Neighbors plan to create new company

Saturday, March 1, 2003

LOS GATOS, Calif. - After years of going solo to install and service the burglar and fire alarm market, Larry Walker, owner of The Alarm Co., has partnered with a local CCTV integrator to bring that type of expertise from a single source.

Though yet to be formalized legally, Walker and Geoff Beale, owner of consulting firm GR Beale, plan to create a new company. Together they will offer a range of security services, matching Walker’s 25 years of experience in the alarm market with Beale’s focus on custom, high-end security systems for estates and training know-how.

“He’s going to bring to the table stuff I haven’t specialized in, high-end security cameras and he has access to high-end accounts,” said Walker.

The alliance between the two came unexpectedly. They were introduced through their local ADI distributor and hit it off after learning they lived only a block away from one another.

“It was an accident that we started talking about merging,” said Walker. “We started joking about it and said, ‘Why not’?”

First the two worked together for a year, with Beale lending Walker expertise on increasing margins by charging customers for service and add on products such as monitoring residential fire and smoke detectors.

“We’re increasing the recurring revenue and also the install margin,” said Beale, who estimated The Alarm Co. has seen a 25 percent increase. “And now that Larry has a better comfort level, he’s starting to mention it more to existing clients.”

Beale’s camera consulting firm, on the other hand, has benefited by gaining leads from Walker’s customer base, which up until recently, had to look to other companies for CCTV-related work.

Currently Beale employs five or six technicians, but in the next six months he intends to add additional employees to keep up with demand.

And the size of many of Beale’s typical installations are not small by any means. Beale estimates that most jobs he works on average $50,000 to install a CCTV system for a residential estate.

Though Beale and Walker will join together by forming a new entity for future business, both intend to retain their stakes in their original companies.

“I’m seeing bigger numbers, bigger profits,” said Walker, whose alarm customers now have someone to turn to for camera related systems. “I didn’t realize there was so much profit in CCTV.”