American Alarm: Building infrastructure to support and sustain growth

Increased warehouse capabilities, marketing software helps employees in the field and in the central station
Friday, February 19, 2016

ARLINGTON, Mass.—Coming off a record year for revenue and RMR growth, American Alarm and Communications, a leading residential and commercial provider of security and life-safety systems across New England, is poised for another year of continued strong growth, according to company president Wells A. Sampson.

"Both residential and commercial have continued to show strong growth," said Sampson, who noted that the company is currently running at a revenue pace of more than $36 million, with an RMR of $1.25 million. These numbers are up from $33 million total revenue and $1.1 million RMR reported in late 2014.

"We are continuing to grow, and our strategy remains from 2015 to grow both organically and through acquisition," he said.

The company has grown to more than 210 employees, who service more than 24,000 accounts (50-55 percent of which are residential) across the company's offices in Arlington, Auburn and Randolph, Mass., as well as in Warwick, R.I., and its newest location in Manchester, N.H.

"With the new operations and warehouse in Manchester, we have been able to increase our customer service capability in the state and add jobs, which was one of our goals for 2015," Sampson explained. "We are adding staff and we are still doing more of that. We have also increased our warehouse capabilities within the state, for product and inventory, and for servicing the New Hampshire area. It is a stocked warehouse to support the customer base we have and are building in that area."

In 2015, American also focused on building a stronger infrastructure that will enable the company to provide better customer service.

"We have spent a lot of 2015 working on our marketing software and really improving the customer-service capability so that more of the customer information is readily accessible to field employees, and so that they can do more from the field," said Sampson.

"Also, it allows our in-house employees to have easy access to all of the relevant customer information, so they can provide better service,” he added.

He added that this type of preparation is required, especially for a company that has completed more than 26 acquisitions since it was founded in 1971.

"We are continuing to work on acquisitions, and we are expecting several to come through in 2016," he explained. "That strategy will continue, and with the software and operating system work we have been doing internally, that is really going to allow us to handle the acquisitions much more efficiently and seamlessly, so the customer will experience a smooth transition in every case, and have additional services and benefits from what they had before, just because of the infrastructure and team we have set up."

Sampson said it’s critical to “grow at a pace where we can sustain that customer-service level—knowing the details of about each customer, and treating them like they are the top customer when we are dealing with them.”

As American grows its customer base, Sampson said the company still want to “answer phones with real people in 20 seconds or less; we still want to respond to priority alarms in 20 seconds or less; and we want to measure our response rates to field requests in minutes and hours, not days and weeks."