Business booms for Federal Lock and Safe

Sunday, December 1, 2002

ARLINGTON, Va. - Systems integrator Federal Lock and Safe is poised for additional growth in the coming months, with plans to hire up to eight additional technicians by February and an eye cast towards a second location.

Business has been booming for this Washington area company, which started as a locksmith company in the late 1980's and evolved to include access control and CCTV due to client demand. The company has seen demand for security services increase since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

"A lot of the security-conscious budget money is now moving through the pipeline," said Mike Groves, vice president of Federal Lock and Safe, who co-founded the company with his bro-ther, Peter. "We have a lot of commercial and government clients that have now come to realize they need to secure their buildings and know who is coming and going."

Two years ago the company reported 750 "tickets" or security calls per month. Today that number has risen to nearly 1,000, contributing to the company's 25 percent or more growth rate a year.

And, in a little more than a year, company officials are considering adding a second location in the Dulles, Va., corridor.

The new location will enable the company to better serve its clients in the greater-Washington market and increase productivity, said Peter Groves, president of Federal Lock and Safe. Traffic in the area is often congested, he said, making it difficult to get to jobs in a timely manner during certain hours of the day.

"If you time your job wrong, you'll loose money," he said.

Both men attribute the company's success to how it trains employees and its professional approach. New technicians are paired with seasoned employees. After a few weeks, they team up with a mid-level technician.

The company takes advantage of training offered by the different manufacturers, bringing trainers in-house and sending staff to off site seminars.

"What helps give us an edge is we set the bar high for our own people," said Mike Groves. "It's quality and quality is paired with product knowledge. Once you give clients that, they tend to be very satisfied."