Colak on DL joining UTC

Sunday, March 1, 2009

BURBANK, Calif.--Mustafa Colak built Detection Logic into a 530-employee, 13-branch fire services company over two years. Now that it’s part of UTC Fire & Security, he’ll continue to run Detection Logic branches as he oversees its integration of the business with existing UTC operations.

Colak said Detection Logic’s expansion began in earnest in 2006 when a large real estate investment trust company wanted Detection Logic “to go to different markets to serve them,” Colak said. “We decided to grow by either opening greenfield offices or acquiring companies [in certain areas] if we came across them.”

They acquired in Arizona in 2006; in San Diego and opened an office in Seattle in 2007; and in 2008, they acquired in Louisiana, Mississippi and Arizona. The goal was to become a national provider of fire services, but Detection Logic was also open to a merger or acquisition.

UTC was the right choice, Colak said, because it gives Detection Logic “access to more markets and our customers in [UTC’s] markets have access to the [UTC] organization.”

“We never lost sight that we are first a service company and second an installation company and that was the most attractive point for UTC in the acquisition.”A big part of the year-long integration will involve IT systems. “Detection Logic gave UTC a great IT platform, which UTC can take on and roll out across the business,” he said. All of Detection Logic’s branches are interconnected with a dedicated T-1 line. Its VoIP phone system is configured to re-route calls to avoid long-distance and cell phone charges. Its IT network efficiently connects the branches with Detection Logic’s engineering department, which is centralized in two locations (EST is engineered in Northern California and Notifier in Arizona). UTC will adopt other practices over time, such as using color coded wires. “It makes it so much easier for technicians to open a box to troubleshoot and know exactly which wire does what.”