Patience pays

The Comm Group took its time to open in the Columbus, Ohio area
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Saturday, January 1, 2005

GROVE CITY, Ohio - It took a little longer than expected, but The Comm Group recently opened a branch here to help it better serve the burgeoning education market in the state of Ohio.

The systems integrator, known for providing telecommunications and structured cabling service in addition to security, initially planned to open the office during the first quarter of last year, but held off until early November.

The challenge, according to Mike Bieda, vice president of sales and marketing, was finding the right location and people to staff the facility.

With that hurdle resolved, the company now has the ability to service a broader geographic region. The new office is located about five miles from Columbus, but also is close enough for the company to drive to Cincinnati, Toledo, Ohio and Dayton, Ohio. The location is staffed with a salesperson and three technicians, a number that is expected to double within a year.

The Grove City location marks The Comm Group’s third branch. The company opened an office in Akron, Ohio in late 2003. But it gained its blend of security and telecommunications expertise when it merged with BPS Systems, a telecommunications and audio/visual specialist, in 2002.

“It gives us the geographic reach for the technology packages that we’ve been chasing for the school market,” said Paul Caruso, vice president of The Comm Group, on the new branch.

The education market has become an important part of The Comm Group’s business, thanks to Ohio’s emphasis on building new schools or refurbishing existing ones. In 2004, the company completed $7 million of security, telecommunications, audio/visual and cable work for various educational facilities in Ohio. That represents about half of the company’s overall revenues.