Acquiring Secured Success

March 11, 2014
SD&I Fast50 #4 (tie): Carey Boethel is growing Securadyne into another winning security business

There is no doubt that Securadyne Systems is a company on the fast track; and Carey Boethel, its president and CEO, is the driving force for this Fast50 standout.

Securadyne, headquartered in Carrollton, Texas, is barely reaching its third birthday, yet it exploded out of the gate with nearly $70 million in revenue in its second year and is #4 on this year’s Fast50 — a 108-percent growth rate over its 2012 numbers.

Now at roughly 300 employees, the company just about doubled its number of employees from 2012 to 2013. Almost all of its business is in the commercial sector.

Boethel was formerly vice president and business unit head for Siemens’ Security Solutions business unit, where he earned a solid reputation when he orchestrated a complete business turnaround and launched the company’s managed services and integrated systems businesses. “The business plan and investment thesis for Securadyne was finalized in early 2011 and funding was secured in Q3 of that year,” Boethel recounts.

He founded the company in Sept. 2011 in partnership with Pamlico Capital. The initial operating platform, SecureNet Inc., was acquired five months later in Dallas. Securadyne started out with one employee and no revenues, but “today we have over 300 employees operating out of 16 branches with roughly $70 million in revenue,” Boethel says. “Four key acquisitions over the last two years have provided us with an excellent operating construct, and our management team has worked tirelessly to hire and develop the talent required to manage that growth and take the company to the next level.”

Behind the Growth

You won’t be alone if you are a touch envious of Securadyne’s fast growth rate. “Our performance in 2012 was supported by both acquisitions and aggressive organic growth, collectively delivering over 108% revenue growth,” Boethel explains.

In August, they acquired Advanced Control Concepts of Pensacola, Fla., and in December they acquired Intelligent Access Systems of North Carolina. “Both were exceptional companies,” Boethel says. “We also saw significant organic growth in our existing business — especially within our national accounts portfolio.

“One of our unique value propositions is that we are able to service large global customers in ways that our multinational competitors cannot, and, as a result, national accounts represents our most significant growth potential,” Boethel adds.

The key components of the firm’s service-oriented culture most often emphasize consistency, reliability and accountability — in fact, that culture is emblazoned on the company’s “culture badge.”

If there is a single seed Boethel wants to plant in everyone’s head, it is his passion about being reliable and accountable. “These are two of our most important core values,” he says. “We believe that reliability comes from being consistent, and consistency is enabled by standardization. As a result, we have dedicated ourselves to standardizing every aspect of our business and by doing so creating a consistent customer experience across our entire business. Everything we do is designed to create a positive and consistent customer experience.”

Still, just about everyone feels that their business is all about customer experience. What happens when two dissimilar ideas of how to accomplish the ultimate customer experience run head-on into one another?

Blending Cultures

Any time a corporation does acquisitions, as Securadyne has, the parent company acquires very different ways of doing business and highly disparate cultures. “The most difficult part of integrating companies is merging the cultures and creating organizational consistency,” Boethel acknowledges. “Frankly, I do not believe that any company in our space has ever really gotten this exactly right.”

The fact that fast-track companies like Securadyne typically acquire only companies that are number one or two in their respective markets makes integration even more difficult than usual, because there is tremendous pride already instilled in those operations about the ways they serviced their customers through many seasons of success. As a result, change can be difficult. 

“A big part of my job is identifying what is common between these disparate cultures and finding ways to synthesize them without undermining what made them special in the first place,” Boethel says. “Change management is a core competency of ours and it is mission-critical to our success.”

Another part is including the new company in the process. “We never go in and tell people Securadyne has a better process,” Boethel says. “We have an inclusive process where we put a number of people from the new company in a room with people from Securadyne, lock the door and tell them to work it out.” When the door opens again, everyone has adopted best practices and was part of the process.

“Our mantra is ‘the best idea wins.’ We work hard to set aside any pride in ownership or authorship,” Boethel adds.

Meeting Challenges

Boethel finds two main challenges at Securadyne, one tactical and one strategic. “Tactically speaking, our most arduous task is managing aggressive growth,” he says, which should come as no surprise to any manager who has experienced the mixed blessing of fast-track growth. “It basically comes down to finding and developing talent to service the ever-increasing demands of our customers.

“On the strategic side, our most trying challenge is changing the mindset of enterprise-class users to embrace cloud technologies,” Boethel continues. “Small- and medium-sized businesses have, for some time now, adopted cloud solutions because of the compelling economic value proposition, but enterprise-class users understandably focus much more on reliability and resiliency than cost.”

The cloud, of course, enhances reliability and resiliency. Still, Boethel finds too many large, sophisticated users still feel better about owning proprietary, on-premise technology. “Our approach here is not to try to fit a square peg in a round hole, but rather educate our customers on the virtues of the cloud and how it can benefit their business,” Boethel says.

Past Previews Future

A key formative factor in Boethel’s career is the time he spent as a vice president at Siemens; however, other job experiences also figure into his success. “Over the course of my career, I have been fortunate to work for a wide variety of companies ranging from start-up consultancies to global engineering conglomerates, and each one of those experiences taught me what to do and what not to do in business,” Boethel says.

“At Securadyne Systems, we want to remain innovative and nimble like a small entrepreneurial start-up, while at the same time employing the rigor and discipline of a mature professional organization. Finding the right balance is extremely difficult,” he admits, adding, “We believe doing so creates a real and sustainable competitive advantage.”

Boethel sees Securadyne’s future growth centering on its national accounts portfolio and identifying opportunities to organically expand into new geographic markets. “We will, of course, do additional acquisitions,” he promises, “but more importantly, this year we will open three to four new branches in areas where our customers are requesting our presence.”

That kind of pull-through growth is part of what makes the company’s growth and expansion so exciting and rewarding. “We have also just formed a Program Management Office (PMO) to oversee our national and global deployments, as well as drive operational consistency in markets where we are working but do not yet have brick-and-mortar,” he adds. 

There is a vision for how the firm might be different in five years. “We have just formed a new professional services organization that will help transform the way we serve our customers and support our employees. This group, led by management from Intelligent Access Systems, will provide an unparalleled level of IT support, design, consulting and managed services to our customers,” Boethel says.

Professional Services will also be responsible for training, development and certification of employees, among other things.  “We are making investments like this in order to place more emphasis on customer lifecycle management and ultimately change the way in which we create value,” Boethel says. “Also very importantly, we will continue our efforts to specialize in certain vertical markets where security is mission-critical and highly regulated.”

Curt Harler is a technology writer and regular contributor to SD&I. Reach him at [email protected].

A Closer Look

Company: Securadyne Systems


HQ : Carrollton, Texas

Principal: Carey Boethel, President and CEO

Year founded: 2011

Number of employees: 300

Residential/Commercial split: 98 percent commercial, 2 percent residential

Top technology brands sold/deployed: Tyco, Lenel, AMAG, Milestone, Exacq, Avigilon, ASSA ABLOY