SPECIAL REPORT: 2007 Installations of the Year—New Kings Sit Atop Installation Throne
On the surface, HSM Electronic Protection Services, part of Stanley Convergent Security Solutions, and Life & Property Security Systems couldn’t be more different. HSM is one of the nation’s largest national installation and monitoring services firms, while Life & Property is among the industry’s thousands of small, regional operators. Upon closer inspection, however, they share many common attributes that led to them winning Security Sales & Integration’s 2007 Integrated Installation of the Year Awards.
As the biggest among many winners announced during SSI’s SAMMY Awards ceremony in Las Vegas March 27, Lisle, Ill.-based HSM Electronic Protection Services and Life & Property Security of Knoxville, Tenn., set themselves apart among several outstanding security contractors to take home special plaques for, respectively, Integrated Commercial/Industrial and Residential Installations of the Year. Their winning entries demonstrated extraordinary skill and acumen in design, engineering and installation.
In its winning installation, HSM integrated access control, CCTV and intrusion for Silver Eagle Distributors’ new 110,000-square-foot Houston headquarters. Life & Property Security captured its residential trophy satisfying the most demanding customer of all — themselves. The integrator spent more than a year-and-a-half stuffing every conceivable device and system into the owner’s new custom home on Lake Loudon, Tenn.
Go behind the scenes of these integration masterpieces to discover first-hand what makes them deserving of the industry’s highest installation honors.
Showcase Installation the Toast of Beverage Distributor
HSM Electronic Protection Services Inc., which was acquired by Stanley Works earlier this year, is the second-largest commercial and national account electronic security provider in the country. The company boasts more than 50 offices serving in excess of 100 of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas.
Founded in 1969 as Honeywell Security Monitoring, the operation was acquired by Jim Covert and a group of investors for $315.5 million in 2004 and then bought by Stanley Works in early 2007 for a reported $545 million. HSM’s management team, including COO Tim Whall and Senior Vice President of Sales, Marketing and National Accounts Tony Byerly, have remained in place as HSM became part of Stanley’s new Convergent Security Solutions business unit.
With annual revenues of approximately $200 million and a customer base of more than 175,000, HSM is the fourth-largest security company in the United States. The firm provides a full-range of electronic security solutions, including intrusion and fire alarms, video surveillance and access control systems, integrated solutions, online eServices, and UL- and FM-approved monitoring.
HSM owns and operates its own central stations — the ProtectionNet Customer Service Centers (PNC) — that monitor 160,000 accounts coast to coast. The company estimates its recurring monthly revenue to be 65 percent commercial/industrial customers and 35 percent residential. However, its present sales focus is 60 percent commercial/industrial business and 40 percent national accounts.
From the standpoint of SSI’s Integrated Commercial/Industrial Installation of the Year, HSM is like a Super Bowl contender that loses the conference title game before returning to win the NFL championship the next year. The integrator’s California State Lottery headquarters project was good enough to be named runner-up in 2006, however, it was its super work for Houston’s Silver Eagle Distributors that brought HSM the big prize in 2007.
Distribution Outlet Includes Civil War Museum
Silver Eagle Distributors, originally founded in 1961 as Southwest Distributing, is the nation’s second-largest distributor of Anheuser-Busch products. Due to its phenomenal growth, management decided to relocate the company’s corporate headquarters and central storage and delivery hub from an antiquated collection of warehouses near downtown Houston into a new state-of-the-art facility.
The new industrial district location was to serve not only as a model of efficiency but also as a showcase for the owner’s impressive collection of Civil War antiques and historical art pieces. As the design process evolved, it became clear to Silver Eagle leadership that its new corporate headquarters would require an extensive intrusion, CCTV and access control system.
Having already established itself with Silver Eagle as a trusted provider, HSM, which promotes itself according to COO Tim Whall as “the national company with the local feel,” began discussions with the distributor about the project in the fall of 2004.
“We walked them through the process, and designed the system according to their security and management concerns, and of course their budget,” says HSM District General Manager Wes Schoppa. The contract was signed in August 2005.
In addition to Schoppa, key HSM personnel on the project included Executive Sales Representative Robert Clay, District Operations Manager Keith Kilpatrick, Systems Design Specialist Chuck O’Leary, Field Installation Specialist III Gregg Galvan and Field Installation Specialist I George Osorio.
Together, they conferred with the Silver Eagle construction team, including Vice President of Internal Operations Matt Soileau, Director of Construction and Maintenance Greg Stephens and Musak Construction Co. Project Manager Del Reibold.
Special Approach Required for 4 Unique Areas
Construction got underway in December 2004 and was mostly complete by March 2006. Although HSM, which began its phase of the job in October 2005, was solely responsible for designing the security system, it worked closely with other trades on the project.
“We coordinated our work with the general contractor,” says Schoppa. “We utilized the onsite electrical contractor to install various conduits, but we installed all wire and devices ourselves. We also worked closely with the finish trades, particularly mill workers and masons.”
