associations.
"Most of the referrals come from the big, independent monitoring stations that cater to independent alarm dealers," says Resweber, who founded PSN in 1998. "Obviously, it behooves those central stations to try to provide opportunities for dealers to remain independent. If the dealer decides to join up with a company like ADT, the central station would lose business. I think all the large players do a wonderful job, but there is a percentage of the public that would rather remain with a local, hands-on mom-and-pop alarm company."
One of the benefits of joining PSN is that companies can rely on "sister companies" to provide service to remote customers, thus increasing efficiency and responsiveness, according to Resweber.
Ashley Willis is associate editor for SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION magazine. She can be reached at (310) 533-2419.