Gate systems open door to growth for integrator

Friday, October 1, 2004

SEVERNA PARK, Md. - By installing security gates, systems integrator Affiliated Services Inc. has seen its business grow considerably, with gate systems now accounting for 25 percent of its overall security business.

The move into the gate installation market could not have come at a more ideal time for the company, which decided to relocate its office to a larger facility.

“The main reason was the warehouse space,” said Craig Schamburg, owner and executive vice president of sales and marketing for ASI, about the decision to move. “Getting into the gate business, gates are big units and we needed that warehouse space,” said Schamburg.

The company now has a 4,000-square-foot warehouse to store gate-related products, but that is not the only benefit of the 8,200-square-foot facility. ASI also has added room for employees and recently hired two additional sales people. The company’s office now features a sales demonstration area, including a camera at its office to demonstrate video surveillance and a DSX access control system to show an access control product in use.

“Salesmen can take a laptop to a customer site, dial into the Internet and get back to the unit,” said Schamburg. “Usually a vendor would come with us for a quick demo, but people like to see a fully functioning system.”

ASI’s growth follows the addition of Schamburg to the company. Schamburg knew the owners of ASI, Rob Weltner, executive vice president of administration, and Clif Syms, who started the business in 2001, since the three once worked together at Wells Fargo.

Together the trio created a business plan to pursue new business and offer turnkey solutions that included a gate access control system. Those efforts appear to be paying off. Earlier this year, the company was selected to provide access control, CCTV, barriers and gates to a real estate firm that owns 90 properties in the Washington and Baltimore areas.

“We’ve had tremendous growth in sales,” said Weltner. By early September, the company has seen its sales increase by 60 percent for the first nine months of the year compared to all of last year.

With its reach in the integrated security system market gaining steadily, ASI now plans to enter the home automation and structured wiring market. The company has done some work on this side of the market, expects to add that expertise by hiring a technician and sales person to focus on that part of the business.

“We’re in a growing period for our company,” according to Weltner. “It was rather small before Craig joined.”