Diebold makes heavy fire investment

Announces it's ready to make national play
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Thursday, May 13, 2010

NORTH CANTON, Ohio—Providing what it calls the “missing component,” Diebold today announced that it is now offering fire products, installation and service nationwide.

“Our goal is to be the leader in our verticals, providing fire and security solutions,” said Mike Dowling, director of Diebold fire detection solutions and services.

With its existing nationwide network of more than 100 branch offices that provide security products, installation and services, moving into fire is a natural fit for Diebold, Dowling said.

The process leading up to today’s announcement, however, has been huge undertaking that involved “a lot of planning, putting the appropriate systems and processes in place.”

Diebold made its first foray into fire a few years ago when it acquired a NCI, a small Richmond, Va., fire company. “We bought that company as part of a longer-term strategy to look and understand the fire business,” Dowling explained. “RCI was the template for us to take and replicate in a larger way across the country.”

Dowling said Diebold thoroughly researched the different licensing and training requirements of each state. The training and roll-out of its fire offerings occurred in phases beginning in the last quarter of 2008. Now, they’re a truly national operation.

Training in some states required three months and in other states more than nine months, Dowling noted. “We implemented NICET training at Diebold, and whatever the state’s requirements are, we met the requirements,” he said. “We trained over 1,000 people over the last year and a half, including service, management and sales personnel,” Dowling said.

The company cross-trained existing employees rather than hire new talent, he said.

Its focus in fire, as in security, is in the financial and retail verticals. Its expertise is in small- to medium-sized fire systems.

“We have a partnership with Honeywell, Bosch, DMP, to name a few. We sell those fire alarm products and install, maintain and provide testing and inspection services,” Dowling said. “Our customers are very interested in consolidating their [security and fire] under one service provide. We’ve been a trusted name for 150 years. It makes sense [for our customers] to move their fire service to Diebold.”