Stanley to roll services out globally, keep acquiring

President Brett Bontrager says Canada and Europe just the beginning
Monday, May 4, 2009

NAPERVILLE, Ill.—Somewhat lost in this month’s announcement that Stanley Convergent Security Solutions would be consolidating its Canadian and U.S. operations was why the company would do that. The move isn’t, said CSS president Brett Bontrager, a cost-saving move, nor is it simply a reward for a job well done to Tony Byerly, who’ll move from COO to president of CSS-North America (though company officials are certainly pleased with Byerly's work as COO). Rather, the move will bring Stanley CSS’s suite of eServices and monitoring capabilities to a Canadian market where Stanley wasn’t even providing “basic monitoring.”

Essentially all of the Canadian business, roughly 20 percent the size of the U.S. business, comprised “high-end security solutions for a very attractive national account base,” said Bontrager, “but we were missing the focus on the service solutions and the recurring revenue and bringing our customer base all the solutions that we offer in the United States.”

Now the Canadian operations, much of it the result of Stanley’s Frisco Bay acquisition in 2004 for $43 million, have been migrated to the same IT systems platform the U.S. operations use. In fact, Bontrager said, “for Tony and his management team, bringing Canada into their operation is almost like the integration process of an acquisition,” something Byerly and his team have experience with following last year’s buys of A-1, Sonitrol, and two Sonitrol franchises.

Bontrager said he expects Stanley to continue to acquire, both domestically and on foreign soil. “There are opportunities on a couple of fronts,” he said. “We will consider acquisition opportunities with our Sonitrol franchise partners interested in selling their businesses. We also continue to look for acquisition opportunities in video monitoring, fire monitoring, and other near-neighbor possibilities ... Those are natural fits for expanding our portfolio of services and blend well with our current capabilities."

Further, he said Stanley’s acquisition this year of Generale de Protection would be a base for Stanley to grow geographically. “I think our focus in the U.S. plays consistently well in other geographies,” Bontrager said. “Everybody is looking for good service. When they need a service call, you have to be out there in 24 hours; you have to have a well-run call center; and you have to have best-of-breed services to wrap around that offering.”