Ackerman aims to grow

Super-regional to add employees, grow commercial biz
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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

ATLANTA—Ackerman Security, which in August moved into brand new headquarters here, expects to add another 65 employees over the next year—through organic growth. It will also beef up its commercial business in the Washington, D.C. area.

“We expect to increase the number of employees by 25 percent over the next year, but we’ve also grown our revenues 20 to 25 percent each year over the past five years,” Jim Callahan, Ackerman COO, told Security Systems News.

The super-regional, which is 70 percent residential, has offices here and in Washington, D.C. It has doubled in size over the past four years. In 2007 it had 40,000 accounts and $837,007 in RMR. The company now has 76,000 accounts and Callahan expects to end its current fiscal year (end of October) with RMR of $1.8 million.

Ackerman just opened its Washington, D.C.–area office in May of 2010. “In 14 short months, we now have just shy of 5,000 accounts [generated by that office].”

For starters, the Washington D.C. office has focused on the residential market, but starting in January, more core commercial sales reps will be added to the office “to go after the traditional card access, fire, camera and burg in the commercial 5,000-square-foot-and-up marketplace as well as [going after] government business,” Callahan said.

Why has Ackerman been growing so quickly? In the residential market, Callahan credits the company’s growth to its aggressive marketing program (radio, television and direct mail) and use of technology. He said the company offers a competitively priced monitoring package for fire and burg and medical monitoring for $18.99 per month. “The key to our success is strategic marketing and a paperless process throughout, not only in the sales area of our business, but across all departments,” he said. “This enables us, for example, to go into the Washington, D.C. market and handle the large geography (Maryland, Virginia and D.C.) with only one office, where most of our peers have two to three offices to handle the same geography.” He also noted that Ackerman has 55 sales reps in one office in Atlanta. “Without the paperless process, this would not be possible,” Callahan said.

Ackerman’s new 32,000-square-foot facility includes a central station and a security technology demonstration center.