Commercial biz gains ground at Safeguard Security

Wednesday, January 1, 2003

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -After years of focusing on the residential market, Safeguard Security & Communications is in the midst of a campaign to grow its commercial security business.

Part of that campaign involves adding sales people, the addition of intercom systems to its product offering and a new fire alarm line. Due to these additions in the last 60 days or so, the systems integrator has also begun targeting the hospital market.

“It’s one of the growth focuses of 2003,” said Mike Bradley, president of Safeguard about the hospital market addition and focus on the commercial market.

Already, the company’s commercial business outpaces its residential division by two to one in terms of volume, he said. “It’s also the most profitable thing that we do,” said Bradley.

Like most companies, Safeguard offered some commercial security services, but it was not a major emphasis for the company. Then in 1998 Safeguard bought Electronic Contracting and Design, a Phoenix company with expertise in the commercial contracting, sound and fire market.

“That was kind of the jump start,” said Bradley.

Since then, Safeguard has tripled the size of its commercial business. Company officials said Safeguard handles between 180 to 200 commercial jobs each year now.

Overall the company has $20 million in annual revenues and employs 266 people.

In the commercial market, plans call for a 20 percent annual increase, said Mike Cane, vice president of Safeguard.

Cane expects much of that growth will come from the education market and hospital markets. “We’re very fortunate,” said Cane. “In Arizona, the educational market, because of the population growth, creates a lot of new school opportunity and remodel work. The hospital market is the same thing.”

Though the commercial market is attracting additional attention from Safeguard these days, its residential business is not taking a backseat. It’s not uncommon, said Todd Bertocchi, manager of residential sales, for the two groups to work closely together on condos and other residential construction projects.

“There’s a complementing factor because what we do on some of these projects is have the commercial division work with the commercial general contractor on the job,” he said. “As homeowners buy these individual units, our residential division meets with each buyer.”

And in addition to the two divisions working together on a construction project, they often find themselves doing work for the homes and businesses of many business owners.

“We have the phrase that we not only want to do your business, but your home,” said Bertocchi. “A lot of our clients are executives or own their own business. What we’re trying to do is help you home and away.”