LaForce finds niche in education market
GREEN BAY, Wisc.—LaForce security integration is a small, but growing division of family-owned LaForce, a $150 million manufacturer of doors and door frames and distributor of door hardware.
LaForce, based here, has more than 450 employees; 20 of whom work in the systems integration business.
“We do intercom, cameras, access control. The smaller jobs we design ourselves and we also do contract work,” Matt Zimmerman, LaForce security integration project manager told Security Systems News.
LaForce will be speaking at ISC West this year on an educational session called, “Access Control Trends in the Education Sector,” which will take place at 10 a.m. on Thursday, April 7, in room 307. Also speaking on the panel discussion will be two end users: Gary Rodman of Ripon College, in Ripon, Wisc., and Tara Steelman from the College of Saint Rose in Albany, N.Y.
LaForce got into the security integration business about 15 years ago because of customer request.
Much of the integration work comes from the manufacturing side of the business, Zimmerman said. The sales people “bring opportunities our way. They go out to look at doors and quote mechanical [elements of the door]” and those customers ask about integrating the door with other security systems.
About half of LaForce’s integration team is based here in Green Bay, at company headquarters. The other ten people are located in LaForce branch offices. The company has two other offices in Wisconsin, two in Illinois, two in Ohio, one Texas and one in Arizona.
“The people in the branches handle the business in that area, and we’re here to support them,” Zimmerman said. “We work really closely with them, we handle service calls, troubleshoot with them over the phone and we have a lab they can tap into for testing,” he explained.
LaForce security integration’s largest vertical market today is education, but it also does work in health care and general commercial work. “We do projects of all sizes,” Zimmerman said.
The integration team is actively seeking growth and aggressively pursues projects. Besides Zimmerman, three other LaForce employees will attend ISC West this year.
“We’ll meet with vendors and see what’s on their roadmaps, and really just see what’s new out there,” Zimmerman said.