Smooth Transition for B Safe Security
ESA member company B Safe Security (B Safe) recently acquired nearby companies Securitech and DC Security Systems, continuing a trend of growth and acquisitions for the company. Neil Appel, vice president of sales and marketing at B Safe, says the transition went smoothly for the team, which is no stranger to acquisitions.
The decision to acquire was driven by the other two companies’ location within B Safe’s coverage area, which includes parts of New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania. According to Appel, this acquisition allowed B Safe to grow its reach within communities where it already had a reputation, strengthening its brand and increasing revenue on the residential side of the company’s operations.
“It’s not that we want to focus on one rather than the other, it’s that as we’re growing commercially, this helps us build residentially,” says Appel. “Everybody who has a job goes to a commercial building, so that also gives us thousands of opportunities where we could say, ‘Well, we protect your family. If you enjoy that, wait until you see how good we can do for your business.’”
Through the acquisition, the company focused on making the strategic business move just as much about the people it would affect as the profits it would generate.
Company culture has been a key part of B Safe’s acquisitions for a long time, according to Appel. The company has attempted to keep as many employees on board as it can whenever it is acquiring another business.
“For us, it’s a strategic, positive, mutually beneficial relationship. We’re just stoked about it,“ says Appel.
For this pair of acquisitions, Appel says the culture was a great fit. In particular, the acquisition of Securitech was an easy decision. The company’s main office was just a couple miles from B Safe’s headquarters, and the two companies didn’t see each other as competitors, according to Appel. The joining of the two made sense from the top down.
“We respected each other and knew each other for years,” says Appel. “Their kind of motto with their owner, Scott Wilson of Securitech, is ‘don’t BS your customers, just fix the problem.’ He’s said that for thirty years; that’s our mentality over at B Safe, so just from a core set of values, we really share that commonality … It was just a logical, happy transition.”
The mutual respect between B Safe and the owners of its acquired companies is apparent in that many of the owners stay on board as sales people for B Safe, according to Appel. The professionals share a passion for the industry and service to their communities that transcends competition and is built on experience.
“Our owners are some of our top reps, and they’re enjoying the freedom they have to go out and sell when they want to sell and not have to manage and run an organization,” says Appel. “But they still have that organization ... They don’t lose all their identity; they’re still guys that have worked together for a long time and we still respect that person as an ex-owner. He’s not somebody new in the business – it’s a guy who built a legitimate, strong, large company and he deserves that recognition.”
In addition to having owners who want to stick around, the joining employees also brought complimentary strengths to B Safe. The talent acquired in these partnerships allowed B Safe to provide additional services to their customer base through the synergy created by the strengths of the joined companies and the increased number of employees who can meet the customer’s needs.
“If we can say to clients, ‘What’s best for you? Where does it hurt and how fast can I get out there to fix it?’ that’s the core of our values,” says Appel. “A good customer experience is priceless, so having additional staff is only a win-win situation. We usually incorporate, I want to say, 95% of the staff when we partner with a company.”
Another contributing factor to why Appel describes the acquisitions as a win-win situation is that the decision was not rushed. According to him, the company took its time to discern whether every aspect of the partnerships would be a good fit.
“We don’t rush … Because there’s no pressure, it really allows you to get to know the opportunity and if it’s the right one,” says Appel. “Too many companies try to have acquisitions overnight … at the end of the day, one side or the other isn’t always happy.”
In the end, planning for the cultural fit, studying and respecting the businesses to be acquired, taking the appropriate amount of time for the decision and keeping shared company values in mind were the keys to a successful transition for B Safe Security. The company’s story goes to show that with due diligence and mutual respect, acquisitions can go smoothly for your company.