Sentry Security pushes into access control apps

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Friday, October 1, 2004

SUNRISE, Fla. - Traditionally, Sentry Security has offered additional security applications beyond its mainstay of fire systems, but now with a real interest in access control emerging, the company has taken a step to train a sales person to chase those leads.

Located in a suburb west of Fort Lauderdale, Sentry Security is a 10-person shop that concentrates on the counties of Broward, Dade and Palm Beach in southern Florida. The company primarily does commercial fire work, with 70 percent of its jobs involving retro fitting existing structures.

“We’ve seen a boom in business for years, each year is better than the rest,” according to Peter Katz, founder and president of the company. Katz, who has marketed the company as an installer of fire al-arms, does business in an array of buildings,  including churches, hotels, nursing homes and office buildings.

In the past, Katz has found that once a fire-related job is secured, customers often elect additional services such as access control. However, outside of fire systems, the other offerings have been a “very insignificant piece of the business,” he said, until now.

Access control systems have solicited increased interest, according to Katz, because customers can identify with the value they offer.

New technology and how it can alter the course of a business is just one challenge a small business owner faces. Fortunately for Katz, the marketplace has been favorable to Sentry. Low interest rates has led to more construction and the areas where it does business has enforced tougher codes, both of which have positively affected potential contracts.

Being able to identify changes in the market - whether it is new technologies or regulations - to modify your business operation is essential, according to Katz. “You can be a dinosaur if you don’t adapt,” he said. And this, for him, is the “advantage of being a small company - you see what needs to be done and you do it.”