ApxAlarm aims for 130,000 accounts this summer

Sunday, July 1, 2007

PROVO, Utah--ApxAlarm--which emerged as a major player in the home security market in 2006 by generating upwards of 90,000 accounts--is well into its 2007 summer selling season, and Apx executives say they're on track to sell 130,000 accounts this summer.
Looking beyond this year, the company is considering expanding into Mexico and abroad.
Apx's business model utilizes a compressed selling season, whereby most of its accounts are generated by door-to-door sales between the months of May and August.
"We started selling a little earlier this year at the beginning of April [with about 20 percent of the sales and technical staff in place]," said Jack Inbar, ApxAlarm's vice president of operations.
Apx opened about 25 of its 78 offices in April. "This enabled us to work out any kinks we might have in the first few week. It's a great way for us to begin the summer," he said.
As of mid June, all 78 offices in 38 states, Puerto Rico and Canada, were up and running. Inbar said Apx has approximately 1,500 sales reps and 800 technicians on board, with about 75 to 80 percent of the staff returning from last year.
While the industry has taken note of ApxAlarm's sales volume, the company's main focus, said Inbar, "is superior service and we think this is evidenced by our attrition rate from last year."
Inbar said the annualized "attrition rate by pool," for the last year, not including any 2007 summer sales, is "less than six percent," which, he noted, compares to an industry average in the double digits. Inbar said the company has moved to a 60-month contract. "North of 75 percent of our contracts are 60 months, which adds tremendous value to the portfolio and certainly helps reduce attrition."
Apx wants to have its customer service call center recognized by JD Powers and Associates by December 2007, a recognition its competitor Brink's Home Security has received for several years.
It's all theoretical at this point, but ApxAlarm owners are taking a close look at expanding into Mexico and Australia.
Inbar said the company is uniquely positioned to hit the ground running in Spanish-speaking and other non-English speaking countries because many of its employees are bilingual. A majority of ApxAlarm sales people and technicians come from Brigham Young University, and have completed an LDS (Latter Day Saints) mission, many in foreign countries.
Students receive intensive language training at the LDS Missionary Training Center. "With today's technology we can [expand outside the U.S. and Canada] and we have a ready pool of sales people and technicians who have done a mission in a Spanish-speaking country and are fluent in Spanish," he said.