With the 20th anniversary of the inception of Vector Security's National Accounts Division approaching, the division commemorated this milestone with a move into a new, greatly expanded National Service Center located in Northern Virginia. The facility has been designed from the ground floor up to serve Vector's growing list of national customers, which today numbers 44,000 locations throughout North America.
According to Michael Grady, Vector Security's Executive Vice President, this move is all about better preparing Vector to serve even greater levels of loss prevention needs, which include IP video, electronic article surveillance and managed network services. "This 27,000 square foot facility has been designed to better serve our national customers,” says Grady, adding that the move was not just to provide additional space, but to create a virtual loss prevention services laboratory to enlarge the scope of services Vector provides to national customers. According to Grady, "That goal centers squarely on our National Service Center, which is the focal point of our bottom line performance value proposition to our customers.”
Vector's National Service Center receives an estimated 26,000 service request calls per month. While that's a huge number of calls to manage, Vector's NSC screens every one, with an aim at providing a resolution through a variety of ways before needing to dispatch a technician. "Doing this allows us to reduce 26,000 calls to around 4,000 qualified service visits; which we complete in an average of 2.6 days,” says Grady. "By doing this, we can greatly reduce our customers' costs associated with servicing their systems.”
The NSC works hand in hand with Vector's Pittsburgh, PA based central station, which monitors all national account customer locations. Grady also emphasizes when it came to Vector's relocation plan, the location itself became a major consideration. "Not only do we operate 24/7/365, but we had to take time zones and severe weather patterns into consideration in our plan. As a true North American provider, having correct staffing at peak call times, such as opening and closing times, and expanded operating hours, especially during periods of bad weather, are keys to our customers' satisfaction levels.”
Vector's North American geographic service scope involves providing services in vastly differing weather patterns, creating the need for flexible and responsive working schedules. Grady responds by saying the location allows easier travel access for employees, and includes a variety of overnight accommodation facilities located nearby. "In the event of a storm at our location, or to handle emergency conditions somewhere within North America, the NSC's disaster management plan springs into action.”
Over the course of the recent northeast earthquake, hurricanes and tropical storms, Vector staffed its NSC 24 hours a day and called in additional personnel when conditions somewhere began to deteriorate further. "Our customers can feel more secure through this type of detailed disaster management planning,” cites Grady.
From a technical support standpoint, Vector's new facility also meets increasing demand and customers' expectations pertaining to equipment repair and the review and testing of new technologies. The new facility has been designed with service and technology in mind. It further increases the company's ability to service video, access and EAS equipment repairs on site, a benefit that Grady believes will contribute enormously to maintaining service completion times and saving customers money.
"Instead of sending equipment needing repair back to manufacturers, we can do most of it right here, saving time and expense; and we're also actively testing new equipment and technologies to ensure we remain on the cutting edge of new applications and emerging LP protocols.”
Vector's national compliance services will also gain greater room to grow. "Over the past few years, the retail industry has become aware of the need for better managing alarm permits, false alarm fines and a host of additional regulations that impact the operation of alarm systems. Our response was to build a professional team of people who help our retail customers do just that, and we're now even better positioned to provide these types of new and innovative services to our customers.”
Vector Security's President, Pamela J. Petrow, closes by saying Vector's National Accounts Division ranks within the top tier of loss prevention service providers to national multi-site customers, and is still privately owned. "Our unique level of corporate independence allows our National Accounts Division to direct its own future, based primarily upon the present and future needs of our customers. In a business environment where multi-site customers can be negatively impacted by the consolidations and business model changes currently being experienced in the LP vendor arena, they can be reassured that Vector's course is straight up, and focused squarely to meet their needs.”
About Vector Security: Vector Security is a leading provider of residential and commercial electronic security services. It operates branch offices throughout the East Coast and southern California, and three specialized business groups: National Accounts, Authorized Dealer Services, and Vector Security Patrol, which provides guard and patrol services. Vector Security is owned by The Philadelphia Contributionship, a private insurance company founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1752. Three of its founding directors – Benjamin Franklin, John Morton and Robert Morris – were also signers of the Declaration of Independence. Vector has captured many prestigious industry recognitions, to include the following:
- Received the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials – International's (APCO) highest honor, The President's Award, in 2009 for its outstanding contributions to the improvement of alarm dispatching communications methods in 911 centers
- Chosen as Frost & Sullivan's 2008 North American Commercial Alarm Monitoring Company of the Year
- Became the industry's first U.S- based central station facility to earn Underwriter Laboratories of Canada (ULC) certification in 2008
- Captured the first Police Dispatch Quality (PDQ) Award in 2006
- Honored as the False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA) Associate of the Year in 2006 and 2011
- Rose to a position as the SDM Magazine/Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) Central Station of the Year in 2006
- Named SDM Magazine Dealer of the Year in 2003