How Structure Works Became Yale’s Security Integrator
Structure Works, Dover Plains, N.Y., is a security organization that focuses on two priorities: the customer and operational excellence. With 25 locations in the U.S., they support local, regional and national customers and employ technicians in every major city. Their philosophy is to win partners, not projects.
“We build our customer base by two, three or four large customers a year without letting any of our existing business suffer,” said Walter Cropley, vice president, Structure Works. Their secret sauce is to employ people with superb technical capabilities and President Jim Muncey and Cropley are involved in every account.
“We are both engaged in our accounts and communicate with our clients; they can call our cell phones directly,” Cropley said. “Our competition is getting bigger, and we supply the communications piece and set the standard. We listen to the customer and move at their pace.”
Structure Works has been an AMAG Technology integrator since 2008. So when Yale University selected AMAG’s Symmetry SR Access Control solution with a consultant in 2013, Structure Works was invited to bid. They were the only non-Yale vendor bidding on the project. Between their impressive list of customers, professional presentation and experience with converting Yale’s legacy system to Symmetry, they won the project.
“Their presentation was impressive,” said David Boyd, director strategic planning and management, Yale Public Safety. “Walt was at both meetings. His knowledge of the product and sense for building a relationship fit in with our model of how we like to do business.”
Yale converted its legacy Casi Rusco system to Symmetry SR Access Control. The initial transition took five years to complete and involved working around a college campus’ complicated schedule. Dorms were installed over the summers and instructional halls were installed when the schedule permitted.
For Structure Works, communication between Yale department heads and scheduling the work was a big challenge. The team needed approval from each department head before beginning the conversion in each building. Once approved, they needed access to the building and communication about when and where installation work was occurring. Often, laboratory experiments could not be disrupted or dignitary visits required complete quiet for meetings or events.
It took a year for Structure Works to put the right team in place. Being 90 minutes away, they hired locally and as staff filled in, completing the deployment became easier.
“Structure Works was proactive at growing its team and it always stayed one step ahead,” said Bill Goldbach, director security systems, Yale Public Safety. “The technicians played to their strengths and helped each other with their weaknesses.”
They also had to work in conjunction with Yale’s lock shop, electrical department, telecom group, carpentry team and elevator vendor. Structure Works built relationships with these departments and earned their trust as a vendor that goes above and beyond.
“Structure Works was always part of the solution,” said Ronnell Higgins, director of public safety and chief of police, Yale University. “Their reliability, adaptability and commitment to us and getting the job right is valuable in this business. We want to work with companies who want to work with us.”
The Symmetry SR conversion was completed on schedule with limited interruption to the customer. A complete commitment from Yale and AMAG Technology helped make Structure Works and the project a success. Weekly meetings were held between the three companies with top executives and a dedicated project manager in attendance.
Yale continues to improve its campus security. It recently installed Symmetry CONNECT identity management to better manage the onboarding, offboarding and change requests for students. Structure Works continues to bid more projects and has between seven and nine people on campus full time.
“With 1,050 panels converted now and their quality and commitment to partnership, Structure Works has become our preferred vendor,” Boyd said.