SD&I Fast50 #2: Adjustment on the Fly

April 7, 2015
Active in both acquisitions and value-added services, Securadyne continues to grow

Growth at Securadyne Systems, Dallas, has doubled over the past year. Coming on top of its exceptional growth in 2013-14, which ranked Securadyne at #4 in the Fast 50, the continuation of its success puts the company at #2 this year.

That’s not to say that president and CEO Carey Boethel doesn’t feel like he’s juggling chain saws from time to time. Yet, a good management plan requires both understanding the environment and the ways to bring everyone on board with management’s plans — a good case in point is its acquisition of Intelligent Access Systems (IAS). Securadyne spent much of 2014 integrating IAS.

“Ron Oetjen [former IAS owner] built a world-class organization and Securadyne has benefitted greatly from their expertise,” Boethel says. “Our unique acquisition integration process allows us to leverage best practices from acquired companies through reverse integration, and we certainly did that in the case of IAS. The most significant benefits resulting from the IAS deal were the addition of a truly exceptional management team, an expanded geographic footprint in the Southeast and deep vertical market penetration within the energy sector.”

A Focused Strategy

Their strategy is fairly simple: focus on the end-user; prioritize relationships that are built on service; differentiate themselves through in-depth domain expertise; and focus on regulated markets that view security as mission-critical. “We are passionate about creating a consistent customer experience across all 19 of our branches and we are standardizing all aspects of our business,” Boethel says. “Even our largest and most mature competitors are only as good as their weakest branch when it comes to nationwide deployments. Our goal is nationwide consistency.” 

Another means of differentiation stems from Securadyne’s ability to move quickly and be opportunistic when needed. “Because we are relatively small, we are extremely nimble and can seize certain opportunities that larger competitors might otherwise miss,” Boethel says. “Third and perhaps most importantly, we invest a tremendous amount of capital in the professional development of our people. We estimate that we spend two to three times the industry average on employee training.”

Strategy is about focus and focus is about sometimes having to say no, Boethel continues. He notes that Apple’s Steve Jobs once said, “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are.”

That allows Securadyne to be focused and consistent, which is vital to the company’s success. With this as a goal, robust processes must be in place to guide operations. “This is especially true during periods of hyper growth,” Boethel says. “Growth without established process controls will not only create inefficiency and confusion, but you also will inevitably disappoint your customers.

“We emphasize processes that enhance the customer experience and help us maintain our strategic focus as we grow,” he continues. “In 2014, we made a huge investment in a company-wide ERP platform — more than five times the typical spend of similarly sized organizations in our space — which automates everything from ‘quote to cash.’ It was painful and expensive, but it was absolutely necessary to support the future growth that we are expecting.”

Perpetual Change

While Securadyne is just over three years old, it looks drastically different today than it did before. “The biggest challenge we face is embracing the perpetual change that comes with continued growth while at the same maintaining the constants of our team composition and a singular strategy,” Boethel continues.

He says getting people to embrace change hinges on two things: they have to be convinced that changing is better for them personally than maintaining the status quo, and, second, that their personal goals must align with the company’s. When those two things happen, people tend to buy-in, he finds. “In essence, Securadyne’s goal is to remain perpetually relevant in the marketplace, and our employees’ underlying objective is to remain perpetually employed. Continuous change facilitates both,” Boethel says. “Change management is a core competency of ours and it is mission-critical to our ongoing success.”

Last year, when Securadyne was recognized as part of the Fast50, it had just launched a new Professional Services Group. It is now fully developed, staffed and actively engaged. The group creates value in a variety of ways, internally and externally, but tends to focus on deeply integrated software implementation and hosted/managed services.

“Since this time last year, we also launched a new Consulting Services Group that enables us to create more value on the front end of customer engagements through value-added services such as threat and vulnerability assessments, technology master planning, development of policies and procedures,” Boethel says.

The significance of these two moves cannot be understated, he adds. “As a value-added reseller and systems integrator, we must create value beyond the customary sourcing and deployment of technology,” Boethel says. “Consulting services create incremental value on the front end of the customer lifecycle, and professional services create incremental value on the back-end of the lifecycle.”

That helps them maintain market – even in verticals that hit a rough patch. “Oil and gas is one of six key verticals for us,” Boethel says. “Despite its recent downturn, we continue to see revenue growth at attractive margins in this space.”

Their approach to this market focuses less on large capital improvement projects like pipeline construction and more on helping their customers streamline ongoing security operations and lower their security TCO, which ultimately helps reduce production costs. This strategy helps Securadyne maintain momentum despite short-term fluctuations in the spot price of oil. So does the fact that they service the entire supply chain, including upstream, midstream and downstream producers. “While upstream activity has obviously cooled off significantly, the midstream segment is active; a lot of excess reserves are being stored right now and those facilities have to be secured,” he says.

Market Success

“We believe that being a reliable business partner comes from being consistent — and consistency comes from standardization,” Boethel says. “We are investing in infrastructure that will standardize all facets of our fulfillment model and drive real consistency nationwide.”

Securadyne differentiates itself through the depth of technical expertise, scale, exceptional service and extensive domain experience in key vertical markets. “The right team and strategy are constants and are what will continue to feed our success,” Boethel says.

He sees more of that in 2015-16. “We will continue to focus on expanding our geographic footprint and enhancing our service delivery capabilities. Footprint expansion will entail both acquisitive and organic initiatives with an eye towards expanding into the West and Midwest,” he says. “Service delivery enhancement will focus on maturation and growth of our Program Management Office, Consulting Services Group and our Professional Services Group — all three of which are core differentiators for us in the marketplace.”

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

About the Author

Curt Harler | Curt Harler

Curt Harler is a freelance writer specializing in technology, security and telecommunications. He can be reached at [email protected].