All bustling on the western front

Amherst Alarm moves further into New York state with its acquisition of Dotzler Security
Tuesday, February 1, 2005

AMHERST, N.Y. - Amherst Alarm has increased its reach in western New York state by acquiring Dotzler Security and Intercommunications of Boston, N.Y, located roughly 23 miles from Buffalo, N.Y.

Amherst Alarm, a full service alarm company here, acquired 500 accounts from Dotzler in December. The majority of the accounts were residential while the remainder was small commercial. Amherst itself - which currently accounts for 12,000 monitored accounts - is an equal mix of residential and commercial accounts, according to company founder Tim Creenan. He said the acquisition, which the financial terms of were not released, helps further establish the company’s presence in western New York.

“Before the acquisition, we weren’t as heavily concentrated there,” Creenan said.

One reason Creenan was drawn to the company was because of its similarities to Amherst’s product line.

“The product lines that Dotzler sold are very similar to our own,” he said. “It was a very good fit in terms of sales, service and installation.”

The owner of Dotzler, Norman Dotzler, will stay on with Amherst in a sales role, but no other employees have been retained.

This is the fourth acquisition for the company in four years and Creenan said he is consistently on the lookout for other accounts and companies that align with Amherst’s goals. But, he also pointed out that aggressive growth is not something he is focused on.

“We’ve had steady, controlled growth over the past 20 years,” Creenan said. “We are not looking to double in size or anything quickly.”

The transition of the accounts is expected to be easy since a large percentage of the 500 accounts from Dotzler are already monitored by Amherst Alarm, which offers third-party monitoring on a limited basis. On the end user side, Creenan said they are actively informing Dotzler’s customers of the change in ownership.

“We’ve sent out welcome kits for them to give them the new information on our company and new service procedures,” he said.

One thing that will take time is bringing the accounts into the Installation Quality Certification Program. Amherst is IQ-certified, a label that informs customers that the company is going the extra step to prevent false alarms.

Security companies carrying the designation must meet designated standards for installation, customer training and monitoring services as well as comply with state and local licensing laws.

“That is definitely one of the things we want to bring to the Dotzler accounts is bringing them into the IQ program,” Creenan said.