April 5, 2018

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.

Pro-Tec Design is a 100% employee-owned security company, based in Minnesota. They serve multiple industries including education, healthcare, real estate and transportation focusing on access points, system designs and policies. Once the risks and area of improvements are determined, Pro-Tec Design works with every party involved to mitigate risks, automate systems and implement compliance systems. 

Eva Mach | President, CEO and Employee Owner

How long has Pro-Tec Design been in business?
Pro-Tec Design was incorporated in Minnesota in 1982 as a low voltage and electrical contractor. In 1992 we began to specialize in security.

To date, what has been the most unique or interesting job you have been apart of? 
Every client’s situation is unique, aligning with Pro-Tec Design’s proven ability to provide a wide-range of customized solutions, no matter the scope.

Recently Pro-Tec was hired by a suburban Minnesota school district. They had an outdated video management system in terms of servers, equipment and software. The desired upgrade had a unique twist as it involved added connectivity to the local police department.

The Challenge

Every project brings its own set of challenges and this project requested enabling a faster emergency response time and the ability to pinpoint where an incident might be occurring. The local police department needed to have instant access to live and recorded video throughout the school.

Through past work, Pro-Tec Design has maintained a strong working relationship with the local police department and brought our deep education experience to this project. Because both entities were using Milestone Corporate platforms, the software challenge of integrating and training on the two networks was slightly less complex. There was a third entity in the mix, an agency that manages network connectivity and firewalls between many local and state agencies. The project required coordination between all three IT departments.

The Solution

For the 435,000 sq. ft. facility, Pro-Tec Design’s team was able to upgrade the servers, software and equipment, utilizing 104 cameras and syncing the networks to be up and running smoothly. An additional aspect was implementing time parameters for the police department to gain access to recorded video. It was critical that they have enough access to quickly intervene during a potentially dangerous situation, but “not too much” where it could become intrusive. A time limit was agreed upon that satisfied all parties.

Since the initial project was completed, we have completed another project that tripled the size of the system by adding two more servers and approximately 250 new cameras to record video at the elementary schools and middle schools. As part of that project we replaced many of the aging exterior cameras at the high school plus around 30 new cameras at the high school.

How did Pro-Tec get started in one of your other top markets, healthcare?
An important component to our company culture is one of embracing change. Not that change is ever easy, but challenge is welcome. No other industry is experiencing change like healthcare. Consequently, our client contacts are caught in it too, which makes their day-to-day tasks even more difficult. Regulatory requirements, budgetary pressures, uncertainty around future legislative developments and competitive positioning around the overall patient experience influences every decision. We have the talent and ability to bring our industry experience to not only help their business through unique customized security solutions, but also to help them navigate the sea of change without major additions to their personal workload.

We tend to gravitate towards industries where security is paramount in their business plan, the challenges are high and the projects are unique in scope. Ultimately there is a need to make their workplace safer, whether it be for employees, assets, risk management or automation.

What are some of the biggest challenges that integrators are facing?
Due to time constraints and workload, many clients across industries can only focus on one project or a one-off solution, when in reality, the need exists for them to think about applications in the context of their entire business. We are fortunate to have a deep experience in wide variety of verticals and the ability to quickly apply it towards designing solutions that work and add value throughout their business.

In addition to the healthcare and education markets, what other types of clients do you have?
We do a significant amount of work in both public (education, airports, city and state governments) and private (manufacturing, Fortune 1000 and real estate) sectors.

We tend to gravitate towards industries where security is paramount in their business plan, the challenges are high and the projects are unique in scope. Ultimately there is a need to make their workplace safer, whether it be for employees, assets, risk management or automation. It’s our goal to blend these needs together with an innovative solution custom engineered for them.

What makes Pro-Tec Design stand out in the physical security industry?
Without question we are appreciative of our people, how they rally together on projects and are client-focused in their approach. Being a 100% employee owned company contributes greatly to this. Our people are actual “owners”. Having an owner at the table adds value to our clients, their projects and their business in a myriad of ways. Through ownership, we pride ourselves on being heavily invested in every opportunity.

In your opinion, what qualities will a successful security integration company have?
Success for us many times lies deep within the details. The more we can apply our ability and experience to provide a unique solution to a client’s business, the more often success is achieved. It’s more than a security project; it’s understanding the monetary and intrinsic value of what needs to be protected and how best to help them do so. This is carried through from scope to implementation.

What is your advice to individuals who are looking to build a career in security systems integration?
Someone who is interested in helping people and solving problems tends to do well in this industry. While an interest in and an aptitude for technology is important, it really is more about using those skills to solve problems. One who possesses a curious nature, as well as being strategically sound in being able to identify how security solutions fit within a client’s business plan, tends to see the “big picture” we are trying to solve. Because we operate as owners, there is a tried and true expectation on how we all service our clients. Knowing the work doesn’t end once the project is installed helps us maintain a long-term perspective and quickly recognize technology, market and industry changes that may be of value moving forward.

Is there anything else you would like the PSA Community to know about Pro-Tec Design?
We are working on more specialization in the number of product lines we carry, expanding our cloud offering and getting deeper into our main verticals: healthcare, education, transportation, manufacturing and multi-tenant real estate. It may sound cliché, but being an employee owned company makes us somewhat unique and gives us a greater understanding of what makes a company successful: passion for helping our clients.

For more information on Pro-Tec Design: