ISI Alarms relocating to facilitate growth

N.C. super-regional plans new hires, expansion to other states, selling up to 2,000 accounts a month
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Thursday, October 13, 2011

CONCORD, N.C.—ISI Alarms, a super-regional based here, is relocating its headquarters and call center to a new community and a much larger space, and is planning to hire as many as 200 additional employees over the next two years, according to company officials.

The planned move in December is to an office in Mooresville, N.C that is about three times larger than the company's current 7,500-square-foot space here. It's part of a plan to grow the 10-year-old company, a Monitronics dealer that transformed itself in the last few years from a door-knocking company to one that predominantly does telemarketing, said CEO Jayson Waller and VP of marketing Kevin Klink.

“Last month alone we sold over 600 [accounts] to Monitronics. We anticipate being 1,000-a-month dealer in January or February and then hopefully 1,500 to 2,000 by summer,” Waller told Security Systems News.

"We’re excited, " Klink added. "With the move we’ve got the room to be able to expand and go into new markets, and we have virtually a cookie cutter model that allows us to open up in Anywhere, U.S.A and succeed … The overhead is done from our corporate office here."

Waller said the new space is about 20,000 square feet with room for expansion.

"Probably within the next six months we'll add another 20,000 [square feet], and then from there we'll see, but ultimately our model is to be virtually nationwide in about 40 states," he said.

Currently the company, which sells Honeywell systems, services 14 states, many in the Southeast but also as far away as Arizona and Texas.

Waller said reasons for the move include high-bandwidth fiber infrastructure in Mooresville, needed for the company's call center, and its cramped current office. "We're coming out of the seams here," he said.

The company currently has about 80 employees and Waller said he expects many will continue on at the new location, about 40 miles away from the Concord one. He said about 40 new employees also will be hired right off, with more to come. "We'll be hiring like crazy with all the room," he said. "We'll hire 150 to 200 people over the next two years."

Waller said ISI started in 2001 in Phoenix, "but we shut that center down in 2004 and relocated in 2005 to the Carolinas." He and Klink said the South fit the company's model better and had less competition.

Waller said ISI was a door-knocking company from about 2005 to 2008 but now is "about 95 percent telemarketing."

Klink said, "What we try to do is generate inbound calls for our call center here. We do it via outbound telemarketing." Methods include fliers and mailers, and Waller said they recently invested money into search engine optimization to create more Web leads.

When potential customers call in, Klink said, "we have what we call 'closers' to work to sell the customers over the phone and our technicians are hybrid, they're salesmen/installers, so they can then take the customer and then finish up the deal and install."

Waller said using technicians as sales reps "makes more sense … The technician knows a little bit more about the equipment and the customers seem to let their guard down a little bit more with a technician."

The new hires the company is seeking include technicians, telemarketers and customer service reps, Klink said.