Firstline outgrows headquarters

Integrator moves to larger HQ, and larger facility in San Diego, sets sights on being $25m company
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Thursday, August 14, 2014

ANAHEIM, Calif.—Systems integration firm Firstline has more than doubled in size since 2009, and company founder Steve Morefield anticipates that growth to continue.

The company went from $5 million in revenue in 2009 to about $12 million in 2013. “We will do about $14 million this year and in ’15 we’ll be north of that,” Morefield told Security Systems News.

“The goal is to grow to at least $25 million in revenue. From now on we’re growing aggressively,” he said.

Firstline expanded its headquarters here in Anaheim and also leased a larger office in San Diego. “There are 10 to 12 employees in San Diego now and we’ll hire a few more this year,” Morefield said. Firstline has more than 50 employees total.

Firstline is gaining more customers in the verticals that it has focused on for years, such as utilities and banking. “With utilities we have a real presence and it’s growing,” Morefield said.

“We work a lot with two large utilities,” he said. “With one organization we handle almost all of their needs [video, access, intrusion] from the corporate level down to all their locations in the field. With the other utility, we handle the majority of their work.”

Other utilities that are farther afield have sought out Firstline because of the company’s expertise in the vertical and with regulatory compliance. How did these utilities find out about Firstline?

“Security directors talk,” Morefield said.

Retail is another vertical that Firstline has worked in for two decades. Morefield said customers come to Firstline because “we are able to work with retail not just at the store level, but at the corporate level as well. We can handle access and video [and intrusion] at the corporate level … and also deal with EAS. We bring a well-rounded package to retail.”

How does Morefield manage growth as the company looks to nearly double again?

“It needs to be measured growth. Sometimes you have to walk away from a large project that will bring in an extra $5 million [if the company isn’t ready to deal with it]. We’ve done that before.”