Apx doubles sales staff, expands building

Thursday, March 1, 2007

PROVO, Utah--ApxAlarm, an independent residential security company that made its mark last year by generating upwards of 90,000 new accounts, has expanded its data center and doubled its inside sales staff. Underway for about three months, the project is expected to be completed and fully operational by March 5.
"We added another 27,000 square feet in a separate building across the street" in the office park where Apx is located, said Jack Inbar, Apx vice president of operations. "We have dedicated fiber connecting" the two locations.
Apx is a "summer model" alarm company that uses a compressed selling cycle where most of its sales are generated through door-to-door sales between May and September.
The inside sales staff, on the other hand, is year-round.
"We will have 67 inside sales people," up from 30, said Alex Dunn, vice president of business development for Apx.
The new space will increase ApxAlarm's "capacity by 420 seats which will accommodate the growth in our data entry, customer service, technical support, contract administration, scheduling and inside sales departments," Dunn explained.
As part of the expansion, Apx upgraded its database from SQL 2000 to SQL 2005. Apx also installed a new Avaya phone system that includes capabilities such as, "when a customer calls in, even before we pick up the phone we can identify who is calling and the current status of their account and route them to the right customer service representative from the very beginning," Inbar explained.
Apx did not release the cost of the project, other than to characterize it as a significant investment. "It's all about the customer experience," said Dunn. The goal, he said is to "set the standard in the industry for customer service."
At the February Barnes Buchanan Conference, Michael Barnes, a partner in Barnes Associates, an investment banking and consulting firm that specializes in the security alarm industry, noted that Apx and other summer model alarm companies generated 140,000 accounts, rivaling the second largest company in the industry, Brink's Home Security. Barnes predicted that these companies could significantly affect the landscape of the residential security industry. However, he cautioned that those companies would need another year or so of seasoning to determine if they have staying power.
Asked for comment on this, Dunn first pointed out that "not all summer-model programs are created equal." He went on to say, given the Apx team and its strategy, "I would put us up next to the best alarm companies in the United States, in terms of our resources, ability to generate accounts, and customer service. We're here to stay," he said.