Service Driven Security
Climatec works to adapt to the needs of their clients while offering world-class service
- By Jessica Davis
- Apr 01, 2018
Efficiency is part of Climatec’s DNA—after all, much of
their work is in energy and access solutions—but efficiency
doesn’t mean taking shortcuts. Climatec believes in
client-focused, service-driven work and solutions. Their
commitment to those ideals is what has made their expansion
into security and life safety so successful. As Ray Gilley, Climatec’s
vice president of security and life safety put it: “Service is the
key to the security business.”
AN INTRODUCTION TO THE INDUSTRY
Nearly 20 years ago, Climatec was focused on building automation,
heating and air conditioning. After multiple people asked about
their fire safety and security work—which didn’t exist yet—the
company worked to build relationships with people who worked in
Climatec was able to expand into the security industry through
employees who had business contacts with security product manufacturers.
By building and reinforcing those relationships, the company
was able to offer those products to their markets, which opened
up the door to offering security solutions to their clients. As a result,
security is now one of Climatec’s three main divisions.
FITTING THE CLIENT’S NEEDS
According to Gilley, the company’s Professional Services Group, a
group of highly trained, technical-minded engineers, is what makes
their security approach unique.
The PSG doesn’t work in sales—instead, the engineers and technical
people in the PSG work with sales to serve the client’s needs.
The company’s sales team will approach the PSG with the client’s
unique security requirements, and together they work out the right
product, design and implementation. The PSG is able to get technical
with things like the specs and metrics of a particular client’s solution.
Often, Gilley said, the PSG can solve a client’s problem faster than a
“The PSG will generally help the sales guy drive in the right direction
for the product,” Gilley said. “Once we get the right solution
dialed in, then the PSG might do some programming, they might do
some training, they might do some things that the client needs that
the sales guy can’t do or even our own in-house staff can’t do.”
The sales staff can then go back to the client to make the sale on
a solution that’s tailored to their security needs, and the operations
group can move forward with it from there.
“I always say it’s the fuel for the plane, it makes the plane fly; the
sales guy is the plane but without [the PSG’s] knowledge, without
their technical expertise, without their design, the plane’s not going to
fly fast enough and far enough,” Gilley said. “They can get that plane
to fly fast and far. And they’re very smart people and they know how
to provide the right product, the right solution, to that sales person.
So it’s a great partnership.”
The partnership between the PSG and the sales division is vital to
Climatec’s operation and their commitment to being client-focused.
Climatec isn’t interested in selling their client just any product—they
want to sell them the product that’s going to work best for them and
“We try to sell them what fits the needs, the model, what fits the building.
We’re selling them what’s going to solve the problem,” Gilley said.
“We’d rather walk away from the deal if we don’t have the right product.”
WORLD CLASS SERVICE
That level of dedication to client satisfaction is part of Climatec’s drive
for “world-class service.” Climatec believes that if a company isn’t service-
driven, it won’t succeed.
For example: response times. Many companies will talk about
how committed they are to high-class service and quick turnaround
times but then take as long as two weeks to respond to service issues
or client complaints. The company’s prices or designs may be
popular, but when the product breaks, what the client really wants is
a rapid response. Gilley said those at Climatec pride themselves on
their turnaround time, believing that critical work like security solutions
“They want you to be there quickly, fix it, get it going again,” Gilley
said. “We live in a world where if you’re not on site quickly, you’re
not going to repair that and make it work, you’re putting that business
in jeopardy, and you’re putting that employee base in jeopardy. You
can’t operate in any other fashion. You have to be there; you have to
make it work.”
FLEXIBILITY IS VITAL
Climatec has a wide variety of clientele in their footprint, which
stretches from California to Texas. In Arizona, they work with a large
number of school districts as well as clients in the healthcare market.
In Dallas, they just worked with Dickies Arena.
“We don’t try to box ourselves in to a particular product or a particular
vertical,” Gilley said. “We have schools, we have healthcare,
commercial, but we try to stay focused on the entire market so that
we’re a complete provider.”
Some of their clients are definitely outside the box. For example,
an open-air aquatic park in Phoenix, one of their “most difficult
assignments.” Gilley described its structure as a shell building with
an opening in the middle. On the edge of the shell were a variety
of retail establishments, and in the center were the marine animals,
such as dolphins.
The retail environment required some complex arranging, because
each store was different. Climatec had to approach each one
individually and work with them one-on-one.
“It wasn’t one sale, it was a multi-sale…lots of people with their
hands in the pie,” Gilley said.
It was a challenging situation that meant working on a tight schedule
under a lot of pressure, “Because when they put those animals in
that water, everything needed to be done.”
At the end of the day, when the park opened, each establishment
had their own specific security solution, one they could be confident
in. Gilley considered it a victory.
LOOKING TOWARD NEW OPPORTUNITIES
Climatec was acquired by The Bosch Group in 2015, which has provided
the company with more opportunities and resources to stay on
top of the security world’s pulse—for example, keeping an eye on the
increasing interest in smart security and the Internet of Things.
“I think the security world’s still trying to figure that out and get a
grasp on what it means but we’re all embracing it and we’re all working
toward it,” Gilley said. “We have a team of people in our company
that work with the Bosch people to monitor it and see what’s going on
and develop a plan for how we’re going to adapt to that.”
Under Bosch’s ownership, Gilley said he sees Climatec’s business
growing outside of their California-to-Texas range to become a nationwide
company, perhaps even international. As they look toward
future opportunities, they remain focused on serving each client’s
“No matter where you go service is the key, making sure you
have an elite level of service,” Gilley said. “If you don’t, you’re just an
This article originally appeared in the April 2018 issue of Security Today.