The joke in the alarm industry used to be, “Name the third biggest US alarm company.” Most people knew ADT and Brink’s Home Security, but drew a blank on number three. Now that ADT has completely devoured Brink’s (or Broadview Security, since 2009), the joke is now, “Name the second biggest.” Here is a link to an excellent article that talks about the transaction and its impact on the alarm industry.
For those of us who have competed against Brink’s for years, the acquisition was great news: a respected adversary was gone, leaving more room for other companies. Brink’s had developed a reputation for world-class service, with one of the best customer retention records in the industry. Sure, they were way behind on technology: one of the last companies to adopt wireless sensors, and really late on offering a cellular monitoring solution to replace the traditional phone line connection. As you probably know, I consider cellular monitoring the only truly safe and reliable method. And as for offering next-gen, interactive services? Forget it! In fact, they were something of a techno-dinosaur, but their customers focused on the consistently high service levels. Those former Brink’s customers are now in for something of a shock…
Who’s Really Number One?
So now let’s talk about that 800 pound gorilla. I know a bit about them, since they acquired both of my former employers – and I even spent time at Tyco, ADT’s parent company, working on acquisitions – just like the Brink’s/Broadview transaction. I saw what happened to customer service and attrition at my old companies after the dust settled. Today there are a lot of us watching the merging of the two cultures – both in respect to employees and customers – and if the initial reaction of many the Brink’s Authorized Dealers is any indication, it may not be pretty. And we, the smaller, nimbler, and more technologically advanced competitors, will be here to pick up the slack. The good news: you certainly can have great technology, with great service.
As a leader in interactive, wireless home security systems, FrontPoint Security is one of only nine truly nationwide alarm companies – and specializes in the products and services that Brink’s never got around to. Here’s a link to a short video that describes these next-gen features in detail. The “old school” alarm companies have always been slower to adapt, and are proof positive of the concept that in many cases, bigger does not mean better – and we think this is one of them!