The SDM Systems Integrator of the Year award is based on a host of criteria including unmistakable success, a high level of innovation, best practices, growth and the unique ways they’ve approached their business, the industry, and the community around them. While there is only one winner each year, sometimes more than one company truly stands out as exemplary. This year was one of those times. NextGen Security, King of Prussia, Pa., has some impressive credentials that made it deserving of an honoree distinction.
Founded just four years ago in 2012 by industry veteran Frank Brewer (CEO), Ryan Loughin (president), Ryan Rieger, Steve Greis and Dwight Smith, NextGen has gone from $0 to almost $30 million in annual revenue in just four short years. What’s more, they did it completely organically.
Brewer attributes this to two factors: a laser focus on the company’s key verticals, including petrochemical, oil and gas, and a unique employee ownership structure. “I came into this providing the start-up capital and Ryan and his management team brought the revenue,” Brewer says.
To foster an even deeper level of ownership, every employee gets an annual bonus check based on the company’s success that year. “I rarely come across a company that could grow like [we do],” Brewer adds.
Loughin adds that by positioning themselves as high-level specialists in oil/gas, petrochem and energy sectors, NextGen has been able to fast track its growth. “It is a very difficult vertical market to work in. Unless you have a lot of experience you will struggle. We brought that to the table on day one on the ‘build it and they will come’ theory. That was the catalyst that sparked the growth.”
Another thing that has set NextGen apart is a full SAFETY Act distinction. The SAFETY Act, enacted by Congress as part of the Homeland Security Act in 2002, is a federal law intended to protect entities from the liability they will face following a terrorist event. The Act’s liability protections apply to physical attacks on persons or property, or to acts of cyber-terrorism that can result in physical injury and/or cause financial harm.
“This designation is a feather in our cap,” Loughin says. “It was a two-year process for us to get that and we had to take them through how we do business from the smallest detail to the largest…. Our clients benefit from this designation we carry and that is something we are proud of.”
On October 1 NextGen was scheduled to move in to its brand new headquarters facility in Exton, Pa. Some of the features include numerous team breakout areas, a state-of-the art dining area, and even a NextGen shuffleboard. The office itself is located in Eagle View Corporate Center, which includes fitness facilities, restaurants and bars, walking trails, a weekly farmers market, yoga studio and more.
In addition to the employee perks, the new headquarters will also feature a full-power substation demo set up with seven or eight different technologies.
“One thing I have learned from my experience is this is a people business,” Brewer says. “If you build a better mousetrap you are going to succeed. With higher quality people, products and tools, we feel this facility will be a nice employee base where they will want to come to work; great for suppliers to use as a demo facility; and a way to show customers why we are better and why we serve a higher quality market.”