Brand Steward brings security to building controls company

McKenney’s of Atlanta dives into security
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

ATLANTA—At a time when many security companies are branching out into energy management and other building controls, McKenney’s, a major mechanical contracting company here, is doing the opposite—branching out into security.

McKenney’s hired industry veteran Phil Mosley, who’s worked in business development and sales roles for ADT, Security Link and Johnson Controls, to develop and run the company’s security department in November of 2009. One year into his tenure with McKenney’s, the security operation is up and running.

Mosley has hired technical staff, become a Diebold dealer, has several jobs underway, and has more in the pipeline.

While the move was customer-driven, Mosley called it “a natural evolution. [McKenney’s can] move almost intuitively into the security realm,” Mosley said.

McKenney’s designs entire mechanical and HVAC systems; it also manufactures metal work for its HVAC systems. About five years ago, the company branched out into plumbing. Security is its latest venture, and one Mosley spends a lot of time evangelizing within the organization.

“I consider myself McKenney’s brand steward for security,” Mosley said. “I wake up every morning thinking about our security program and how to model it to best meet our customers’ needs.”

Mosley attended the ASIS show in October and met with Security Systems News at the Diebold booth. Steven Ipson, Diebold’s director of monitoring services, introduced McKenney’s as “an ideal dealer,” for the Diebold program, which was launched at ASIS in 2009.

The building controls group includes: engineers, co-op employees, technicians, service people, and administrative personnel. There are five specialists within that group that focus exclusively on security. Mosley’s group is a Cisco VAR, a Honeywell partner, a Tridium partner and Schneider Electric partner, among others. “There’s nothing out there we can’t access ourselves or find expertise to service, support or install,” Mosley said.

“Diebold welcomes us as the first advanced dealer who has the capabilities to utilize their complete portfolio of [monitoring] with security and controls [since we do] a unique building systems integration,” Mosley said.

Mosley’s group is pursuing “new projects where they exist and a lot of retrofit work.” Given McKenney’s established customer base, which includes “many of the buildings in the Atlanta skyline,” that presents lots of opportunity.

Mosley said the group “going after everything except fire,” doing work in “healthcare, critical infrastructure, parking lot solutions, higher ed and state education facilities.” The group is looking at airport opportunities and since McKenney’s has a government group with a “GSA purchasing capabilities through some of our vendor/partners, we’re looking at some work for military bases in the Southeast.”

It will take a while before the security operation is regularly winning jobs and then bringing the engineering and building controls capabilities to new customers, but that’s all part of the plan, Mosley said.

McKenney’s footprint includes all of Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas. It has branch offices in Chattanooga, Tenn. and Charlotte, N.C. It does do some national accounts work as well.