With the large amount of consolidation making the news in the security integration space, it is no surprise that the companies sitting atop this year’s Security Business Fast50 have, for the most part, powered their growth through a wide variety of mergers and acquisitions. In fact, the four top-ranked companies – Select Security (14), Briscoe Protective Systems (2), Convergint Technologies (18) and Presidio (2) – are responsible for a whopping 36 acquisitions since 2017.
Access the full 2019 Security Business Fast50 rankings here
This increased M&A activity – which also includes non-Fast50-related acquisitions by companies like ADT and others – is changing the face of the security integration industry by creating several super-sized global integrators that are a combination of many once-independent regionals or super-regionals. That said, Fast50 entrants overwhelmingly believe that there is still plenty of room for growth and business success for smaller regional security integrators; in fact, the reality is that just 25 percent (roughly) of the 2019 Fast50 reported a major acquisition in the past 24 months.
“The agility and quick decision making capabilities of smaller regional security integrators assists with providing customers faster response times, accessibility to all levels of management, and all around better customer service,” says Joshua Williams, CEO of 20th-ranked Skynet Integrations. “These are the reasons that from the ashes of every acquisition a new smaller regional integrator is born.”
“We believe there will always be room for smaller regional integrators in the industry,” adds Mark Cernese, CEO of No. 11-ranked TWG Security. “While the large companies serve a purpose, they definitely lose agility and service responsiveness as they grow, generally speaking.”
Access the full 2019 Security Business Fast50 security industry market research report here
By the same token, the usually nimbler regional integrators are, over and over, proving to be enticing acquisition targets. “As an acquirer of smaller businesses, we have not seen any material drop off in ongoing sales from smaller companies who sell accounts to us,” says Anastasia Bottos, COO and Chief Strategy Officer for Alarm Capital Alliance/My Alarm Center, which is ranked at No. 36. “Based on what we are seeing today, there is still a stable market for these smaller businesses and new entries. The ‘local’ brand appeal on the security side is still a powerful selling point for consumers.”
That local appeal, in fact, might actually be creating more business for everyone. “The demand for a wider portfolio of services has increased and all integrators – regardless of size – are tasked with providing end-to-end solutions that address unique client needs,” says Hank Monaco of No. 27-ranked Johnson Controls. “While customers want to implement comprehensive, integrated security solutions, they often seek ways to upgrade, retrofit and reconfigure their legacy systems. This presents increased opportunity for larger integrators to collaborate with smaller, regional integrators on projects. Likewise, there are immense opportunities for smaller integrators to actively partner with and leverage the expanded portfolio of solutions and technologies of larger integrators.”
In the end, the increased consolidation may be perceived as game-changing for the industry, but the opportunities for all integrators seem to be ever-increasing. “We are witnessing strength in all verticals that include even the smallest of integrators,” says Jamie Bumgardner, COO of No. 5-ranked Prime Communications.
Deep Dive: A Closer Look at the Top 10 Fast50 Companies
For complete profiles of 2019’s top five Fast50 companies, see the rest of this issue:
- No. 1 Select Security;
- No. 2 Briscoe Protective Systems;
- No. 3 Convergint Technologies;
- No. 4 Presidio; and
- No. 5 Prime Communications.
Here’s a closer look at what powered the growth in the companies that rounded out the top 10:
No. 6: Surveillance Systems Inc., Rocklin, Calif.
With vast expertise in the gaming vertical, company President Todd Flowers saw his company crack the top five of the Fast50 in 2018 – thanks to a pair of major project wins, the Wynn Boston Harbor resort (set to open in June 2019) and the MGM Springfield resort in Massachusetts, which opened recently. Both massive resorts feature video surveillance systems designed and installed by the SSI team.
“Wynn and MGM are nearing the wrap up; however, these will be ongoing projects for quite some time with change orders,” Flowers says. “I believe our best aspect is the fact that some of our most notable projects have come from existing clients who continue to use SSI as their integrator of choice. For many of them, this is their second or third system upgrade with us – it is a testament to the relationships we have developed by providing the best possible customer experience.”
Those upgrade/expansion projects include Agua Caliente Casino in Palm Springs; Comanche Nation Casinos in Oklahoma; and El Dorado Resorts, which include multiple properties around the United States.
No. 7: Bonneville Contracting & Technology, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Bonneville experience record growth in 2018 due to the rebuilding efforts after two major hurricane strikes in Puerto Rico.
Read more in the sidebar posted at the end of this article.
No. 8: Security 101 Hampton Roads (Va.)
After breaking into the Fast50 with four of its independently-owned franchises in 2018, Security 101 again posted a solid Fast50 showing in 2019, led by Susan Hunter’s Norfolk, Va.-based franchise. Security 101 Hampton Roads rose three spots in the rankings this year, thanks to a nearly 92% gross income increase in 2018.
“Our growth was the result of three elements – expansion into the higher education and federal markets; the ops team doubling down in hiring the best technicians out there, which gave our sales team an incomparable product offering; and the hands-on assistance that we got from our manufacturing partners helping us grow existing markets,” Hunter says. “Specifically, we partnered with the Genetec federal team, which brought vertical-specific skills and information that helped us be successful as a new entrant to (the federal government) vertical.”
No. 9: 3Sixty Integrated, San Antonio, Texas
A newcomer to the Fast50, 3Sixty Integrated has powered to the top of the rankings behind its Lifecycle Management (LCM) program. Powered by its proprietary SiteOwl software, the RMR-generating service and maintenance program tracks, optimizes and maintains the functionality of a system throughout its entire lifecycle. The software regularly assesses the effectiveness of each client’s system and recommends improvement opportunities for every piece of equipment that comprises it. If devices need to be replaced or fixed, LCM includes service and replacement.
"The jump in our gross earnings came as a result of our commitment to pursuing account-based business rather than standalone projects," explains CEO Will Duke. "With SiteOwl, our clients can say goodbye to tracking their security projects by hand with mammoth spreadsheets. Their system reports to them and shows them their entire security infrastructure on a single dashboard. They instantly know the status of each device, team member, or vendor - everyone is on the same page. Our own organization also operates off of SiteOwl – we manage all our projects and service on this platform so our clients have complete visibility."
No. 10: K.E.Y. Security Inc. DBA Security 101, San Diego
Another strong year has kept Security 101’s San Diego/Los Angeles franchise in the top 10. Owner and Operations Manager Kevin Schaefer credits the multitude of enterprise solutions available to his company thanks to its affiliation with Security 101.
“Success is knowing your customers’ needs and pairing them with the product line that makes sense for their solution,” Schaefer says. “Security 101 has multiple enterprise solutions within in our organization, and with our National Partners, it makes it simple to put together the right product line that will provide all aspects of that customer’s security needs. This complete solution and having trained staff from the sales, design, engineering, project management, installation, and then service aspects makes this a win for both our organization and customer.
“Even though all (Security 101) offices are owned locally, we are one team with a high set of standards that the customer can expect no matter which office is installing or servicing their location,” Schaefer adds.
Access the full 2019 Security Business Fast50 security industry market research report here
The Fast50 is a rankings and market research feature in Security Business open to all North American security integrators. To access the results from all eight years of Fast50 rankings and research, please visit www.securityinfowatch.com/fast50.
Paul Rothman is Editor-in-Chief of Security Business magazine. Email him your comments and questions at email@example.com. Access the current issue, full archives and apply for a free subscription at www.securitybusinessmag.com.