LPS goes UL

Saturday, October 1, 2005

CLEMMONS, N.C.--After determining that third party monitoring is the future of its business, Loss Prevention Services shed its guard division last year and earned UL-certification in August in order to be a formidable competitor in the marketplace.
Larry McClellan, who founded the company in 1983 and serves as president, looked at the security market last year and found newer applications, such as remote video monitoring, are what customers are clamoring for as less expensive alternatives to security guards.
Coming to this conclusion, he sold his guard business to The Budd Group in August 2004 for an undisclosed sum.
"I felt the security industry as a whole was moving toward technology," said McClellan, who is 67 and has been in the security business since the mid-1960s. With the guard division earning more than $2 million in annual revenue, he said the monitoring division was the most profitable.
Now, LPS can offer to its dealers UL-listed fire and burglar monitoring services. With approximately 10,000 accounts, the company is primarily focused on North and South Carolina, with some customers in Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee.
"We feel like the UL certification put us in the big boy market," he said. The company hired representatives from the organization to survey its 2,500-square-foot-facility in January. "They gave us direction," said McClellan of the process.
McClellan's monitoring business can be traced to humble beginnings. In 1989, as an added service to its guard customers, he set up shop in one of his guard units. As a way to promote this side of his business, he cultivated partnerships with his potential customer base.
"Through the relationship with a local distributor, we developed a marketing plan," he said, which was one year of free monitoring whenever an alarm panel was purchased. "It really is the bulk of our monitoring program," he said, and he plans to keep it that way.
Laughing, he said one day he hopes to retire, but in the meantime his son Corky helps run the business in the role of vice president.