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Winning Companies Exemplify Strategies Necessary for Tough Times

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA, January 28, 2009 — NSCA announced the winners of its 2009 Excellence in Business Awards today: Copp Systems Integrator will receive the Strategic Advancement award; Sharp's Audio Visual is being honored for its Marketing Strategies; Halco Life Safety Systems will be recognized for Project Development; Verrex Corporation is receiving the honor for its Growth Strategies; and Safeguard Security and Communications is the recipient of the Recurring Revenue award.

“Business owners and managers are all evaluating ways to run their companies more smoothly and cut costs,” said Ray Bailey, president of Lone Star Communications and Business and Leadership Conference planning committee member. “These companies exemplify the strategies needed to ensure a growing and stable business during tough economic times.”

This year's recipients used creative, visionary strategies to build successful business models and receive the distinct honor of an Excellence in Business Award.

Copp Systems Integrator was looking for additional ways to grow business beyond the traditional model of bidding for jobs. The company's move to a business-to-business model meant Copp would have to implement more proactive and sales-oriented methods. Copp realized that becoming a great integrator meant investing in the resources to do so. Consequently, the company focused on applications specific to customer needs, sales training, a new quote system and strategic relationships with former competitors.

Sharp's Audio Visual's traditional marketing methods worked well, but the company chose to run national television commercials to set itself apart. The commercials range from client testimonials to abstract, and have helped increase business. The commercials aired to a variety of audiences during local evening news, top 10 television shows and the Super Bowl.

Halco Life Safety Systems ensured more efficient use of time, accurate billing and better rates for customers when it automated job processes with simple software applications. After each job is complete, the entire team can review the project data and discuss successes and areas for improvement. This has led to improvements in profits per job, personnel issues and internal communications for a productive and happy work place.

Verrex Corporation recognized that core client requirements were critical to the company's success. Verrex's goal was to expand its market by increasing systems usage per core customer. To do that, the company developed a customer-centric environment and built relationships by focusing on local A/V needs. After this initial establishment, it can expand to regional, national and international levels.

Safeguard Security and Communications knew it couldn't grow without understanding the importance and value of recurring revenue. Between 1996 and 2008, the company's annual revenue increased from $6.3 million to $34 million; monthly recurring revenues jumped from $125,000 to $458,000. Integral to this process was Safeguard's intent to maintain strong monthly recurring revenue, which allowed it to purchase and expand into a commercial integration company.

Systems integrators who showed exemplary and successful business strategies were selected to receive the Excellence in Business Awards from self- or peer-nominated applications. Award winners will receive one complimentary admission to the NSCA Business and Leadership Conference, sponsored by InfoComm International, February 26-28, in Phoenix, AZ., as well as recognition during the opening ceremonies.

About NSCA

NSCA is the leading not-for-profit association representing the commercial electronic systems industry. With more than 2,500 member companies worldwide, the National Systems Contractors Association is a powerful advocate of all who work within the low-

voltage industry, including systems contractors/integrators, product manufacturers,

consultants, sales representatives, architects, specifying engineers and other allied professionals. NSCA is dedicated to serving contractor members and all channel

stakeholders through education, advocacy, outreach and member services. NSCA University offers a variety of courses on topics such as project management, business, sales, design and technical knowledge. Courses are delivered through a variety of methods including conferences, regional trainings, online learning and webinars. NSCA works in conjunction with a variety of industry partners to provide relevant and meaningful education and certification programs. It also provides leading industry research and market intelligence, insurance solutions, the industry's most comprehensive manual of practice, Essentials of Systems Integrationâ„¢ and other business tools. For more information, visit

Media Contact:

Cathy Mrosko

Director of Government Affairs & Industry Outreach


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