Cruzin' with Susan

Michael Lamach, president, IR Security and Safety Sector Drives into Hyper Growth

The Security and Safety sector of Ingersoll-Rand Company offers an array of devices from architectural hardware products and mechanical locks to electronic and biometric access control technologies. Michael Lamach, who previously served as senior vice president of Ingersoll-Rand before being named president of its Security and Safety sector in February 2004, has an established record of growing industrial businesses, as well as extensive experience in Europe and Asia, geographic areas that are of particular importance to the Security and Safety sector.

Lamach is based in the Carmel, IN, headquarters for global operations of the Ingersoll-Rand Security and Safety sector, where Editor in Chief, Susan Brady caught up with him for a discussion on his perspective of the industry.

Susan Brady: What is your outlook for the security industry? How do you view the market?
Michael Lamach: It is a tremendous market to be in. The convergence of so many factors makes it exciting. The underlying objective today is based on having the peace of mind that you are choosing the right security solutions for your customers' safety.

We want IR Security and Safety to be at the top of dealers' minds as suppliers of product for safe, secure environments.

Susan Brady: What does it mean to you personally, to be president of the Security and Safety Sector of Ingersoll-Rand?
Michael Lamach: That is a great question. First and foremost, it means leading a company through hyper growth mode. It means being focused on a strategy. It is important to have a vision to help sort out what is meaningful. Making the right decisions on acquisitions is one example.

Susan Brady: How do you view IR's relationship with independent security dealers/integrators?
Michael Lamach: It is a vital and critical relationship. Dealers are the strength in this business and we want our commitment to them to get closer. We will do this by trying to be innovative and give devices more intelligence. There is a strong demand from this market on the aspect of access control that deals with the opening. Increasingly, there is interest in electronic products moving beyond the mechanical lock-you are even seeing this in residential applications.

Susan Brady: You mention the residential market and electronic access. Do you see this as a thriving business for dealers?
Michael Lamach: With builders looking for enhanced products and new home starts at such high numbers, this is definitely a growing market to service. Consumers today are technologically savvy and affluent. They are aware of the important functions of security and safety.

In our focus groups of residential users, peace of mind always comes out at the top of the list. They want to feel safe and secure in their homes and now they are looking at the value that products in the workplace provide, such as electronic access control devices.

Susan Brady: Will you be looking to make more acquisitions in the future? How do these transactions change a company?
Michael Lamach: Yes. We will make very specific acquisitions. Acquisitions enable Ingersoll-Rand Security and Safety to extend its growth in North America and achieve its full potential in global markets.

We look for companies that are a fit geographically which capitalize on growth opportunities in global security and safety markets like Europe. Asia is another important region. Ideas come from all over the world.

We are also looking at the specific technology a company offers that we can apply to a specific idea. Some small companies have a product, for example, a wireless lock, that we can produce more cost effectively than the smaller company and can create a whole new emerging market. Electronic products can go global as opposed to locks. The same products can be used in the U.S. and abroad; whereas locks cannot.

This content continues onto the next page...