Pro-Tec Design reaps rewards of investment

Service expansion, move to IP help Pro-Tec position for the future
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Thursday, May 12, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS—Access control and network video are the bread and butter for Pro-Tec Design, but a third and increasingly important area of focus for the systems integrator is a growing menu of service offerings, company president Tom Hagen told Security Systems News.

“Everyone says RMR is the name of the game and for us that comes through our service offerings,” he said.

Pro-Tec offers standard maintenance agreements, which have several options such as taking care of any faulty equipment or software 24/7 or on an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. basis. It also offers a number of partner plans “where the client purchases a block of time, 40 or 60 hours [where a Pro-Tec service tech will be on the customer site to take care of moves, adds, changes, software upgrades, fix problems, etc]. One account has someone [on site] fulltime and others have someone come in for one week or two each month,” Hagen explained.

Pro-Tec offers a variety of discounts and he said clients love knowing that they’ll have that service tech available on a certain day or week.

“Many things clients want done aren’t emergencies, yet they are important to accomplish on a timely basis. If they know that someone is coming in next Tuesday or the second week of the month, they can keep a to-do list,” he said.

It saves the clients money, helps Pro-Tec develop consultative relationships with their customers, and encourages customers to take care of any issues before they become emergencies, Hagen said.

Often, the client may want advice about adding a camera, or a ballpark budget number for some upgrade, for example.

“We’re right there and our people know how to respond to those questions.”

Pro-Tec proactively approaches its customers about these agreements.

“If we see someone spending $4,000 to $5,000 per year aggregate for T&M work, we know they are a good candidate to buy a block of time,” he said.

In addition, Pro-Tec offers a web site, called Technical Service Engine (TSE), for customers with maintenance or partner agreements. TSE enables customers to request, track and see a variety of performance metrics reports on service calls.

Pro-Tec Design began the expansion of its service offerings about four years ago, at the same time it decided to migrate to IP video. While both investments were costly and coincided a year or two later with the economic downturn, Hagen said he’s pleased the company decided to hang in there. “We had a lot of chips on the table,” he said. “But now it’s turning out very well for us ... we’re better positioned for growth and so far it looks like we’re on course.”