Manufacturer 1-on-1: Allegion Makes its Debut

Nearly one year to the day after Ingersoll Rand announced it would spin-off its security business, executives from the newly-formed Allegion celebrated the company’s debut as an independently traded company by ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange in early December (full coverage at www.securityinfowatch.com/11271348).

SD&I caught up with new Allegion CEO and Chairman Dave Petratis and Tim Eckersley, Senior Vice President, Americas ahead of the event to get the lowdown on the new brand:

 

What was the major impetus for spinning the security division of Ingersoll Rand off into what will now be known as Allegion?

Petratis: The majority of spinoffs are about enabling and accelerating growth, and ours is no different. The Ingersoll Rand Board and management made the decision to move forward with the spinoff as it will allow both companies to focus more intently on their respective businesses. So what this means for us, is that we have scale to make the kinds of investments that are necessary for our future, and we can do it in a more efficient way.

 

Does becoming an independently traded company offer you any advantages over being lumped in with the rest of Ingersoll Rand’s businesses?

Petratis: This is a great opportunity to really focus the entire management team around security and security only. So when we’re seeing global trends, new product opportunities, new geographic regions we want to expand to, we can be nimble and move quickly to capitalize on them. I think this also gives us a better framework to focus even more closely on our customers’ needs. That’s not to say our old framework was not working, but the autonomy that we’ll have is going to allow us to dedicate more resources to our customers and make some of our more long-term, strategic business plans a reality.

 

Are you concerned about the potential for any loss of brand awareness that may come with shedding the IR name and what steps have you taken to guard against that?

Petratis: 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.

Eckersley: We’ve been in constant communication with our customers, suppliers and distributors for the past 12 months and have a deliberate branding campaign underway that will continue long after the spinoff. Many customers have a stronger affiliation with our individual brands than they do the Ingersoll Rand name, so our branding efforts going forward are focused on making sure there’s a clear link between our brands and Allegion as the parent company. All branding will have a different look and feel – from the website to our catalogues to product packaging – but the reliability, strength and design of our products will remain exactly the same.

 

What will the impact be for your distributors, dealers or integrators as a result of this spin-off?

Eckersley: If we do our jobs right, our distributors, dealers and integrators will see a seamless transition. Our goal is to provide the same level of superior customer service that our customers expect, while making it even easier to do business with us moving forward. In becoming a standalone company we will be able to streamline our operations, which will accelerate product delivery times, and it will also allow us to move forward with more frequent innovation so we can bring a greater range of products and solutions to our customers.

 

Since the announcement of the spin-off, there’s been a shakeup of personnel in your senior management. What was the major driving factor for this, and what does the new team bring to the table?

Petratis: When looking at our security business and what the future demands from us, we sought out talent with a deep understanding of global manufacturing businesses, distribution, and channel marketing and management. Everyone on the team is an accomplished leader with multiple years of experience under their belt in the security industry and other related industries. The more I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know and work with them over the past few months, the more I am confident that they all bring the vision and leadership skills needed to help realize Allegion’s full potential in the global safety and security industry. I’m proud of what we have been able to accomplish together so far and am looking forward to 2014 and beyond.

 

How will this move put you in a better position to increase your position within the security market?

Eckersley: Mechanical hardware is the foundation of our business and will continue to make up the core of what we do and provide us with great growth opportunities as we continue to develop and expand our portfolio. It is also clear to us that future of the entire security industry will also include a great deal of opportunity as we address the needs of an increasingly connected world, and this move gives us an opportunity to focus on the electronic side of our business as well. We will be making significant investments here to expand our core capabilities beyond the doorway to include more fully integrated security solutions. We believe that our strength in mechanical security, when combined with digital, mobile and interconnected electronic solutions – and our expertise in style and design – will make us a leader in our markets.

 

What are your primary strategic goals for the company moving forward?

Petratis: We will look for smart, strategic acquisitions we can make that will complement and enhance our existing mechanical and electronic offerings. We will increase our investment in R&D and product development, recruiting new talent and expertise along the way. We will look to further expand our business in emerging and attractive markets around the world. My biggest goal for us, though, is to challenge conventional thinking and take calculated risks grow the business, and in doing so, help our customers succeed.

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