The Asian way

ICD opens first Americas shop, emphasizing service above all else
Tuesday, January 1, 2008

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla.—ICD Security Solutions, a security systems integrator with headquarters in Beijing, opened its first U.S. offices here in September. It is the fifth country in which the company has established operations, joining China, India, Singapore, Japan and Taiwan.
Dwight Schnirman, president of ICD Americas, which will serve Latin America as well, said initial results are positive, “better than any of the expectations we’ve had,” and that is thanks to the company’s Fortune 1,000 customers driving ICD to get U.S. operations set up nearly six months ahead of the initial schedule. Currently, the U.S. office has a staff of five and likely will grow to nearly 15 by the end of 2008, said Schnirman, who is one of the founders of Casi-Rusco, and went with the company to GE Security to become vice president of the Asia Pacific region.
“If it was up to our customers, we’d be three or four times that size,” he said, “but we need to ensure we have the same consistent quality service that has let us grow as quickly as we have over the years.”
That quality service, he said, is derived from an Asian mindset toward customer satisfaction. “The customers’ expectations in Asia are significantly higher,” Schnirman said. The experience meeting those expectations is “what separates us from our international competition,” he continued. By way of example, Schnirman cited the company’s practice of submitting weekly project management reports to clients, often with photographs and other documentation, while a project is ongoing. Then, at a project’s completion, the customer is presented with a thorough manual for the installed system, complete with all of the conceptual drawings, manufacturers’ service
manuals, and schedules for cabling and terminations.
“We don’t vary this by customer or location,” Schnirman said. “It’s a standard ICD package. While it might be more than what most companies expect, it makes it very easy to continue to maintain systems for our clients.” This helps increase ICD’s service revenue, and is part of what allowed the company to create its Professional Services Group, which provides staff to operate the security and operations centers for many of ICD’s global clients.
As the company continues to grow—Schnirman cited compound annual growth of 46 percent between 2001 and 2006—ICD will be developing its Alliance Partner program, bringing on installation partners in regions where ICD does not have offices. Alliance partners will utilize ICD project managers to better serve both existing and new international customers and maintain consistency of deliverables. Schnirman said he would mostly draw on his contacts with integrators made through 22 years at Casi and GE, but is also looking for new partners serving specific geographical areas.