ASIS 2016: Securitas Electronic Security Hosts Successful Branding Bash
President Tony Byerly says the industry welcomed the former Diebold Security with open arms and talks about the company’s transition.
How has this transition affected your established vendor relationships?
Byerly: It’s done nothing but strengthen them. With everything else happening in the market now in our industry, and the other consolidations and cost synergy plays that are happening right now in our space, when our focus has been on growth and continuing to make investments to drive commercial synergies for growth, not cost synergies, I think the vendors and strategic partners have all really appreciated that message. Frankly, they are looking for ways they could continue to strengthen and broaden their business portfolios with us. As we’ve continued to grow we’ve had multiple, quarter-upon-quarter growth in orders as well as in revenue. That has not slowed down as part of the Securitas business. That’s a positive thing for us, and positive for our suppliers.
What types of partners are you on the lookout for at this point? What are the opportunities to collaborate?
Byerly: If you’re talking about technology partners or manufa
cturers, certainly, we feel very strongly and very committed to our strategic partners. We stayed true to our word and I think that’s one thing our strategic partners and suppliers appreciate. We stayed true to our word around partnership and how we develop business, and how we continue to rely on one another, and how we’re committed. It doesn’t mean we don’t drive for the best value, but at the end of the day, in our industry, having that true support and that true partnership is really key, especially for an integrator. I have no preference for one product over another; I want to bring the best solution to my customers. That allows us to partner with a lot of really good suppliers and really good technology partners. And we’re always looking for ways to expand. But right now the main thing is to stay committed through our transition to our current suppliers and strategic partners. They’ve been very supportive of us.
I talked to you shortly after you joined Diebold, and you were really psyched up about it. Could you compare and contrast it to where you are now with this transition?
Byerly: While they’re different brands and names, our company has essentially remained the same. My team is the same. We’re not having any cost synergies. We’re only looking for how we’re going to continue to grow and invest in the business. Securitas has stayed true to their word in that from the transition. As I said before, you can’t be any more excited than saying you found the right partner for the longevity of the company, and for the associates, and for your customers. Diebold was very good to me, and if you think about it it’s an iconic brand transitioning out of the security space. There’s no more Diebold security and electronic security. That’s an iconic industry transition brand change that doesn’t happen very often.
As you go through this transition and rebranding, what are the top one or two challenges?
Byerly: It’s always the IT system transitions. I’ve been through this several times in my career, and making sure the IT system conversions go smoothly is really the critical piece of any successful integration and separation. So we’re paying particular interest to that and making sure we have a great customer experience through that transition, and frankly a better customer experience for example in billing, post the conversion.
As far as rebranding, our customers, especially financial customers, really care about the timing and making sure the communication they’re getting is allowing them to communicate within their own organization. The security directors want to be able to share with the retail banks, as an example, “Hey, you’re going to start seeing our service provider no longer will be wearing Diebold uniforms. They’re going to be showing up in Securitas Electronic Security uniforms. They’re going to be showing up with a Securitas vehicle. They’re going to have a photo badge.” So making sure the timing of that communication, making sure there’s enough notice, and working with them if there’s any particular one-off requirements they have within a particular customer; that really is the other critical task here. Making sure we always have our associates in the know and our customers in the know. Communication is the key.
Did the ASIS show meet your expectations? Was there anything surprising or unexpected?
Byerly: It was a great show for us. We had a record number of scans this year. We had a lot of traffic to the booth. We had a record number of preset appointments going into the show. Even something as simple as our giveaways and our refreshment center and bar at our booth, the sodas and waters we had, we basically ran out of our giveaways, and almost exhausted all our refreshments. So I would tell you we had a phenomenal engagement this year at the show. We came out of it feeling very good.
As you know this has been an amazing year for M&A activity in the industry. Do you think that is going to continue or was it a big blast that’s going to quiet down now?
Byerly: Some of those large transactions, and even some of the other medium- to small-size transactions, private equity has been involved in. When private equity is involved, you know that there’s still more to come in the future. That’s one thing that our industry has proven out over time is that there’s a high level of interest from private equity. Even deals like ours, where a strategic buyer is the acquirer, demonstrates there’s still a lot of core strategic interest in the space as well. I think there’s still transactions that will take place over the next coming years. The space is still highly fragmented, and despite transactions, the fragmentation has not gone away.
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