Sustaining A Successful Security Business, 50 Years of Insight

By: Ben Cornett

Looking back to 1974, I first entered the Security Business as a sales representative. The security industry was mostly controlled by a small group of national companies with UL Central Stations in most major cities, namely ADT, Wells Fargo, Holmes Electric Protection, Honeywell and Rollins Protective. I can’t remember the last time I’ve heard anyone mention most of these companies.

The ones who survived are certainly not close to being the same. The local Alarm Companies (usually family owned and operated ) throughout the United States offered local monitoring through their own UL Listed Central Stations. I believed then, as I do today, that these companies are the backbone of the Security Industry.

I have had the pleasure of visiting most of these companies and meeting multiple members of their families. These local companies all seem to have one thing in common, their customers are valued as their most important asset. They always do what they say they will do, when they said they would do it. All employees are well trained and able to provide services that set these companies apart.

Equipment suppliers like Ademco, Radionics, FBI, Silent Knight, Solfan, Pelco or Napco provided American made products. Most of these companies no longer exist. Made in America is rare today. In 1975 DMP began manufacturing security products in Springfield, Missouri. To the best of my knowledge this family-owned business still provides products made in America.

Over the years since, I have been fortunate to experience the growth and constant changes to our industry. The growth has been an interesting experience which has created opportunities for successful futures for people who are willing to work smart. I’ve identified what I believe are the biggest changes which have created the most growth opportunities.

  • The acceptance of remote Central Stations eliminating the major cost of operating your own Central Station.
  • Dealer Programs such as Protection One, ADT Authorized Dealer and Monitronics. These programs have helped to solve the cash flow problem.
  • The Summer Programs of mostly Utah-based companies with truly outstanding sales organizations.
  • Internet based companies offering both do it yourself or professional installation.

Looking to the future I strongly believe the opportunities for growth are as good or better today than ever. While it is certain the Internet based companies will continue to enjoy excellent growth and be the cause of great concern and worry on the part of local companies, I see them as simply expanding the market for all.

The winners will be the companies with the best trained people who are not intimidated by competition and honestly believe they have the best option for their prospects.

Ben Cornett started his journey in the security industry in 1974 with Rollins Protective Service and rose to prominence after joining Intellisense in 1990, later becoming Ademco where he served as President until 2000. After Ademco was acquired by Honeywell Global Security Group, he continued his role as President until 2011. After, Ben started Gentlemen 3, a private equity group acquiring several businesses including EZWatch and Logicmark. A member of the Security Sales & Integration Hall of Fame and recipient of Stanley C. Lott Award, Ben has made a significant footprint during his long-tenured service to the industry.

Syncomm Management Group puts the many different operational pieces of associations together, seamlessly and professionally. We provide clients with high quality public relations, marketing communication services and management services for national and regional volunteer-based non-profit organizations and corporations.

See more articles on: Syncomm