Featured Integrator: APL Access & Security, Inc.
At PSA, we believe our integrators are the most innovative, advanced and effective in the electronic security industry. To recognize these exceptional qualities, we will bring one PSA integrator to the stage each month and introduce them to the PSA community.
This month, we connected with Henry Olivares, President of APL Access & Security, Inc. who shared his experience, insight and expertise in becoming successful in the local, state, and federal government market.
How long has APL Access & Security, Inc. been in business?
We have been in business since 1986.
To date, what has been the most unique or interesting job that you would be willing to share?
APL has completed several larger projects at the Hoover Dam under US Bureau of Reclamation for access control and surveillance camera systems. In addition we have also completed projects for Glenn Canyon Dam, Davis Dam, and Parker Dam.
How did APL Access & Security, Inc. get started in the local, state, and federal government market?
In 2005 APL obtained its 8a certification with the Small Business Administration and in 2008 we obtained a GSA Schedule 84 Contract offering various products and labor. The 8a certification has a 9 year expiration so while we do not obtain sole-source government contracts, we still have an active GSA contract and have a good reputation with many agencies that we still provide service and other work for. For municipality work, we have been providing services for local cities since the company was founded. APL was just awarded a 5 year contact with the State of Arizona for all the security integration project and service needs.
What are some of the biggest challenges that integrators are facing in the government market?
Working with any government, especially the federal government has its challenges. There is a great deal of red tape from how a quote is submitted and the overall process of paperwork through the project and how it is billed. Most government projects also require prevailing wages for technicians performing the installation. This minimum hourly pay rate the government sets may vary by the county and type of labor being performed and, in most cases, the wages are much higher than the normally company pay rate. This can cause challenges both on what we charge the customer for labor rates and also ensuring that technicians are working efficiently and not wanting to extend the job performance because they are making more than they usually do. For example a technician could make a normal $20 per hour rate but a government job could require us to pay them $35 per hour for on-site work hours. In one particular project we had to pay our techs $59 per hour so that can be a challenge.
In addition to government, what other types of clients do you have?
We work with commercial, industrial, manufacturing, healthcare, and data centers.
What makes APL Access & Security, Inc. stand out in the physical security industry?
APL has over 30 years of business excellence and provides a full array of leading edge security technology and services. As a leading security integrator covering the entire state of Arizona as well as the entire country for U.S. Federal Government Projects, our staff of over 35 full-time employees, including teams of highly-skilled, factory certified security experts can handle simple to complex applications. APL does not subcontract any of our work as we have our own local in-house Systems Engineers, Technicians, Installers, CAD Designers, IT, Project Managers and Administration with many years of hands-on experience. Our Service Technicians & Technical Support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or live technical support and on-site emergency service. APL also prides itself with soldering & heat shrinking all wire connects.
What qualities will a successful security integration company have?
APL has always believed that anyone can perform an installation but the key is to not only have a functional system, but to have the installation meet high quality standards. The end goal is that the customer is happy at the end of the project so that APL will continue a good relationship providing on-going service and addional work for years to come.
What is your advice to individuals who are looking to build a career in security systems integration?
With the current state of technology, systems, and software it is important to be IT savvy understanding networks, advanced workstation and server administration, cyber security, etc. to be able to complete, service, and troubleshoot systems. In addition, keeping up with the latest technology with the world of IP video, wireless locks/readers, and being able to perform software upgrades on large complex systems.
Is there anything else you would like the PSA Community to know about you or APL Access & Security, Inc.?
APL is continuing to grow and expanding its service offerings such as remote video monitoring and hosted access control management.