F.E. Moran acquires neighbor, moves to new HQ

Wants to grow RMR by 20 percent organically over next year
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Thursday, October 22, 2009

CHAMPAIGN, Ill.—F.E. Moran president Brett Bean says his goal over the next year is to grow the company’s RMR by 20 percent and he believes the just-completed acquisition of A-1 Alarm, along with a move this week to new corporate headquarters and central station will help F.E. Moran achieve that goal.

F.E. Moran currently has about $500,000 in RMR. Bean says he’s got a couple of acquisitions in the works, but the goal is solely for organic growth.

“We’ve always been fanatically focused on RMR, but in the past 18 to 24 months things have just seemed to click,” he said.

The acquisition brings with it 2,500 mostly residential accounts and 18 experienced employees. “The most experienced employee has 38 years of experience; he’s an installation coordinator and he’s fantastic; there’s a sales person with 33 years of experience and multiple employees with 20-plus years,” Bean said.

Former owner of A-1, Diane Ruedi will join F.E. Moran’s executive management team in “a strategic planning role,” Bean said.

A-1 was started by Ruedi’s father 40 years ago. Ruedi took over control of the business five years ago. She had not previously worked in the alarm industry, rather as an executive in the healthcare industry.

“We’ve made several acquisitions, and I can say that is the most organized company we’ve ever acquired. The records are in impeccable shape. [A-1] is a small company that’s been operating like a large company,” said Bean.

Ruedi said A-1 and F.E. Moran “share the same values, missions and goals for employees and for subscribers … it’s a storybook ending … and great news for the legacy of my father’s company.”

Bean said that F.E. Moran employees will move into the new Champaign headquarters tomorrow and A-1 employees will move in on Monday.

A-1 has its own central station, which will continue to operate for a short period of time as accounts are integrated. The F.E. Moran central station will be up and running in the new facility by mid-November and all A-1 accounts and employees will be in the new facility by the end of the year.

In addition to its headquarters here, F.E. Moran has small offices in Effingham and Northbrook, Ill.; Greensboro, Ga.; and Las Vegas, and a larger 25-person office in Fraser,  Mich., focused on national accounts.

What’s contributed to growth over the past couple of years? Very low attrition (around six percent according to Bean) and “extreme focus on customer service have been key,” Bean said. In addition, “managed access control has been  a big RMR growth  area for us.” Bean said the new headquarters is triple the size of the current headquarters. “The ownership decided to purchase [rather than lease] the new building. We’ve made a significant investment in future growth,” he said.