Sonitrol increases its Maple Leaf presence

Friday, July 1, 2005

LETHBRIDGE, Alberta--Sonitrol Corp. opened its fourth Canadian branch in early April, which effectively expands the alarm firm's reach in the country.
The office, opened by Todd McKay and his wife, Vanessa, is an expansion on McKay's existing electrical business King Electric. King Electric was previously an ADT dealer, but the division was sold off before McKay purchased King Electric in November 2003. He said the decision to add security systems followed his desire to offer a multitude of services to its customers.
"That is exactly the direction everything is going in," McKay said, "and that is what we are trying to get to."
The Sonitrol branch, which currently employs two salespeople, is located in the same building as King Electric, but in a separate office. McKay said there is room to expand if needed. At this point, King Electric, which employs 65 people total, cross trained its technicians on security installations allowing McKay to forgo on hiring security technicians.
McKay said he was interested in joining forces with Sonitrol because of the company's one-way voice technology.
"I like the verified response and the professionalism of how they do business," he said.
When visiting the company's U.S. distribution center in Texas, McKay said he experienced a company with similar values to his own.
"It's a like a big family and we've always been a family-owned business," he said. "The corporate cultures matched."
It was also the right place to add a Sonitrol location, McKay noted, due to the area's booming business environment. He pointed out the increased number of corporations in the area due to the tax friendliness of the province.
"The tax breaks keep getting better and better," McKay said.
According to Todd Leggett, senior vice president of branch operations for Sonitrol, Canada is a country where the company would like to increase its presence as a whole.
"With the new group coming in and getting energized, we look toward expansion in Canada," he said.
The company currently accounts for four branches in the country, but Leggett said the company would like to have at least one office in each Canadian province within three years.