By Jay Jason Bartlett
This is another article in Security.World’s Company Grows series.
In 2012, Schlage Electronic Security’s Software & Controllers unit was spun off from Ingersoll Rand to become Vanderbilt Industries. In the following years, Vanderbilt has continued to stand on its own feet and grow even stronger within the industry.
We caught up with Mitchell Kane, President, Vanderbilt, and chatted about how Vanderbilt has grown over the years. Kane has been with this business for 32 years now and has seen the company, industry, and marketplace make significant changes over those three decades.
Vanderbilt as a company was founded in 2012, but the core technology of the business goes back much further. Kane was a partner of the Integrated Access Systems/Geoffrey Industries business beginning in 1985, which was acquired by Ingersoll Rand in 2003. ACRE, LLC, acquired the company in 2012 and formed what is now known as Vanderbilt. Today, we’ve taken two more companies under the Vanderbilt name: Siemens Security Products and ACT Technologies.
“One of the biggest drivers of Vanderbilt’s success has been vision,” stated Kane.
More recently, under the direction of CEO Joe Grillo, the company has made some very smart and strategic moves to acquire technology that boosts the value Vanderbilt holds.
“Two years ago, we acquired Siemens Security Products, which brought intrusion detection into the fold within the European market. Late last year, we acquired ACT Technologies, which offered us a cloud-based access control and video management solution to fill a gap in our product portfolio,” Kane added.
All of these acquisitions and additions to the Vanderbilt product line have not only been expertly executed but have added significant value to their dealer and integrator partners that they can then pass on to end-user clients.
When asked what makes Vanderbilt a vendor others would want to partner with, Kane saw a straight-forward response. “Because we aren’t a very large organization, we tend to have agility that many others do not possess. This gives us the freedom to deliver customized solutions to a specific vertical market or organization. Integrating additional platforms such as Mercury Security connect end users to a variety of possibilities.”
Kane believes that Vanderbilt’s service has been the top reason the company is in the position it is today.
“It is really all about our service that sets us apart — it’s inseparable from our value proposition. We have a highly skilled technical support team that offers real-time customer service, as well as developers to deliver custom solutions to our clients. We also offer high-scale data systems integration support to end users who require the ability to seamlessly integrate existing investments into the work flow of their organization.”
Kane went on to add, “Another key to our success is a wide dealer network. We can offer support through our network pretty much anywhere you can imagine. We spend a lot of time and energy ensuring our dealers and integrators are fully up-to-date on the technology we offer through a variety of online and in-person training opportunities.”
Vanderbilt is a market player in many different verticals, including education, healthcare, corporate enterprise, real estate and others. “It’s important in any business to really sit back and listen to your clients when they give feedback after using your product or even before your product goes into their facility. We have the ability to remain flexible in our approach and can work to customize our products for clients,” explained Kane.
“Within education, we developed a way to streamline data management when information is being translated from various software systems within a school (i.e., event management, meal plan software, etc.) to the Vanderbilt Security Management Systems (SMS) that will allow administrators a single update instead of multiple data entry points. Every step in the process is integrated —from where a person can go to which assets they can access— using third-party systems and the access control system, resulting in productive and meaningful updates to the process,” he continued.
We asked Kane what defines Vanderbilt as a quality product manufacturer. “While we sell to the channel through installers and integrator partners, we still want to nurture a relationship with the end user, which helps us deliver the quality products that our clients have come to know and trust.”
Kane went on to explain, “We want to build on the relationships with end users to make sure they understand what our products do, what they’re capable of doing and gain any insight on ways they feel that they can be made stronger. Along those lines, we work throughout our whole organization to address the needs of our end users with a sense of urgency. From shipping and receiving, tech support, custom engineering and accounting, every issue the client requests or reports becomes our most important issue. That’s how we see our mission and our clients.”
Kane again looked inward when asked what market areas the company is looking at to continue the growth path it is already on. “Vanderbilt continues to look for ways to provide advancement opportunities for our employees, which in turn will deliver value-added services to our integration partners as well as logical and practical solutions to the present and emerging issues that our system end-users will encounter,” he shared.
When asked what he planned for the future of Vanderbilt, Kane provided, “Vanderbilt has several new ventures coming this year, including an addition of the ACT365 cloud-based access control and video management solution that fills a gap in our product offerings. It also provides our integrator partners with an RMR model and subscription service. Vanderbilt will continue to build on the strong products and services we have in place now while paying attention to changes in the realm of connected devices, increased network security and more robust data management practices.”
Kane wrapped up our chat by saying, “Our focus will also remain on delivering more than simply the best possible products. Because many of the products deliver the same functionality in the access control world, it’s the additional customer service, customized options and integrator training that truly set us apart in the marketplace.”