Security 101 looks to continue hot streak with Honeywell vet

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Friday, June 25, 2010

MARIETTA, Ga.—Having reached 20 franchises, largely throughout the east and southeast, Security 101 is looking to grow further. To that end, they’ve brought on Tom Echols, who has spent that last 10 years at Honeywell’s VP of global accounts and systems sales, as VP of sales.

Security 101’s franchises as a whole have been good customers of Honeywell as of late, “and I saw the growth there,” said Echols. “I spent my first 15 years in the business on the dealer/integrator side, then 16 years with Honeywell. So I’m coming back to get closer to the customer and I think I can help Security 101 continue to grow.”

“Tom will really be a great resource for the franchise owners,” said Steve Crespo, president of Security Franchisors, the umbrella organization for Security 101. “We’ve reached the point now, with 20 locations and multiple new locations coming in the not too distant future, where our opportunity to really take care of national accounts is growing quicker than we thought it would.”

Crespo argued the national accounts business is better than expected because of disappointment on the part of large customers with the big national players. Because Security 101 franchises are owned and operated locally, he believes the service they can provide the national accounts is better than that provided by big national players with lots of regional and local offices.

“I worked with all those companies with Honeywell,” said Echols. “They’re all big Honeywell customers, and I certainly recognized that the Security 101 model, with that local presence, really brings a different dynamic. The models that most of these national companies have, the national account business goes to the bottom of the stack, because the GM for that location isn’t as invested in that opportunity.”

Now with more than 250 employees across all the locations, Security 101 is beginning to represent a good-sized integrator in total, which is “a lot bigger” than $20 million in annual revenues, as Crespo put it in response to this reporter’s question. And much of that revenue is recurring and service-based, he said.

“We have a strong focus on RMR and managed services,” Crespo said. “Service is everything. It’s why we’re growing right now, even in a down economy.”