Proactive on New Technology

Working from the outside in, one local company from Roswell , GA , first opened its doors 30 years ago as distributors and installers of outdoor lighting. Now Business Electronic Management Systems, known just as BEMS Inc., focuses solely on the integration of systems. Founded by Ned Stiemke, BEMS moved into alarm systems, building on one satisfied customer at a time.
Carving out a niche the company designs, builds and maintains fire, security, access control, gate systems and CCTV systems. “We have had great success with unique installations. Some of the work we have completed took years of planning due to the vastness of the install and the scope of work needing to be adjusted,” explains Mark Stiemke, vice president, BEMS.

One of a Kind

Many of the company's projects have been one-of-a-kind over the last several years. “We have been working with the City of Atlanta on many levels including working with the Parks and Recreation Department for more than a decade. We have also been responsible for providing inspection reports to the Atlanta School System for the last four years making needed repairs when necessary,” Stiemke says.

“Our gate division has also grown rapidly with the public's demand of private communities and access control for buildings in questionable areas. This provides a piece of mind for our customer's safety and security,” he comments. “We work closely with The Atlanta Housing Authority and Lane Management helping them to address areas of vulnerability.”

The company recently was awarded an Air Force security contract to install and retrofit the fire and sprinkler alarm systems in five bays used at Robins Air Force Base, which services F-15 fighter planes. By bringing a team of companies together that included Jones Automatic Sprinkler Systems, The Biando Group, AFA Inc., and Partners Enterprise, each worked on the project with the goal of minimizing downtime at the base.

The project began with demolition and removal of the original foam sprinkler system, removal of all old conduit for the fire system and removal of old fire devices and panels. Once the demolition phase was completed the team began replacing the old systems with a new water-based system, new conduit and new panels. As each step took place, according to Stiemke, the project managers were responsible for managing all the reports and updates for the Air Force and that everything met NFPA 72 standards. In addition, for added expertise, BEMS provided NICET Level III technicians to perform much of the work.

The equipment used onsite included Notifier panels, with most of the parts being Notifier with the exception of using explosion proof horn strobes in areas where Edwards Signaling Systems were installed. “We used temperature controls made by United Electric Systems to determine the temperature in the bays. If the temperature drops to 40 degrees, the fully automated system will warn those in charge, close the bay doors to the hanger and turn on the heat to prevent the sprinkler system from freezing,” explains Stiemke.

Creating Market Niches

In the last four years, Mark Stiemke says the company has shifted its focus to expand its market presence. For instance, Stiemke says they have grown their commercial accounts to include programs that provide security assessments, life safety programs and programs which educate the buyers on the new products and technology.

“We need to keep our clients current as well,” he adds, “and they depend on us to make these new products work in their environment.”

Since creating market niches is the name of the game while capitalizing on local opportunities, BEMS has been working closely with the Georgia Restaurant Association. “We are providing a one-stop shopping for this emerging market. The needs of restaurants and clubs are constantly changing,” asserts Stiemke.

An example of this can be found in the new modern-day eatery and club BEMS is involved with called Luckie Food Lounge located in downtown Atlanta next to the Georgia Aquarium. “This facility is full of cutting-edge technology all the way down to the faucets in the bathrooms,” he states. “I personally designed the facility's security and fire systems incorporating point-of-sale technology with CCTV, access control, security, fire and even biometrics.”

For this install, a DMP XR2500 panel was installed and it was combined with fire, burg and access control. A total of 31 Hunt cameras were installed inside and out, 12 of the outdoor cameras are using day-night technology with 80 ft. LED range. Schlage Hand Key II biometric geometric readers will be used for VIP entrances and the entrance to the private club that houses a lounge overlooking the city's skyline.

According to Stiemke, the combination of these systems will help the eatery minimize internal theft and provide quality control for food and drinks served to the customers.

Karen Duane Johnson is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to Security Dealer magazine.

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