Heavy Metal Protection
What measures would you take to protect vast quantities of precious metals? Here’s how an integrator skillfully deployed the latest security technologies to deliver dazzling results on a tight deadline.
When is a quarter of a million dollars a bargain? When it pays for a comprehensive security solution that safeguards a fortune in gold, silver, platinum and palladium coins and bars. As one of the nation’s largest online retailers of precious metals, the American Precious Metals Exchange Inc. (APMEX) is understandably dead serious about security. Its recent move to the site of the former Federal Reserve Bank of Oklahoma City prompted an upgrade of the existing access control, burglary and CCTV systems.
“The previous security system operated on 26 analog security cameras, mounted around and inside the building back in the 1990s,” says APMEX Security Director Adrian Neal. “The Federal Reserve Bank employed a staff of seven armed guards who provided daily protection 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That system was insufficient for our needs.” After evaluating several bids, APMEX hired local security and fire/life-safety systems integrator STAMPSCO Inc. to engineer and deploy a solution encompassing the latest in IP megapixel video, electronic access control and intrusion detection.
“We were looking for a state-of-the-art security system, access control system and CCTV system that would protect our employees and our inventory,” says Neal. “We also wanted a CCTV system that could be accessed via a secure Internet connection from anywhere. We believed a combination of these three components would provide complete protection for APMEX’s inventory.”
The project required STAMPSCO to contend with and overcome several unique challenges, among them an unusual environment that included drilling through and wiring three-foot-thick vault doors, the requirement to place nearly all cabling in conduit, and a highly accelerated timeline amid inclement weather.
INTEGRATOR POSITIONED FOR SUCCESS
Founded in 2002 by President and CEO Rodney Stamps and his wife, Vice President Paige Stamps, Oklahoma City-based STAMPSCO specializes in fire/life-safety, access control, audio/video, and IT systems design and installation. NICET-certified Rodney Stamps launched the business after starting his alarm industry career in 1984 as an installer/technician before progressing to design and sales. Along the way he became general manager for SecurityLink from Ameritech and district sales manager for Protection One.
STAMPSCO’s 15 employees serve educational, health-care, industrial, financial, government, commercial office and residential clients that generate $3 million in annual sales revenues. The company has 500 installed accounts, including 200 monitored by Rapid Response Monitoring. The company’s dedication to premium service has helped it cultivate a customer list that includes the University of Central Oklahoma, Marriott Residence Inn, IHOP, Keller Williams Realty, Citizens Bank and Walgreens.
“We understand customers have a choice, so their satisfaction is our No. 1 priority. We know a lot of companies make this statement, but we back it up,” says Paige Stamps. “We meet customer expectations by carefully listening to them and aligning our services to meet their expectations. We don’t commit unless we can deliver – each and every time.”
The combination of STAMPSCO’s commitment to excellence, proven experience and demonstrated expertise made theirs a convincing case to meet APMEX’s needs. However, although the integrator did have to vie against other bidders, it was the germination of a seed planted some time prior that led the end user to directly contact the integrator and bring the contract to fruition.
“We knew about STAMPSCO for several years after meeting one of their employees while they were working for a competitor,” says APMEX President Scott Thomas. “They impressed me then and we decided when it was time to do this project, we wanted them to be a participant.”
APMEX had a good idea of what it wanted and during the course of several meetings the integrator massaged the original bid until it matched that vision. On Jan. 18, 2010, the agreement was signed, touching off a very aggressive three-week installation schedule.
“We have a reputation of being the ‘special forces’ of our industry,” says Rodney Stamps. “We are able to deploy our team and resources in a very short amount of time to meet the demanding needs of some of our clients. It takes everyone working as a team with total dedication and commitment to do what we do.”
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