ARTICLE

Construction Success Story

by: Smith and Howard

April 28, 2014

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For more than 50 years, a family-owned, midsize roofing company has operated out of the same 20,000-square-foot warehouse in an industrial area near a growing urban center. The building includes ample office space, as well as materials storage and a fenced-in lot for service vehicles and large equipment. But the facility was vulnerable to an uptick in local criminal activity — a risk that suddenly became all too clear.

Wake-up call

Early one morning, the owner arrived at the warehouse to find the back fence open and the padlock missing. Upon further inspection, he determined that no major equipment was missing and the warehouse hadn’t been breached. But the rear window of one of his vans was broken, the doors were hanging open, and a toolbox and several other items were missing.

In the past, the owner had hesitated to buy a security system because of the costs, unreliability of first-generation motion sensors and inconvenience of wall-based controls. But this incident changed everything. The company had recently spent more than $100,000 on new equipment and tools. At his earliest opportunity, the contractor sat down with his financial advisor to discuss obtaining and installing a new security system.

Numerous options

His advisor first recommended reviewing the contractor’s financial statements, specifically his cash flow statement. Doing so would help them set a budget that wouldn’t overly strain available funds. With a budget established and the parameters of the system well defined, the contractor and his advisor solicited bids from local vendors.

After three months, five bids were in from security system providers. The proposals ran the gamut from basic systems with very few options to state-of-the-art offerings that allowed company personnel to operate security cameras, motion sensors and entry controls in real time on app-enabled smart phones.

The ability to access the security system remotely appealed to the owner, who was frequently on the road. In addition to offering remote access, two of the systems also included online HVAC controls.

The owner quickly determined that the most expensive system included too many unnecessary features for his business. The second most costly system offered similar features, such as real-time mobile access to video feeds and HVAC controls, but at a much more competitive price. The vendor’s customer service reputation was also better.

Quite satisfied

So the decision was made and, within weeks, the new security system was installed. In a postimplementation review, the contractor and his financial advisor were quite satisfied. They’d not only stayed within budget, but also learned that the upgraded system would lower the company’s insurance premiums.

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