Ackerman Security Systems Opens Expanded Headquarters

By Rodney Bosch

ATLANTAAckerman Security Systems celebrated the grand opening Thursday of a newly renovated 32,000-square-foot facility here to accommodate its continued expansion in the residential and commercial markets. 

Ackerman’s new facility is about three times larger than its former headquarters. The firm, which serves about 70,000 customers in the Atlanta area, staffs 258 employees and expects to increase its workforce by 25 percent in the coming year, Jim Callahan, who serves as the company’s COO, tells SSI.

“We have been very fortunate despite the economic climate. We are seeing growth on both sides of the business. Residentially we are up about 20 percent year-over-year. Commercially we are up about 12 percent year-over-year,” he says.

The firm has experienced considerable growth since the current management acquired about 28,000 accounts in 2005 from Charlie Ackerman, who founded the company in 1967. Virtually all of Ackerman’s growth has been achieved organically with the exception of a deal in April to acquire ADS Security’s Norcross, Ga.-based branch. 

The company remains on pace to continue growing its business in the coming year in the Atlanta area as well as other markets.

“We will certainly look at acquisitions but our marketing model is to grow by internal growth. We can create an account more efficiently and less expensively than we can buy an account,” he says. “We do have plans to open other offices although it would be premature to cite a particular city at this time, but we do have plans to open additional offices in 2012.”  

Ackerman’s intentions to enter new markets have been bolstered by the success of its first foray outside the Atlanta area, which it made in May 2010 with the opening a small office in Washington, D.C.

“We took the marketing programs that we deploy in Atlanta and that has been quite successful. We started out with nine employees and we are up to about 35. We currently have just shy of 5,000 accounts there,” he says.

Special guests on hand for the unveiling of Ackerman’s new headquarters included JoAnna Sohovich, president of the Honeywell Security & Communications for the Americas division. The new facility features a demonstration center where customers can test and learn about new security technologies. 

Formerly home to a telecommunications company, Ackerman refashioned the entire building, including migrating its UL-Listed, CSAA Five Diamond-certified central station and call center. No small feat, says Callahan.

“There were a lot of sleepless nights. For about two weeks we were operational in the old building and the new building with a VPN tunnel between the two,” he says. “We have some folks in the IT department that still have bags under their eyes and probably will for a little while longer.”

Rodney Bosch is managing editor for SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION magazine. He can be reached at (310) 533-2426.

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