Founded in 2011 by Kate Fisher, Compliance Management Solutions (CMS) provides licensing and compliance services exclusively to the electronic security industry nationwide.
Its services are designed to offer an advantage to companies wishing to launch their businesses, expand into new geographical areas, broaden their product or service offerings or simply reduce the headache and cost associated with maintaining existing licenses and employee registrations. Services include state and local licensing, employee registration, license renewals, foreign registrations, annual reports, installation and alarm user permits, as well as professional consulting.
CMS offers complete turnkey services for companies that wish to outsource all of their licensing responsibilities, or it can work alongside its clients’ internal licensing staff, providing assistance in specific areas. For instance, some clients opt to have CMS handle only their employee registrations, while others need only state and local license renewals. Some clients simply need some consulting on the front end to accelerate the process, such as information about licensing requirements specific to the client’s business model. Any of their services can be provided à la carte.
Customers range from small alarm companies with just a few employees, to large multinational companies with thousands of licensed employees and customized reporting requirements.
“Regardless of the business size, we find there is a great deal of confusion and frustration when it comes to licensing,” said Kate Fisher, founder of CMS. “Many companies are unsure of what licenses they are required to hold based on their specific business model. Furthermore, determining how to obtain the license and properly preparing and submitting a package that doesn’t get rejected or delayed can be a significant challenge.”
Fisher said that a company attempting to work through this process on its own often creates a two-fold issue: higher costs due to the internal time and manpower, as well as a loss of revenues while the company waits for the license.
With the growing popularity of do-it-yourself products, companies are more confused than ever. In fact, some DIY providers as well as monitoring companies wrongly believe they are exempt from all licensing requirements. They often do not know they are operating illegally until they are put on notice by a licensing agency that discovers the issue, either through enforcement efforts or a complaint from a competitor or disgruntled employee.
Even a company’s sales methods and product offerings impact its licensing requirements, Fisher explained. For instance, door-to-door versus Internet sales, or wired systems versus plug-and-play will impact licensing requirements, and Fisher explained that many companies either obtain licenses they don’t actually need or are unknowingly operating without a license where one is required. Partnering with a licensing vendor that specializes in the electronic security industry can lower your licensing costs, accelerate compliance and provide peace of mind, according to the company.
Fisher was previously responsible for the licensing and compliance of a nationwide electronic security company in Charlotte, N.C. Shortly after she left, that company decided to outsource their licensing responsibilities to Fisher. Experiencing firsthand the complexities associated with alarm licensing and seeing the huge need for such a service, she decided to launch the concept nationwide. CMS currently has six full-time employees with revenues doubling year over year through 2016, the most recent year figures were available.