FEATURED INTEGRATOR: PASS Security
At PSA, we believe our integrators are the most innovative, advanced, and effective in the electronic security industry. To recognize these exceptional qualities, we bring PSA integrators to the stage each month and introduce them to the PSA community.
PASS Security, founded in 1969, specializes in custom design and installation of business and home security systems, CCTV, access control, alarm monitoring and custom entertainment, with an emphasis on technology. PASS Security has grown from a burglar alarm company into one of the premiere security companies in the St. Louis metropolitan area over the past 50 years.
How long has PASS Security been in business?
PASS Security was founded in 1969 and remained a small traditional alarm company until 1997 when its current ownership group purchased and grew the company, which included the establishment of the Commercial Systems Division and UL Listed Central Station. PASS Security is gearing up to celebrate its 50th year in business and accomplishments in advanced technology solutions, stable growth, and a team of employees averaging more than 12 years of security industry experience.
To date, what has been the most unique or interesting job for PASS Security?
Our most unique and interesting job so far has been the system design, installation, and maintenance of a complex IP CCTV Network for an inland marine company where we were challenged with providing an IP camera system on tug boats, barges, barge fleeting facilities, and railway and river loading terminals. Our team engineered a broad wireless PTP network and several wireless mesh networks, which make it possible for us to now provide camera connections in areas where signals are weak or nonexistent and be viewed from any location, remote or office.
Our customer now has full access to monitor everything from their fleeting areas and loading terminals to on board the boats. This network has far exceeded the customer’s expectations and allows them to monitor so much more than they originally planned, such as employee management, fleet management, general premises security, and liability. It is truly a change of pace to be out pre-wiring ships; not a single day is like any other day.
Brad Pickett is our Strategic Account Manager responsible for the marine vertical market. Brad has been with PASS Security for 14 years. Brad began as an installation technician, after which he transitioned into project management and then sales. He currently holds the role as a Strategic Account Manager. Brad enjoys being able to see the systems come alive from conception to end product. He works alongside the team’s specialized wireless and networking technical team lead by Troy Basden. Together they are responsible for developing Inland Marine solutions.
How did that job expand your experience in that vertical?
Our system design for the marine industry has become an incredible vertical market opportunity for PASS Security. We have developed a system design unique to the marine industry including 70 miles of wireless links going down a river. Something that really sets PASS Security apart from other companies is our understanding of the fleeting and barge industry. We have an in-house team who now specializes in this industry and unique application for video technology. This experience enables us to understand and address management needs and pain points effectively.
How did PASS Security get started in the marine industry?
PASS Security’s introduction to the marine industry started with a phone call from a customer looking for cameras to help with monitoring activities on boats and land facilities. We installed a test camera, made it work, added eight more cameras, and now we’re up to about 300 cameras and 30 servers.
Our first project led to providing robust wireless network designs, the best equipment possible, and specialized solutions to more and more marine companies who have headquarters nowhere near where most of their work takes place; with the systems we design and install, they can now manage their everyday business like they are right there, on site. We are proud to say that we have yet to find a request that we cannot deliver on.
What are some of the biggest challenges that integrators are facing in the marine industry?
Our customers in the marine industry thought that integrated security was impossible. This industry is loaded with challenges of a harsh environment and being out in the elements, not to mention that we’re dealing with remote locations, no infrastructure, no lighting, and no internet access or wireless communication. We have to find ways around all of that.
We have to find ways to effectively maintain/service cameras that are constantly under abuse from endless sources, including violent impacts from working barge fleets to impacts with dock cranes and other out of the ordinary situations. We have to design full-blown wireless networks with links going 20+ miles back to a headend to allow for wireless communication in a remote area. It’s a really impressive system.
The major attractant to our industry, though, is the global need for security in business and our communities, which grows every day based on the world we live in; it will not change in our lifetime.
In addition to the marine industry, what other types of clients do you have?
PASS Security has two primary electronic security divisions. One is dedicated to systems integration, and a second division focused on intrusion systems. We are postured to assist customers ranging from residential accounts to small independent businesses, large companies and corporations to enterprise-level accounts. We serve a wide variety of vertical markets, including health care, higher education, and critical infrastructure. PASS also operates a 24/7 UL Listed Central Station.
What makes PASS Security stand out in the physical security industry?
Our long-term customer relationships are what stand out and drive us each and every day. Over the years, we have built hundreds of these relationships, and most consider PASS Security as a partner, not a security vendor. We know this is built on our commitment to service and getting it right, regardless of the obstacles or challenges encountered.
What qualities will a successful security integration company have?
Building a strong team that has a passion for the electronic security industry is the key ingredient for a successful security integration company. It is not about technology, equipment, and pricing. The leadership of your team must be passionate about the industry and committed to the core customer base. This dedication and commitment must set a clear example for others to follow. If successful, it will become contagious within the organization, and everyone will be finding solutions and solving problems, and we’ll stand out in the customers’ eyes.
What is your advice to individuals who are looking to build a career in security systems integration?
The universal number one challenge we face as system integrators and in the electronic security industry as a whole is the lack of talent. Recruiting for individuals with an industry background generally yields a very small pool when non-industry roles have large pools of candidates from which to choose. When recruiting prospective new employees for open positions, we share these facts with them. Gaining or enhancing electronic security experience will provide them with a long-term career that will become more valuable each year within the company and marketplace.
The major attractant to our industry, though, is the global need for security in business and our communities, which grows every day based on the world we live in; it will not change in our lifetime. The security industry is a fantastic and rewarding career; what we do on a daily basis truly matters when we’re protecting an individual’s or organization’s physical and human assets.
For more information on PASS Security: http://www.passsecurity.com/residential-and-commercial-security-system-solutions-st-louis