PSI MAGAZINE COLUMN: AUGUST 2015

This month Simon Banks talks to David Witts-Price, Director of the SGD Group. The SGD Group design, install and maintain tailor-made security solutions and fire prevention systems across Wales and Southwest England.

This month Simon Banks talks to David Witts-Price, Director of the SGD Group. The SGD Group design, install and maintain tailor-made security solutions and fire prevention systems across Wales and Southwest England.

You have grown SGD considerably through acquisitions in the alarm sector. What is the strategy behind this?

We have been operational for over 30 years which brings with it an abundance of experience. The day-to-day business runs exceptionally well due to this and as a result we have been able to acquire other quality security companies. These acquisitions have allowed the SGD Group to improve the quality and levels of customer care, diversify the services we offer and grow our base of monitored systems.

What makes a company sell to you rather than a more traditional route of selling to larger National Alarm Companies?

Although we have a national base of customers we have always kept a family business mentality with a local touch which keeps us approachable. It’s important to recognise the achievements of the business you are acquiring, after all it’s the lifetime work of the owner and handing it all over is not an easy step. We also value good staff and offer strong career pathways for key team members within businesses we acquire to ensure business continuity and quality of service. A lot of what makes you attractive to a potential acquisition is the comfort factor.

How does swapping out signalling align with your growth strategy and cost based rationale?

We always look at ways to future-proof our monitoring base and made the decision a number of years ago to standardise on Dual Signalling for all our signalling requirements. Before we acquire a new company we will look at what areas we can improve. By upgrading the signalling not only are we able to increase the benefits but we are also able to offer a more cost effective solution to our clients. Passing these savings on through the value chain allows us to be more competitive whilst maintaining the highest standards.

How would you calculate the true value of a company when purchasing?

A valuation would be based primarily on the intangible assets, the maintenance base and recurring revenue. Intangibles are more difficult to value by their very nature. We would give some consideration to the annual profitability however this would be in line with the cost implication of when the current business owner(s) choose to retire.

You Said It!

"We're pleased to be installing @CSLDualCom, easy to install, totally flexible, providing an excellent service for our customers."

Tweeted by @TauntonFirePS – Feb 22

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