Young at Heart; Solid Gold Future

There are myriad of cool things about Columbus, Ohio. On a list you might place The Ohio State University Buckeyes and a downtown that boasts Nationwide Insurance. You might also include the two Heisman Trophies won by the only two time winner Archie Griffin (1974 and 1975).

These and many other things make Columbus a nice metropolis. But, who keeps all this stuff safe and secure? It’s a good question, and the answer is Xentry Systems Integration.

Xentry is young at heart in the installation business, but not when it comes to security. They have quickly established themselves as a leader in designing, installing and maintaining technology systems to keep people and property protected and secure, increase efficiency, mitigate risk and ensure compliance. Xentry began as Matrix Systems, an electronic security solution provider with over 35 years of experience in the security industry. Matrix Systems has provided electronic security solutions to some of the largest and most challenging facilities in the United States, including Miami International Airport, Texas A&M University and Cleveland Clinic.

In April, Matrix Systems created Xentry as a stand-alone company to focus specifically on building technology systems. Also in June, Xentry acquired AcreeDaily, a fellow integrator with more than 30 years of experience not only in security systems but also healthcare communication, fire alarm, electronic asset management and intercom and paging technologies.

Now established as an integration leader, Maxtrix officials cleared the deck for a well-known management team with decades of experience.

“We look at the growth of the healthcare industry and we’re excited to be part of it,” said John Nemerofsky, president and CEO of Xentry. “The security business is busting at the seams with millions of dollars being spent on solutions.”

Nemerofsky is quick to see the vision of security integration. He does after spending several years as a vice president at Stanley Security Systems and president of SST, a security service provider.

“We focus on our clients and bringing them new technology and solutions to correct any problems they might be having,” Nemerofsky said. “Our offices are set up for the customer so that can do an onsite analysis, and we’re setting up a laboratory to test all types of technology and engineering updates.”

It is easy to understand why the future looks like solid gold to the management team. Xentry currently works with 633 customers, and they have a plan where they target potential clients, then go out and visit these future clients to explain and show how the Xentry model works and how it will increase security and deliver positive outcomes.

The Staff

Of course, Nemerofsky doesn’t run the show alone. Andre Greco is the company vice president, and is responsible for recruiting and building a sales team, training and presenting Xentry thoughts at the C level. Greco’s background comes largely from the integrator market, including Johnson Controls and Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies.

“When we target accounts, we look at the higher education market, transportation, healthcare and municipal markets,” Greco said. “We have to know our competitors and know the local market. We have to be hands-on professionals in everything that we do.

“Xentry’s go to market focus is on delivering business outcomes through technology.”

Joining Greco at the VP level is Scott Cooley. At first glance, Cooley is somewhat of a prankster, but don’t let that fool you. He has security written on everything he does. He is the vice president of program management for the company and has a portfolio of impressive security achievements, including team building.

“One of the high pressure security landscapes nowadays is a secure campus,” Cooley said. “We attack security on the campus by the theory of not selling just any technology that comes along. We install what best suites the client, and what brings the best security system to that campus.”

Xentry’s management team also includes Mark A. Ring, senior director of operations; Dan Blend, the regional president for greater Ohio; Brian Blend, vice president of finance. This management team has been working double time to get everything up to speed, including ordering 27 new work vans for the Columbus area, the Ohio Valley and Upper Great Lakes States. This is an area of integration that Nemerofsky fondly refers to as a Super Regional integrator. It doesn’t stop there however, as Xentry is busy in South Florida, and has existing customers in 35 of the 50 states and Canada.

Gig ‘Em

One of the most talked about installs can be found in College Station, Texas, home of the Texas A&M Aggies. In the Long Star State, football is king and the university makes significant investments to protect its students, sports fans and faculty. As a member of the Power 5 conference, only the best security will do. Xentry has provided plenty of knowledge and physical equipment as part of the university’s access control system. Texas A&M’s unified access control system can be easily decentralized to meet specific departmental and agency needs, and can also be used to standardize access control to improve safety procedures across campus.

“This is all part of bringing new technology to the client,” Nemerofsky said. “We want to be their technology partners. We want to participate in their 5-year plan, based on a budget, and we want to get our clients exactly where they want to be with security.”

Another impressive client is The Ohio State University, also a football bastion. Four decades ago, Archie Griffin won the Heisman Trophy, not once, but twice back to back. Both trophies are in Columbus; one at the Ohio Union on campus, and the other at the Buckeye Hall of Fame Grill just outside the campus. Now, the trophies are securely in place, thanks to Xentry. At the Buckeye Grill, the trophy sits in a Plexiglas case, and has every conceivable security device fashioned and attached to it.

Making it All Work

Xentry has an interesting business model. They list about 25 percent of their business as recurring revenue, and the finance people at the company see this as a monthly infusion of cash up front and an exceptional foundation on which to grow the company. Again, the targeting strategy comes in to play as potential customers are examined for RMR, which is a key ingredient in the company’s growth strategy.

RMR is part of the service contracts that Xentry signs with it client base. Like everything else in a growing business, this is a revenue stream that management hopes to increase year over year.

“Everything we do is team centered by meeting set milestones,” Cooley said. “In this industry, the number one complaint is service. We don’t ever want to be caught with this complaint. We want our customers to know they are buying an outcome. We want to be nimble enough as a company to understand our customers’ needs and make it happen.”

Nemerofsky is clear about the company and its success. Saying, as long as Xentry sticks to its mission and offering best-in-class service, they will find success. He is even certain about the element of technology as they are currently looking for a technology leader to join the management ranks.

“The company will grow when you build on trust,” Ring said. “We build on consistent processes from group to group within the company. It really is all about teamwork. It is the technology of customer retention and hitting our goals.”

Growth Strategy

Similar to other companies, growth is critical and to win that game, Xentry plans to grow through organic means and acquisition, and, of course, using technology to leap into other vertical markets. Currently, there are two purchase offers in the pipeline. Time will tell when and how those negotiations turn out. One thing that will remain the same is the method of service by installers and the back office staff, who look at daily efficiencies throughout the company.

Though the company name of Xentry is new, the merger of Matrix and AcreeDaily created a formidable installation firm. The company currently has 428 open projects that the service staff are keeping up with. Xentry has projects ranging from $27,000 to $5 million. The Columbus office and warehouse is adding 5,500 square feet of additional space to the already 16,000 square feet. Warehouses are located in Miamisburg, Ohio and Miami, Fla.

Xentry also employs a data mining expert to look for additional service opportunities, and management is considering an investment into the size of the sales team.

“I believe our individual team members can take on more responsibility through proper time management techniques,” Nemerofsky said. “We need to optimize our existing relationships, meet with our customers and see how we can increase business from that perspective.”

The method of attracting new business is pretty simple. Nemerofsky said that if Xentry can get in front of the security decisionmaker, they ask for the opportunity to give them a service call, proving what they can do, and how they have invested in a quality, go-to service staff.

“We go in on a consultative perspective,” Nemerofsky said. “We want to be able to show that we can deliver the service to the customer, and that they can feel comfortable with our technology and technicians.”

As a super-regional installer, Xentry has about 82 employees, half of which are located in Columbus. Other staff is located in Miamisburg, Miami, Cleveland and Detroit.

This article originally appeared in the November 2014 issue of Security Today.

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