VTI opens new office in Omaha

Integrator hits five-year revenue goal ‘through operations not sales approach’
Wednesday, January 14, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS—VTI Security has opened a new office in Omaha, Neb., a location that VTI CEO Tom Asp says is strategically important from a service and a growth perspective.

Located halfway between VTI’s headquarters here and its office in Denver, the new facility means that all customers in this part of the country are “within three hours for servicing existing clients,” Asp told Security Systems News.

VTI also has offices in Cheyenne, Wyo., Milwaukee, Colorado Springs, Colo., and Amarillo, Texas.

Bryan Viau, VTI COO, said VTI has 10 existing customers in the region who were previously served by a subcontractor.

Initially, the office is being staffed with a project account manager and technician, with support from VTI sales, HR, engineering and service from other locations. The account manager serves as a kind of entrepreneur running a start-up business, Viau said.

As the office picks up more customers, the project account manager will be able to hire more people. It’s an approach Viau describes as operationally driven rather than sales-driven, and one he said has been successful in the past.

For example, VTI opened an office in Milwaukee seven years ago with a project account manager and a technician. Today, the office has “more than a dozen people with its own engineering staff and a full complement of technicians,” Viau said.

VTI finished 2014 with revenues of $52 million, hitting “the owner’s goal within five years,” Viau, said.

The company has grown significantly within the past three years. In 2012 it did $32 million in revenues and in 2013 it did $43 million.

“It’s been very healthy growth,” Asp said. The company did an acquisition in 2012, but the rest of the growth has been organic.

Asp noted that the rising revenue has not come at the expense of lowering margins or because of “one big project that bumped [revenue figures] up.” The added revenue came from “taking care of our existing customers and some new customers that came in,” he added.

What’s in store for 2015?

At this point, Viau said VTI is at a size where it needs to ensure that it has “instilled the processes, procedure and organizational structure to support the growth.” 

“Our goal is always to grow, but we want to do it profitably and sustainably for the company,” he said.

However, VTI is open to acquiring a company if it’s in the right geographic location within its existing footprint.

“But we’re not just looking for anyone, we’re looking for the right people, the right company with a matching culture,” Viau said.