PerMar RMR sales up

Company institutes false alarm reduction teams in branch locations
Friday, July 30, 2010

DAVENPORT, Iowa—Executives at PerMar Security, a Midwestern super-regional, attribute a jump in RMR sales this year to new services on the commercial and residential side of the business.

"Our RMR sales year-to-date is up 37 percent over the same period last year," said Brad Tolliver, vice president of Per Mar's Electronic Security Division. And the fourth quarter is looking promising as well, he said. "There's been a lot of media concern about the market going down, but we see it moving forward. We've got quite a few things in the pipeline and it looks like we'll have a strong quarter sales-wise."

On the commercial side, "we brought on additional services, managed access control and video verification systems, and that's helping to drive some of that growth," he said.

Per Mar, which is a Honeywell First Alert Professional dealer, "went to a program in January where we're installing GSM on every sale in an effort to avoid problems with VoIP and that's contributed to RMR growth on the residential side."

Putting GSM radios in all installations now, is "preparing customers for security today and into the future," he said. What about talk of an eventual GSM sunset, or newer updated versions of GSM having to be installed in the future? Tolliver predicts that the technology lifespan will be longer than some have estimated, and agrees that when it's time to update customers to a newer version, it will be an opportunity to talk to that customer again.

Per Mar has also instituted a new company-wide initiative: False Alarm Control Teams. "We call them our FACT teams," Tolliver said. There are nine in different branch locations, which are spread throughout Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and Nebraska.

They're comprised of Per Mar employees, employees from other local alarm companies, police, fire, and 911 personnel. The groups meet monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly to talk about reducing false alarms, as well as other current events and  trends that affect members of the group.

Tolliver thought of the idea as a way to proactively approach the false alarm problem and to ensure that the alarm community is involved in any efforts to institute ordinances.

"We can work together on a common cause, which is more important now than it's ever been," he said. In addition to working on false alarms, the groups "educate each other, for example about what services and equipment we use ... it's also a format to talk to our competitors, to get to know them in a non-threatening environment," he said.

The FACT teams have been in place for six months and "so far the feedback has been great," Tolliver said.