Petratis: I don’t see it. Our customers know us by our brands - Schalge, Von Duprin, LCN – its reinforced everyday and every time someone touches one of our products. Ingersoll Rand has been a great partner. Allegion will be an umbrella brand that pulls our brands together, but the strengths of our install base, the pride people have in our brands are a shining star that guides us.
SIW: What are some of your immediate goals for the company and what are some of your strategic, long-term plans?
Petratis: One is to grow the business organically and to make smart investments that will help us advance. Second is to understand the needs of our customers in terms of integrated technology, making sure that we’re on the cutting-edge. There’s clearly a convergence going on between mechanical, electrical and software (solutions)… and we want to offer the best in terms of innovation while maintaining the legendary strengths that we have in our mechanical reliability. There’s a reason we’ve stood the test of time. It’s because of the expertise of our people and the expertise of our channel partners.
We have some opportunities to grow geographically. A high priority for us would be Asia, specifically China. We’ve got a nice position there and our focus and independence allow us to grow. Strategically, we’ll continue to invest in and develop our people in a variety of ways. It’s a new day as an independent company, we’ve got to strengthen our capabilities there and improve our quality customer service. What we call “operational excellence” is something that has helped us stand the test of time, but operational excellence in everything we do is a clear platform for the company. We’ll consider acquisitions where they make sense.
Eckersley: We obviously have a strategy in place and there’s a lot of consistency with the strategy as a part of Ingersoll Rand, but now as an independent company there’s a lot of consistency and I think we should be able to accelerate the execution against our strategy, so we feel good about that.
SIW: What are the benefits of this spinoff to your customers? Are there any immediate changes that they can expect now that this transition has been finalized?
Petratis: I think first and foremost, the great profitability of this company will be reinvested into things that will drive instant improvement. One of the challenges when you’re in a conglomerate is that capital deployment can go to other phases of the business. We, as a focus company, control our destiny today and I think they’ll see it in our people, I think they’ll see it in investments in our systems and in our growth which is a great position to be in.
Eckersley: I think of the term cycle time. We’re going to be focused a lot on cycle time, not just in our plants, but the cycle time of the business. We’ll be driving a more aggressive agenda; newer products, faster to the marketplace than we’ve been able to do in the past.
SIW: How did you come up with the concept for the Allegion brand and what has gone into its’ development?
Eckersley: We were looking for something that would do a couple of things: first of all, we wanted to hold on to our rich legacy and heritage as an innovator in the marketplace and an inventor in categories in the marketplace. We wanted something that spoke to our people and teams, the people that made this company great and we wanted something that spoke to the marketplace about the expertise that we bring to the table. This term Allegion actually has in its roots “all,” as in all together and “legion,” (to symbolize) a legion of experts to help support the marketplace. We had two or three options and this one just hit home right away and it’s really built on those three things: our legacy, the capability and expertise of our people and this expertise that we bring to our customers and the end user markets.
Petratis: I think our symbolism is cool: a legion of people, a legion of experts, a legion of customers, a legion of historic brands that help define our industry.
SIW: Where do you see opportunities for growth within the access control market?
Petratis: I think number one is around our core products. We’ve got to be able to operate in an open environment. What we do is quite unique in terms of securing people and assets, but the systems in terms of access control that we operate in can be quite diverse.