Protec, Inc. realignment paying off

Company experiences double-digit RMR growth
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Thursday, May 26, 2011

PORTLAND, Ore.—Every Thursday morning, Protec, Inc. president Andy Schwartz and his senior staff—Bill FitzHenry, VP of sales; Patrick McGill, VP of operations; and John Barnes, VP of project management—get to the office early for a 7 a.m. pre-business-day strategy meeting.

Schwartz began holding these meetings about a year ago when he realigned the company’s management team and hired FitzHenry and McGill, with the goal of updating internal systems and expanding service offerings.

While that transition is well underway and likely to be completed within the next several months, the Thursday morning meetings will stay indefinitely, FitzHenry told Security Systems News.

“We found that creating dedicated time for management to only talk about strategic business issues has become so valuable that it will become a living process,” he said.

All new processes and offerings will be in place by early 2012, FitzHenry said, but the company’s investments thus far are already paying dividends. “We’ve already seen improved orders mix,” he said. “RMR as a percentage of total orders saw double-digit growth in the second half of 2010, compared to the first half,” he said. “And that trend is continuing in 2011; we’re seeing north of 10 percent growth in RMR.”

Founded by Schwartz in 1986, Protec, Inc. is a 25-employee systems integration firm that does about $6 million in revenue annually. It does some custom residential work, but the majority of its work is in intrusion, access control, and video for small- to medium-sized businesses. It also does some fire, including installation, parts and smarts, service, test and inspection, and annual sprinkler certification.

“We provide a wide range of intrusion systems and access control, both traditional client-server architecture and Web-based access control,” FitzHenry said. The company still does some analog video installation and a lot of analog-to-IP video conversion work, as well.

“Patrick [McGill] has really been a catalyst for raising [our employees’] ‘IT IQ’ score. Patrick holds training classes for the sales and operations teams on [networking and video] technology.”

“We have a strong IP competency. We provide our own servers to customers and are able to help demystify the move from analog to IP,” he said.

FitzHenry came to Protec, Inc. from Stanley CSS, where he served as VP of North America field sales. McGill was national operations manager for Aronson Security Group before joining Protec.

Among the tasks of the new management group are: putting a new Enterprise Resource Planning platform in place; upgrading the web site with more interactive features; and expanding hosted, managed and remote video offerings “that include comprehensive service plans, priority response and preventative maintenance as part of the plan,” FitzHenry said.