How serious is Atronic Alarms about eliminating false alarms and police dispatches? Serious enough to augment its customer service operations with a Quality Assurance Department (QAD) whose primary mission is reducing the possibility any Atronic-installed system generates a false alarm. That level of dedication and outstanding performance brought the Lenexa, Kan., company this year's Police Dispatch Quality (PDQ) Award.
"False alarms are not only a nuisance to clients, but work against law enforcement and fire officials in the area. This weakens the community," says Todd Harrison, Atronic operations manager. "[President] Perry Atha's goal was to start a company people could depend on and trust, and that is the driving force behind Atronic Alarms."
Established in 1982 by Atha and now serving 3,572 monitored customers, Atronic is one of the largest, locally owned and managed security companies in the Kansas City area. Bolstered by the rock-solid support of monitoring partner Alarm Central, Atronic dramatically demonstrates its service commitment in several unique ways, including not requiring clients to sign long-term contracts.
"The No. 1 goal driving our company is to provide the best customer service available, and using that service to nurture and maintain long-term relationships with our customers," says Nell Mathews, Atronic general manager. "This philosophy is what makes us different and completely sets us apart from other alarm companies."
In a world where myriad businesses spout platitudes about "putting the customer first" but are typically more about lip service than customer service, Atronic has the quantitative data to prove it plays in a different league. For example, in the Kansas City area, its alarm dispatch rate in 2008 was an unheard of .012.
Atronic stood out among several PDQ Award hopefuls including fellow finalists ADT and Custom Alarm (See sidebars). As judged by representatives from each of the program's organizers - the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA) andSECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION - the PDQ Award was presented March 31 in Las Vegas, with Honeywell sponsoring.
"Incredible customer service, custom designs, training and dedicated Quality Assurance Department are all things that set Atronic apart from others," says Norma Beaubien, a PDQ judge and director of the Montgomery County (Md.) Department of Police False Alarm Reduction Section. "These initiatives go above and beyond what many alarm companies are doing and distinguish Atronic as a company worthy of the PDQ Award."
Established in 2005, the PDQ program aims to curtail the false alarm problem by recognizing installing and monitoring companies that follow established industry best practices and partner with law enforcement to achieve the highest quality in police dispatch requests. The goal is to raise industry-wide awareness, motivate alarm firms to be proactive and provide models that work for others to follow. As you will see, Atronic defines what the program is all about.