Ackerman Security Systems in Atlanta recently opened a new 32,000-square-foot facility and said it will also create jobs to account for the company’s substantial growth. Ackerman Security serves approximately 70,000 customers in the region and has some 258 employees. The company is also adding an office in the Washington, D.C. area, the first time it has expanded from its regional Georgia roots—which date back 44 years. The company has doubled its RMR and account base over the last five to six years, accomplishing this lofty goal almost 100 percent organically. So what’s the secret to their success—even in the lingering recession? Excuse a somewhat overused phrase: thinking outside the box!
One of their more recent accomplishments was automating to a new mobile sales management process with paperless signature capture. “We’ve made investments in technology and marketing,” according to Jim Callahan, chief operating officer. “The mobile sales management process is tremendously efficient and allows us to have more impact at the point of sale,” he said. “Sales personnel have tablets or laptops in the field, and all sign offs are done electronically. They sign contracts and schedule the installation right then and there. On the service side, technicians are billing 100 percent on site and 80 percent of collections are done on location as well.” While these types of processes have also permeated other parts of the Ackerman Security business, Callahan stressed that customer service—reaching a live person—remains critical. “Customers get a live person immediately when they call in and that’s important.” Ackerman Security is a CSAA Five-Diamond and UL central station facility.
Scheduling appointments for installations immediately, he said, allows sales to move quickly onto the next customer. Installations are often same day; as far as billing and collecting, no more waiting 30 to 60 days out to get payment for an installation or service call.
“We’ve created a lot of efficiencies in sales, service and marketing,” Callahan added. “We are one of the fastest growing companies in the industry and to date have accomplished this almost entirely through internal or organic growth.” The company estimates it will grow 28 percent in 2011.
Ackerman Security Systems is a Honeywell First Alert Professional Dealer. Check out the September digital edition of SD&I at http://sdi.epubxpress.com, page 12 (it’s due to be up September 6), for more information on the grand opening of the new facility. –Deborah O’Mara, editor in chief, Security Dealer & Integrator magazine