In 2008, ADS Security was the SDM 2008 Dealer of the Year Honoree. Since then nothing — and everything — has changed at the company, which is the 2014 Dealer of the Year.

Back in 2008, I had just joined SDM Magazine as an associate editor. My last name was different — I hadn’t met my husband yet — and my perspective of the industry was fresh. That’s the polite way of saying I knew nothing. One of my first projects was managing the Dealer of the Year program. Later that year I wrote the 2008 Dealer of the Year cover story and also the profile of that year’s honoree, which was ADS Security, based in Nashville, Tenn.

While I still was learning about the security industry at that time, notwithstanding I recognized the “it” factor in ADS when I interviewed the company and wrote its profile, which you can read on

That “it” factor is something ADS Security still has six years later.

In 2008, ADS Security hired new personnel, made acquisitions that opened new markets and successfully installed new operating software, to name just a few of its initiatives. Those changes all reflected its commitment to being a top security company in the industry.

In 2014 nothing has changed, and everything has changed. ADS Security has made pivotal changes to remain a front runner in the industry.

When I interviewed the founder of ADS Security, Mel Mahler in 2008, he said, “One of the reasons that ADS Security has been so successful is because it continually plans for the future through investment in the best available technology and through employing the most knowledgeable people in the industry.”

That commitment to growth and investment in the “best available technology” has not changed, as ADS Security has proactively added offerings such as managed access, automation, remote video monitoring and cloud-based services, and even tied new technologies into its sales and installation operations. ADS Security has found a way to remain relevant in a fast-changing market, earning the company the 2014 SDM Dealer of the Year award.

The spirit of the company is to fearlessly “fire bullets, not cannonballs,” explained Craig Leyers, the company’s senior vice president of sales and marketing. “We are very willing to try new products, technologies, or services to see if they will stick. But when we do, we implement intelligent vetting processes and do our homework so that it is a calculated, appropriately sized risk,” he explained.

ADS Security displays an openness to what it can change and improve to make everything easier and more efficient for its customers and itself. “Technology plays a role in what we sell, how we sell, and how we operate, so we fully embrace it,” shared ADS Security President and Chief Executive Officer John Cerasuolo.

The company uses technology to create outstanding customer service, which results in “raving fans.”

For example:

•  ADS Security uses an iPad sales application that positions its sales consultants to present customers with a clean, clear, concise, and paperless process during the sales survey.

•  ADS Security technicians are equipped with field service units (FSUs) that allow for real-time access to a customer’s account during an installation or a service call.

•  Training is regularly woven into all aspects of the business so that associates stay current on new technologies, market trends, and company policies.

•  ADS Security has a dedicated customer care team that supports existing customers, as well as a “customer portal” on its website (MyADS). This portal allows a customer 24-hour easy access to their account to access a wide variety of features ranging from scheduling service calls to paying bills.

ADS Security doesn’t just hope those technologies are paying off. It actively measures customer satisfaction with a “Raving Fan Index” so it can see what is working and what is not. The idea of raving fans comes from the use of a Net Promoter Score, which ADS uses to drive organic growth.

The company’s drive to offer outstanding service also led to a pivotal overhaul of its mission statement late last year, and the results paid off this year with award-winning service (literally — in November it received the Best Customer Service Excellence award in the 2014 “Besty Awards”) and solid growth in both residential and commercial markets (the company expects to earn an estimated $38.5 million in revenue, a 7.66 percent increase from 2013).

In honor of its exceptional year full of successful changes, ADS Security was chosen as the SDM 2014 Dealer of the Year. After interviewing the company and catching up on everything it has been up to the last six years, I am a raving fan. Read the cover story starting on page 44 and find out why you should be too.