Company expands with small acquisitions
by Spencer Ives, Security Systems News
Wednesday; August 5, 2015
LYNN, MA—Driving up to Wayne Alarm Systems it’s hard to miss the 340-foot tower, which supports the company’s AES mesh radio network.
Paul Silva, Wayne Alarm customer service manager, lauded the AES network, which currently has about 850 radios set up. “It’s something that we’re very happy to be a part of. It has proven to be a very reliable technology,” he told Security Systems News.
Wayne is expanding its AES network to Nantucket, off the coast of Cape Cod, where it has done business since 2012. The AES network on the island will be connected with the mainland by September.
Security Systems News visited Wayne Alarm in July. The full-service company, based here, was started in 1972.
According to Brandon Freedman, Wayne’s director of marketing, the company’s story is a unique one. Ralph Sevinor, Wayne Alarm Systems president, experienced a break-in at his family’s home, leading him to install his first alarm system at the age of 12. Four years later, he opened DBA Wayne Alarm, running the business from his parents’ basement.
Wayne’s main footprint is Boston and its surrounding areas, Jeff Kahn, Wayne COO, told SSN. “We’ve remained loyal to what we do; we’re a local company.” The company also does wholesale monitoring for dealers around the country.
Wayne Alarms completes an average of two acquisitions a year, Kahn said. It has completed two purchases this year, adding on 500 accounts.
Kahn said the company is not actively looking for acquisitions, but stands ready for opportunities.
Employee education and training is a core value for the company, Kahn said. For example, 11 of Wayne’s 91 employees attended ESX.
All new hires are exposed to each department. Kahn said. This could be shadowing an operator for a couple hours or spending a day with a service technician. “You’ve got to know how your piece fits into the puzzle,” he said.
Incorporating ASAP to PSAP in its monitoring center is a major initiative for the company. The protocol will be in place in September. “It’ll make [the monitoring center] quicker; it’ll make it more accurate,” said Ralph Sevinor, Wayne Alarm Systems’ president.
“For the past hundred years—[since about] 1874, when the phone was invented—we haven’t really changed much [in terms of a] communications protocol. So, for the first time, [with ASAP to PSAP] we’re now sending this information electronically; accuracy and speed are the key factors,” Sevinor said.
Wayne utilizes “newsletters, Facebook, Twitter … a lot of social media,” to stay in touch with customers, Sevinor said.
Sevinor even puts his home phone and cellphone numbers on customer newsletters. If customers are having a problem, he said, they should be able to contact the president of the company.
Wayne Alarm has a collection of antique alarm equipment, featured throughout hallways and the conference room. This collection includes a municipal network fire alarm receiving station (photo on left). The system dates back to the 1890s, Freedman said, and was in use until the 1970s.
Wayne Alarm culture includes events like a “Christmas in July” celebration this year, where holiday decorations were up for a week and a company-wide feast took place on July 23. The company also has an annual barbeque and softball games. “Anything just to get everyone together,” said Freedman.