About ESTA

The Electronic Security & Technology Association (ESTA) consists of a small group of medium-sized independent alarm dealers dedicated to providing the best possible alarm service to our customers. It is our philosophy that if we focus on this objective, then through prudent management we can build and maintain a profitable business that gives us a fair return on our investment.

ESTA is a vehicle through which we can help achieve this objective by sharing on a confidential basis our successes and failures. This is done through two structured meetings a year, supplemented by informal discussions in person or by phone whenever any one of us wishes to seek advice from our peers. Because we have no more than one member from any given market area, we feel free to have open and frank discussions without concern that this will get into the hands of our competitors.

Benefits of Belonging to ESTA

Opportunity to seek advice from fellow non-competing members on how to provide better service to our customers, on how to improve the operation of our company, and to solve problems that we would not normally confide in with our competitors.

Opportunity to analyze detailed financial data with our peers to help improve the fiscal health of our company.

Opportunity to participate in discount purchasing programs that can offset the cost of dues.

Opportunity to meet once a year at selected sites around the country to share information and spend quality time with our families.

Access to ESTA ListServ to network, share, & get help from other members

Access to professional legal information

Opportunity to hear from industry sources and experts to keep current on industry trends and directions.

How ESTA Came About

Westinghouse Security Systems, Inc. (WSSI), then a subsidiary of Westinghouse Electric, introduced a highly sophisticated home security system to the marketplace in 1970. They set up a network of independent dealers across the nation. ESTA is the outgrowth of this group, which started meeting on an informal basis circa 1972 to work with Westinghouse on product planning, marketing techniques, and contract negotiations. Shortly thereafter they incorporated under the name of Alarm Distributors Association. Westinghouse sold WSSI to their Southern California Dealer around 1980, and they changed the name to Westec; and later, to ADA. Over the ensuing years some of the dealers left ADA and were gradually replaced with independent dealers carrying other brands of alarm products. To better reflect the nature of our members, the middle word of ADA was changed from "Distributors" to "Dealers", hence our recent name - Alarm Dealers Association. To more completely reflect the expanded business activity of the members, the name has now been changed to Electronic Security & Technology Associaton (ESTA)

Member Profile

The company must be engaged in the business of designing, installing, servicing, monitoring and/or integrating electronic systems such as security alarm systems, fire alarm systems, CCTV surveillance systems, access control systems, home automation, structured cabling, communication systems and/or other like systems, using various technologies, whether traditional or emerging, within the United States or Canada.

The company must not be operating in overlapping geographic areas of other ESTA members.

The owner must be willing to openly share information about their company with other ESTA owners and their key management personnel.

The companies that benefit the most are those with total sales of $1 to $10 million per year.

The company must have integrity.

The owner and other company personnel who receive confidential information on other ESTA members, must not disclose this information to anyone else.

The owner must be someone with whom the other ESTA owners feel comfortable, and who will feel comfortable with the other ESTA owners.

What is Expected of our Members. The main expectation of our members is their willingness to share information on a confidential basis. From time to time they may be called upon to serve on the Board of Directors or on a committee. We would hope that they would serve if they have the time and motivation. And, of course, we would expect them to live up to the high standards of an ethical alarm company.

Meetings. The annual General Meeting is held at selected sites around the country, generally in the Spring, to share information and to spend some quality time with our families.  The meetings last 4 or 5 days, and focus on sharing information, with an occasional outside speaker. Just prior to the general meeting, we have more of a workshop type of meeting lasting 1 or 2 days where we analyze each other's financials in great detail to see how we can improve the health of our companies. While attendance at these meetings is not mandatory, over the past years about two-thirds to three-quarters of our members have attended because of the tremendous value they get from them, coupled with an opportunity to get to know each other better.    In addition, we have occasional meetings for our Sales Managers, Operations Managers, and Central Station Managers, organized and run by the department heads.  They range from informal get-togethers to highly structured meetings.  

Testimonials From ESTA Members (Download PDF).

“ESTA, of which we have been a member for over 20 years, is a unique organization and has directly contributed tens of thousands of dollars to our bottom line in sales, cost reduction and profits… Unlike local and state alarm associations, where your competition is sitting next to you, and manufacturer organizations, where egos and size of the dealer groups inhibit trust and close relationships, ESTA members have the answers and solutions that they share to help guide and run your company.” - John Butler, Pres/CEO, Butler-Durrell Security, Inc., Wildwood, (St. Louis) MO

“We were invited to join ESTA (formerly ADA) in 1997. The past 12 years in this group has provided us a wealth of industry knowledge from the trenches, so to speak; a sounding board for problems and issues that face every alarm company; a forum for brainstorming new ideas and concepts; and the meetings provide a stimulating yet relaxing atmosphere to spend time with a great group of people.” - Lynn McNamer, Pres/CEO, Interstate Alarm Company, Missoula, MT

“This is a group unlike any you will encounter. Honest and successful security dealers ’bearing their souls’ about real world problems and solutions. And ESTA works as a group to help each member who asks. I cannot express enough appreciation for the help and mentoring over the years! My friendship and respect for the members has grown since joining in 1992.” - Joseph Pfefer, President, Jade Alarm Company, Kansas City, MO

“We at Tel-Tec Security Systems, are a member of ESTA because of the knowledge and exchange of information we share regarding growing business, expanding into new markets, a way to measure you need for improvement, adjustments or suggestion plans ideas. Along with a great life-lasting relationships.” - Morgan Clayton, President, Tel-Tec Security Systems, Inc., Bakersfield, CA

“The free legal advice (at the meetings) is worth its weight in gold” - Art Beaver, CEO, Security Systems of America, Pittsburgh, PA

“The time spent with other ESTA members is invaluable. I saved enough money through the buying program to more than pay for membership and the annual meetings” - Tim Howell, CEO, Integrated Systems, Denver, CO

For Further Information. Because we are looking at only a select few potential members for our association who we believe would feel comfortable with our unique group, most of our members come from strong referrals from our existing members. If you should be approached by one of our members, you may want to learn more about us before applying for membership. You can check our basic Web site at www.ESTAssociation.org, or you can contact ESTA at

Electronic Security & Technology Association
Phone: (412) 477-3576
E-mail:  estassociation@aol.com

Article About ESTA. Found in Security Systems News 1-24-2012 (pdf)

 

 
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