Partnership opens doors to fire jobs for ISS

Saturday, January 1, 2005

MIAMI - A year and one half after becoming a strategic partner of Edwards Systems Technology, Integrated Security Systems has increased revenue from fire installations by 50 percent.

The company expected to close with $400,000 in revenue from fire installations in 2003, and foresees ending this coming year with $1 million on that side of its business, according to Michael Smith, director of sales and marketing.

ISS inked the deal to be an Edwards Systems distributor in the summer of 2003, and after several months of training, started putting out its first quotes on fire contracts using the equipment at the end of that year.

Company executives, including President Jeffrey Nunberg, found their contacts in southern Florida continually presented opportunities to install fire systems in large buildings before it became affiliated with Edwards. Although the company already handled similar installations, it worked on smaller scale projects and were unequipped to bid on these larger contract opportunities.

One missed opportunity included on of the largest buildings in Miami, according to Smith.

To address the demand, the company entered into its partnership with Edwards, shifting from a strategy of handling smaller fire installations in many buildings throughout the year to fewer jobs in larger buildings.

“It has opened a lot of opportunities and doors,” said Smith.

One of these opportunities has been 777 Brickell, an office building located in Miami that the company was completing a retrofit installation in December. The building is 13 stories and encompasses 286,822 square feet. The scale of the project is something that its deal with Edwards allows the company to work on.

“If we didn’t have the product line, we wouldn’t be able to do it,” said Smith.

The Edwards partnership is not the only activity the company has undertaken to increase its fire presence in the South Florida market. In 2004, ISS became UL Certified in Palm Beach County - a requirement to certify life safety systems in that area.

In addition, the company brought on Marc Rodney around the same time as a senior account executive, fire alarm division. Rodney, who handles only fire installation accounts, previously worked for an Edwards’ distributor in the Northeast before relocating to Florida.

“I was brought on to expand our territory through Broward and Palm Beach counties and expand the electrical contractor division,” he said.

Based in Miami, the company also operates an office in Tampa and employs 45.

Now that the company has passed the learning curve phase of its work with the Edward product line, the year 2005 should be the time when it starts to reach a full stride with its fire installs, Smith said.

“I think next year we’ll have a really good year with it,” he said.