Signal 88 comes to Canada
By Will Mazgay
Signal 88 Security is an Omaha, Neb.-based company founded in 2003 on the model of mobile vehicle patrols to provide low-cost security to clients for whom around-the-clock guards isn’t financially feasible.
It has grown exponentially in the U.S., and is expanding quickly into Canada with new franchises.
Kevin Jones, chief development officer for Signal 88, is looking to the Canadian market as an untapped source of potential business. He said, “We’re almost in all the major markets in the U.S,” but as for Canada, “We’re fairly new, just getting started up there.” The firm has locations in Ottawa, Calgary, London, Ont., and two in Toronto, but is looking to grow that list. Jones continued, “We’re also targeting Vancouver, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg…Eventually, we want to get into Montreal, Quebec City.”
A new addition to Signal 88’s growing footprint in the greater Toronto area and southern Ontario is Darryl Culley, who recently started up a York Region franchise.
Culley has an established foothold in the emergency training industry as the founder and president of Emergency Management & Training, which offers emergency preparedness training and consulting for hospitals, government, schools and private and public corporations.
Culley said he entered security services because of the synergy with his existing business.
Jones said Signal 88 primarily serves property management, but hospitals, schools, hotels, retail and a myriad of other industries make up its client base. The firm’s roving vehicle patrols will offer clients facility checks, maintenance assessments, access control services, alarm response and fire monitoring. The firm also provides dedicated standing guard services, and event security.
Culley said he was attracted to Signal 88 because “they’ve established that very high-quality assurance standard.… You have to have processes in place to monitor quality of service, and that ensures that each guard and each location has the highest quality service.” He continued, “They bring together that background, that expertise, they use a high degree of technology. Every day, each client gets a report electronically as to what was going on.”
Culley also praised the firm for the support it provides its franchisees.
Jones said the firm offers its franchisees sales coaches, marketing support, financing, strategic partner relationships with national accounts, and operations support. Signal 88 also provides a digital platform to manage payroll, billing, clocking workers in and out, report writing, and tracking patrol routes.
Jones explained further, “About 80 per cent of our franchise owners come from military or law enforcement background, not a formal business background, so we help them with a lot of things that otherwise they wouldn’t know how to do…Basically, they can focus on being a good service provider.”
Moving forward with his franchise, Culley said, “We want to build it as part of the community. We’ve had that reputation with Emergency Management & Training. Some of our clients have been coming back to us on a regular basis for 17, 18 years. Many of our new clients, once we do projects for them, they come back and say, ‘What else can you do for us?’ We get a lot of work through word of mouth, and that’s really what we want to establish through Signal 88 Security as well.”
This story also appears in the Aug/Sept 2019 issue of SP&T News.