When the dust cleared, HSM had logged 800 man-hours at a customer cost of roughly $250,000.
During the design proces
s, one of the biggest considerations for HSM was figuring out how to best protect and cover a Silver Eagle corporate complex that combined four venues into one.
It is a cold storage facility encompassing 110,000 square feet for maintaining product integrity. It is a logistics center – loading, dispatching, unloading, cleaning and fueling a fleet of 90 deliver trucks daily. It is the corporate office for management, operations, IT and sales staff for the entire company. And, most uniquely and as mentioned, it is a museum that houses a highly valuable array of Civil War memorabilia and original art.
Each of these distinct areas required a specific approach. For example, the cold storage area was designed to ensure the perimeter alarms and cameras could withstand the extreme (35° F) environment. The truck wash and fueling area design criteria accounted for both high pressure water and hazardous vapors. The museum display areas were implemented with aesthetics as the first priority without sacrificing system performance.
Integrated Solution Features 52 Cameras, 32 Readers
All told, HSM deployed 52 Bosch fixed cameras connected to four Honeywell 16-channel DVRs.
“The cameras are all color, highres,” elaborates Schoppa. “Views include the front gates, parking lot, loading area, truck wash, truck fueling station, museum, ‘Walk of Fame,’ elevator lobbies and parking garage. Recorders are located in the IT room. There are four monitors in two locations, plus a 42-inch plasma monitor in the executive director’s office.”
A Honeywell Prowatch/Nexwatch system fed by 32 proximity readers handles the access control functions. The access system, which also includes a mix of electric strikes and maglocks as well as two drive gates, is integrated with a Bosch intrusion system that also monitors the facility’s fire alarm system and several elevators.
“We monitor flow and tamper switches associated with the wet sprinkler system, and alarm outputs from the fire panel,” adds Schoppa. HSM also monitors 53 points of intrusion protection from its central monitoring facilities.
When asked why those particular brands, models and technology were chosen, Schoppa responds, “Robust, proven technology, ease of use, availability of replacement parts and technical support.”
Additional integrated aspects of the installation include the access control system interfacing with human resources databases as well as other networked capabilities.
Weather, Scale, Materials Top List of Challenges
Several challenges presented themselves during the course of construction, including an inordinate amount of rain delays and working to install access devices in the native rough-cut stone found throughout the office area.
“In the office entrance, the walls are covered with native stone,” explains Schoppa. “We had to work with the stone mason to ensure our card readers, keypads, etc. were mounted in an aesthetic but functional manner.”
An area dubbed the “Walk of Fame” also required some special handling.
“There are many fine pieces of art located there,” adds Schoppa. “The finished construction in this hallway is exposed beams similar to a rustic hunting lodge. We had to hide all wire, and mount cameras and motion detectors as unobtrusively as possible while still providing the required coverage.”
Dealing with the sheer size and scale of the facility – the ceilings in the cold-storage facility are 50-feet high – called HSM’s expertise into action throughout the project. It was sometimes particularly difficult to place cameras in locations that were both functional and serviceable.
“These challenges were overcome by working closely with the general contractor, especially in the executive office areas and the entry museum,” says Schoppa.
Integrator Delivers Before, During and Ongoing After Project
Despite those obstacles and the cost of the project ballooning $55,000 from an initial estimate of $195,000 – mostly for CCTV and intrusion system add-ons – HSM successfully cleared all hurdles to the satisfaction of Silver Eagle Distributors decision makers.
Upon completion of the project, HSM provided a training luncheon to ensure the end user and its staff were familiar with their new systems’ operation. The integrator conducts routine testing and maintenance to assure all system parameters work to specifications, and continues to offer onsite training and support, as well as same-day service response.
It’s no wonder the customer reports enjoying the benefits of HSM’s well designed and expertly installed security system, as well as the associated peace of mind. So much so that Silver Eagle management has on numerous occasions allowed prospective HSM clients to tour its facility.
“The end result is a customized security system that is flexible, aesthetically pleasing and robust,” says Schoppa.
“They are very happy with both our installation and our service of their account since the project was completed.”
Topping off the whole outstanding experience was the announcement of winning the Installation of the Year Award and the ensuing plaque presentation.
“It’s always humbling to be honored by our industry, and we are particularly excited about winning this year’s
Commercial/Industrial Installation Award,” says Byerly, whose 20 years in the industry includes stints with Ameritech and ADT. “This tribute reinforces our role as a top security provider serving a wide variety of customers no matter the size or complexity of the system installation required.”
Looking at the bigger picture, Byerly says the award program provides a way to project the best the electronic security industry has to offer.
“Overall, programs and awards like this help to enhance our industry’s professionalism and ongoing dedication to excellent customer service, from beginning to end, which we all strive for on a daily basis,” he says.
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