Able Security to Bolster its resi business

Chicago investment company provides resources for growth
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Thursday, August 12, 2010

MILWAUKEE - Able Security and Fire Alarm Systems announced July 30 that it's acquired the dry powder to undertake a major expansion of its residential business. The goal is to grow the residential side from its current five percent of revenues to north of 50 percent of Able's business.

Bolster LLC, a Chicago private investment company, provided the resources for growth. Terms of the investment were not released.

"Bolster has provided financial resources and a team of people who are very knowledgeable in marketing and business operations,' said John Evans, president of Able Security.

Bolster has invested in other industries, but this is Bolster's first venture into security. What all the investments have in common is a service component.

"We did extensive research and looked at a few different industries and what we found here is an opportunity to really delight the customer,' said Brad Morehead of Bolster. The goal is to delight rather than just serve the customer, he emphasized. Morehead cited new technologies, products and systems in development as examples of initiatives at Able that will support the expansion of the residential business. Some companies in the industry are looking for ways not to talk to their customers, he said. "If our competitors don't want to talk to their customers, I do.  We want to hear from our customers about what they like and what else they want from us to serve them even better.'

Evans said he's hiring sales staff and technicians, working on marketing and other processes. He expects to be adding accounts "in a major way within a six-to-12-month time frame. We want to walk before we run,' he said. He also believes that the ADT acquisition of Broadview makes it an good time to expand his residential business. "It's one competitor out of the market. Broadview and Brink's had a quality operation; they left a hole in the industry. There's a big opportunity out there.'

Evans founded Able Security 37 years ago as primarily a residential company and is a First Alert dealer. Its commercial focus expanded greatly over the past 15 years. He's excited about getting back to the residential roots of the business and noted that the technology has changed for the better.

Evans said he wants to have the systems "custom fit to the home and family.' He expects to be installing cameras, systems with remote operation capabilities, all of those interactive-type services.'

Focus Capital Advisors advised Bolster in its investment process. Davis Mergers and Acquisitions Group represented Able Security.