Practices Make Protection Bureau Perfect

Matthew Ladd, president/COO of The Protection Bureau, has finally given his father and company founder Keith the trophy he always desired the most. For years, Matthew would triumphantly bring SSI‘s SAMMY (Sales & Marketing) awards back to his dad who would say, “Great job, you should be proud. But where is the Installer of the Year?”  

Keith Ladd passed away this past February, which made it all the more poignant when the company was recently named by SSI as the 2009 Installer of the Year (small to midsize company, fewer than 300 employees). “I was never more gratified than when I brought the Installer of the Year home,” says Matthew. “Although my dad was not with us to celebrate it, I know he was elated that we finally won the Big One.”

The Installer of the Year is presented annually to the security company that best meets the following criteria: exceptional customer service; business practices and marketing strategies that ensure success; properly training company personnel; motivating employees; giving back to the community; and contributing to the betterment of the security industry.

Exton, Pa.-based The Protection Bureau, which also earned a SAMMY this year for Best Promotional Giveaway Item (see the June issue of SSI or visit, edged out two strong challengers for Installer of the Year honors. They were Atronic Alarms of Lenexa, Kan., and Provident Security of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Predicated on the slogan, “Big enough to protect, small enough to care,” The Protection Bureau shares the strategies and practices that have allowed it to become a model security systems installation operation and grow into a $15 million business.

Built on Family Values
Founded in 1975, Keith and Mary Ladd initially operated The Protection Bureau out of their home. The couple developed the company based on providing the best services utilizing the best security products. Keith Ladd co-founded the Pennsylvania Burglar & Fire Alarm Association in the early 1970s and later became an active member of the PSA Security Network, among many other organizations.

Today, The Protection Bureau operates out of a 16,000-square-foot facility in suburban Philadelphia that includes a CSAA Five Diamond central monitoring station, as well as a branch office in South Plainfield, N.J. Having grown from a small burglar alarm dealer to a full-service integrator with nearly 100 employees serving 6,000 commercial and government clients, the company has become one of the Mid-Atlantic’s largest regional security solutions providers.

With a revenue mix of 40 percent video surveillance, 35 percent access control, 20 percent intrusion detection and 5 percent mass notification, The Protection Bureau, with Mary as Chairwoman of the Board (COB) and Matthew as president/CEO, remains a family owned and operated corporation, and relies on those principles to guide the enterprise.

“The Protection Bureau is all about family values and puts its money where its mouth is,” says Client Care & Marketing Coordinator Gabrielle Kotke. “Not only do we reward our employees for a job well done, we reward our clients for their loyalty and being part of our family.”

Renewed Focus on Clients
Although The Protection Bureau had long been known for its outstanding customer service, Matthew Ladd decided to turn it up a notch. He believed with money getting tighter for everyone that the timing was right to do even more to ensure customers were kept happy. So he launched a companywide Customer Service Initiative (CSI).

Through this program, all staff members are trained about every facet of customer service and client care. The goal of CSI is to reinforce those policies throughout the company. Seminars and training sessions are held on a monthly basis, and, and staff members receive rewards for jobs well done.

“We want to be proactive and handle any potential issues before they happen,” says Kotke. An outgrowth of CSI, a Customer Care Department was created to address clients’ individual needs.

“At The Protection Bureau, client satisfaction is our No. 1 priority,” says Ladd. “This department, which reports directly to me, was specifically created to address client needs, concerns and issues. We now have an entire department dedicated to client retention.”

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About the Author


Scott Goldfine is the marketing director for Elite Interactive Solutions. He is the former editor-in-chief and associate publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He can be reached at [email protected].

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