Case Study

Case Study: Allied Fire & Security

Project Overview

Allied Fire & Security is one of the Pacific Northwest’s oldest security, lock, and safe companies. With branches in Portland, Seattle, and Spokane, the business grew to be one of the largest in the industry, recognized by Security Dealer Magazine in the nation’s top 100 year over year. In 2014, the company took on a major transition, aiming to streamline operations, downscale overhead, and increase profits. Previously, the company was a $30M business with a negative net profit. The company was turning to downsizing to an $8M company with a positive net profit, which would be more manageable. In order to do this, the owner recognized that they needed to make a full transition from traditional marketing to digital marketing. Traditional marketing was costing the company upwards of $300K annually between print ads and home shows that were not bringing the ROI they needed. The goal – increase inbound calls and target the most profitable customer in addition to scaling down product to what customers really want in today’s market.

Being a B2C and B2B online store, and the freight requirements for large-scale safes made the business a bit more complex than the typical e-commerce store. The store was an extension of a 60 year old safe, lock, and security company located in Spokane, Washington, Allied Fire & Security, and had a long time relationship with all the major safe manufacturers in the country. This allowed them to set up a drop-ship model for the majority of their safes.

Print just wasn’t bringing in a return for them. Between that and their staffing costs, the net profit wasn’t where they wanted it to be.


–Desiree Jones, Project Lead  

The Problem

It is not often a business wants to compress rather than expand revenue, but in this case, it seemed to make sense. The owner was only concerned about profitability and streamlining the business. Much of the image and marketing was out of date and underperforming. Marketing was at the core of this new model and Cloud Potential teams assisted in achieving these goals through website updating, outstanding content, and targeting the right customers in the right places. The goal was to drive inbound leads from multiple verticals for dispersed sales teams. The net profit goal was to maintain $800K to $1M annually. Due to so much involvement in the financial aspect of the business, the marketing teams and director had to work very closely with the internal teams and the CEO to drive this initiative, which included revamping inbound call handling, specific product promotions, updating existing customers, and modifying internal systems while the corporate team was tackling overhead issues. In late 2014, we started working on this project.

All of the above cutting severely into the net profit margin of the business as well as inhibiting net sales potential. The website had one 5% banner on it for months and no campaigns to drive additional sales from email or online channels. In addition, selling on marketplaces, such as Amazon and Ebay were cutting on average 12% into the gross profit margin, thereby, reducing the bottom line overall average. The business was projecting under a 2% net profit margin at the most, possibly being in the negative, with the current business decisions and setup.

The Results

  • Website traffic increased from an average of 20 users per day to 100 users daily by mid-2015
  • Lead call volumes from marketing tracking increased to an average of 120 per day
  • Each branch saw a minimum of a 20% increase in qualified lead flow and opportunities in the pipeline
  • The number of qualified leads as opposed to the previous unqualified lead intake raised the average revenue per customer and allowed for
  • leaning up teams as well as reducing the need for additional employees
  • End of year net profit for the business increased to over $1M in 2015 and continued this trend through the end of 2017

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