AURORA, Ill., Aug. 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Family-owned security systems business Alarm Detection Systems, Inc., of Aurora, Illinois is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
Founder and CEO Bob Bonifas says there is no magic to excelling in business. "It just takes hard work, customer dedication, and first-class employees," he said.
Bonifas started Alarm Detection Systems (ADS) after working alongside his father in a family-owned grocery business in Aurora. After his father closed the store, and with five children to support, Bonifas signed up for an alarm system franchise and never looked back.
ADS offers expert electronic security and fire safety services, CCTV cameras, card access and locksmith services to business and residential customers. The company has more than 35,000 locations throughout Northern Illinois, Southern Wisconsin and Colorado. It ranks in the top 25 of 14,000 alarm companies in the country.
CFO Terry Olah has been with ADS for more than 40 years. "Part of the culture at ADS was self-sufficiency. Especially in the early years, we would see what needed to be done and then figure out how to do it. When I started there were no computers. Going from manual systems to computers was scary, but we did it.
"Now, we have the talent to provide world-class service, but we are still small enough to care."
The company's involvement in industry associations like the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association was one key growth point for the company, Olah said. "We reached out beyond the little sphere of our business to a national association where we could share ideas and learn as much as we could."
Another key growth point was when Bonifas and two security industry colleagues founded the Security Network of America, now NetOne. The consortium, now more than 30 years old, is made up of independently-owned electronic security and communications companies that serve more than 775,000 customers across the United States and Canada. Collectively, the NetOne member company's customer base is comparable to the nation's fourth-largest electronic security company.
A significant part of the company's growth has been acquisitions, Olah said. More than 60 acquisitions have taken place during his tenure with the company. ADS purchased Safe Systems, Inc. of Colorado in 2015, retaining all 80 employees.
Still a family-owned business, four of Bonifas's five children work for ADS. Ed Bonifas, Dale Bonifas, Connie (Bonifas) Busby and Kim Bonifas all hold key executive positions in the company. Several other family members hold positions in Illinois and Colorado.
Bonifas is proud of the company's ongoing relationship with public safety providers. ADS was just named the 2018 recipient of the PDQ (Police Dispatch Quality) Award that recognizes exemplary collaboration in reducing false alarms.
Reflecting on the company's success, Olah said, "Every employee has been committed to doing whatever they can to help push the ball forward. A lot of bright and talented people have built this company. And the future holds some fantastic opportunities. We're sticking our toes in to see what landscape we want to be a real player in.
"But at the end of the day, you go home and feel good about yourself. We're doing good in the world, providing peace of mind and protecting people. It's a good thing to spend your life doing."
Alarm Detection Systems is ranked one of the top alarm companies in the United States. It is committed to same-day service with more than 100 trained and certified technicians. The company installs and services security systems including: Fire Alarms, Burglar Alarms, Closed Circuit Television (CCTV), and Access Control. The security systems are monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week from an award-winning, UL-listed, CSAA-approved, Five Diamond-certified central monitoring station located at its Aurora business campus.