It is my pleasure to end this year with the announcement of Atronic Alarms as SDM’s 2004 Dealer of the Year. For 25 consecutive years, SDM has bestowed this honor upon a security company that surpasses others in the industry in five key areas:

• stability of the dealer and its appeal as a prospective employer,

• market strengths,

• long-term pattern of growth in revenue and recurring revenue,

• company accomplishments, and • industry and community involvement.

In this industry, Atronic Alarms is considered one of the larger dealers due to its annual revenue of $2.7 million. But there are many parallels that can be drawn between Atronic Alarms and the numerous small businesses that make up the electronic security industry.

Founder and president, Perry Atha, started Atronic Alarms in the Kansas City area in 1982 with a small investment. He studied the concept of a recurring revenue business and identified a market niche, which he knew would lead to recurring revenue growth. In the early years of his business, Atha stressed key foundational concepts, such as building a sound staff, doing low-cost marketing to targeted groups, performing job-costing and profit-analysis, and implementing strict quality control.

Now Atronic Alarms seems to be in the right place at the right time, with sturdy business practices in place to take this company to the next level. By Atha’s own admission, business is “exploding.” We are proud to feature Atronic Alarms and its president, Perry Atha, as SDM’s 25th annual Dealer of the Year. Their story begins on p. 40 of this issue.

One way in which this thriving company of 28 people is proving innovative is in its dealings with builders. Atronic Alarms’ vice president, John Erickson, created pre-wire offerings that include cabling for residential camera systems, and marketing coordinator Megan Ragan is promoting camera systems to subscribers and prospects. A recent article in Atronic Alarms’ newsletter, “Totally Wired,” addresses cameras in the home, helping consumers understand how the technology works, options for viewing and storing images, and practical uses for home surveillance.

Again, Atronic Alarms is likely in the right place at the right time for this venture, as multiple factors are converging to raise consumer demand. Installation of high-speed Internet connection in the home is very high; communities around the country are pushing for some form of enhanced verification of alarms – video surveillance can serve this purpose; and most importantly, the public is interested in and comfortable with viewing video events remotely. There’s no question residential video surveillance will become an exploding market in 2005.

On behalf of the entire staff at SDM, I’d like to wish happy holidays to our subscribers!


The Security Industry Alarm Coalition – a non-profit organization formed to represent one voice for the alarm industry on alarm management issues – is actively promoting Enhanced Call Verification, “the most effective program ever developed to reduce police dispatches to invalid alarms,” says SIAC executive director Stan Martin.