HSM expands with AA Alarms

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Tuesday, August 1, 2006

ANN ARBOR, Mich.--HSM Electronic Protection Services will increase its Michigan presence and support for its national account business as the result of a June 16 acquisition of AA Alarms.
This particular acquisition, like other small acquisitions, helps broaden HSM's national account base.
"It's a good addition to our operation in Michigan," said Tim Whall, president and chief operating officer for HSM. Whall said he liked the low attrition rate at AA Alarms. "That's the common denominator, what we look for," he said.
The deal, terms of which were not released, brings with it roughly 12 employees. This office will be combined with HSM's nearby Wixom, Mich., office.
AA Alarm has 1,500 accounts, 60 percent of which are commercial. A new district general manager, Joan Holmes, was hired in June to run the offices. In business since 1972, AA Alarms' former owner Bruce Armine is retiring. Ron Davis of Davis Marketing Group represented Armine in the transaction.
National accounts are a major focus for HSM, said Tony Byerly, senior vice president of sales and national accounts for HSM, during an April interview. "RMR this year in the first quarter is up 117 percent on national accounts. That's an incredible success for us," he said.
Byerly noted that HSM inherited a hefty national account base when Jim Covert orchestrated the June 2004 acquisition (by the private equity firm GTCR Gold Rauner LLC, for $315.5 million) from Honeywell. Honeywell had done a great job up until that point maintaining the base, Byerly said, but it had not focused on expanding the base because it was planning to sell.
Byerly said a combination of factors has contributed to the success of the national accounts business: the existing base, the fact that the market was ready for this and efforts HSM has made to expand the base and keep customers happy. For example he cited HSM's scorecard system, where every quarter the national account manager meets with each customer to go over issues such as service, response time, billing accuracy and installation. "It's a recap of how well we performed on various metrics in those categories," he explained.