Sonitrol buys in Dallas

 - 
Tuesday, January 1, 2008

ERWYN, Pa.—Todd Leggett, Sonitrol senior vice president, expects the Dec. 3 acquisition of Sonitrol’s Dallas franchise to expand opportunities in that region, where it already has a big presence in neighboring Fort Worth. As is true in about half of its markets, Sonitrol’s sales and operations here will be operated under a “virtual model,” with no brick and mortar office space.
This is Sonitrol’s eighth franchise purchase in a major metropolitan area in the past three years (search “Sonitrol” at www.securitysystemsnews.com).
As it has done in those other large metropolitan markets, Sonitrol bought the franchise from an owner who is retiring.
“The franchise has a very solid customer base, but there’s not been a lot of customer growth in recent years,” Leggett said. Previously, some Sonitrol customers worked with the franchise in Dallas and with the corporate office in Fort Worth. This acquisition will streamline the sales channel.
The franchise has 18 employees and “most of the key employees will come over to our business,” Leggett said. Sonitrol’s operational headquarters, housing one of its monitoring centers, is in Westlake, Texas. About 150 Sonitrol employees work in the area.
Asked whether offices would be consolidated, Leggett said that Sonitrol “is not really an office property type of company.” There are some restrictions based on licensing, but Sonitrol has gone virtual in about half of its markets. “We certainly have not closed offices in markets where that’s required for licensing,” Leggett emphasized.
Key to this transition has been the implementation of a customer relationship management software called Salesforce.com for sales and Fire Pond for operations, Leggett said. The days of the “pricebook in a three-ring binder,” are gone, he said.