Pro-Active takes on housing
UNIONDALE, N.Y.--In the beginning, Pro-Active Business Solutions better reflected its name, said Zsolt Sapy, vice president of corporate sales. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Instead of just selling security systems, with the technology that was out there we could put out more of a management tool, and security became a by-product.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Often, the most effective part of the system for small businesses, he said, was a simple sign telling people they were being watched, both employees and customers.
But there was a downside to the business plan: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Do you want to deal with hundreds of small business owners?Ã¢â‚¬Â Sapy asked.
So, taking the same philosophy, Pro-Active moved to larger operations, where it could serve as an outsourced loss-prevention department, like warehouses and housing projects. Perhaps the pinnacle was a job for JJJ Properties, installing video surveillance for the School House, Liberty, and Disston apartment complexes in Atlantic City, known to be some of the most crime-ridden residential complexes in New Jersey.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m sure plenty of companies put in bids,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Sapy, Ã¢â‚¬Å“but once they saw the syringes and excrement, they just walked away.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Over the course of a six-month installation and fine-tuning process, Sapy said his employees were threatened, equipment was quickly vandalized, and Pro-Active had to be creative.
Residents would rip out whole walls to destroy Ã¢â‚¬Å“vandal-proofÃ¢â‚¬Â camera installations, so Ã¢â‚¬Å“weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d go into the cement four feet up, have two-inch conduit reinforced every six inches, like a maximum-security prison installation.Ã¢â‚¬Â
It was also a worst-case scenario that allowed Pro-Active to iron out a business plan. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We probably should have priced it about 30 percent higher,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Sapy, but Ã¢â‚¬Å“if we could turn that place around, imagine a place that has fewer problems. It can be both profitable and make a difference in the community.Ã¢â‚¬Â