A.P.I. Monitoring expands reach to follow dealers

Saturday, April 1, 2006

CALGARY, Alberta--A.P.I. Monitoring moves to where its dealers are. The monitoring company has central stations dotted throughout North America and continues expansion efforts by building and acquiring centrals in locations where dealers pop up.
Take for example its most recent project, A.P.I.'s Calgary, Alberta, central, which is being built from the ground up and will be completed for an early May opening. Their 20 dealers scattered throughout the province asked A.P.I. for a local station.
"We have a strong core of dealers in the province of Alberta, and many in the Calgary area," Howard Garr, president and chief executive officer, explained. The dealers "wanted a local presence."
With well over 10,000 local accounts in that region, "we felt now it was time to fulfill our promise to our dealers and open there," he said.
Garr added that the central benefits from growth in the area, "A large number of people are moving to the only province that is debt free."
With eight central stations located in Canada and the Southwestern United States, and recently surpassing 151,000 accounts, A.P.I. has expansion on its mind. The company in recent months acquired an undisclosed central station in Ottawa that will be folded into A.P.I. in September. It also continues to carry out its strategy to nudge into New England, with plans to open a Buffalo, N.Y., location at the end of this year.
At each central, A.P.I. duplicates the same technologies and services through a template the company created.
"We try to transplant and replicate our technology across all of our central stations," said Lewis Jacobson, dealer sales manager at the company. "Our centrals are joined together in live time, for instance. If one experienced a failure, the other centrals could immediately pick up the slack."
The company also has plans for a local central in Florida, now that a few of its Canadian dealers have opened alarm installation businesses in Orlando. A.P.I. currently monitors those accounts through its Scottsdale, Ariz., and Denver centrals, but that soon will change. "We promised to move down in Miami next year. We are just switching that to Orlando in 2006," Garr said. Already, A.P.I. has someone scoping out a site, he added.
With the A.P.I. logo visible throughout North America, Garr reflected on the progress of adding central stations. "When you build the station from scratch it is difficult to do it. The second time it gets easier. Now we are opening our eighth central station, so it's not as hard as it used to be."