On December 14, 2021, The Cook & Boardman Group (C&B), the nation’s largest distributor of commercial doors, frames & hardware, electronic access control equipment, and specialty products, announced the acquisition of San Antonio-based 3Sixty Integrated.
A year later, we spoke with Mr. Will Duke, President of 3Sixty Integrated, and asked him a few questions about how the acquisition has impacted the company and how 3Sixty Integrated will continue to serve its clients moving forward.
1. How has C&B’s market position and extensive product offerings helped 3Sixty Integrated meet its goals of offering customers a complete and integrated security solution?
“Well, there are many benefits. First of all, C&B’s extensive footprint. We now operate in 70 locations across the country so that we can go deeper and wider with our customers.
We can leverage the expertise of our sister branches and add a lot more value to our customers. So in addition to our extensive footprint, we are now subject matter experts on all things door hardware. For example, in a recent call with one of our largest customers, we were able to provide them with very competitive pricing options on overhead doors in addition to a security scope – something we would not have been able to do a year ago. With C&B, we can now offer our customers a total opening solution, and they can benefit from the depth of our expertise and ecosystem.” (Will Duke, President)
2. Many large integrators offer competitive pricing, extensive support, and expertise in physical security solutions, so how’s 3Sixty Integrated different?
“It’s actually very different. None of our competitors go down this path of offering a total opening solution for both mechanical and electronic needs at the door. This is a big challenge for new construction projects because Division 8 (door hardware) and Division 28 (electronic security) typically don’t talk to each other on the front end or planning stages.
The lack of collaboration between the two groups causes many issues toward the end of a construction project, and it impacts projects massively. None of our competitors are taking this total opening solution approach, which really adds a unique difference to 3Sixty.” (Will Duke, President)
3. When it comes to nationwide security integration services, how does this impact or enhance 3Sixty’s capabilities, clients, and staff?
“We can now install and support projects across the country, so it’s all-encompassing. Meaning, we’re not just drop shipping cameras to California and saying to our customers good luck installing them. A good example is a project we’re currently working on. They’re an international company with their U.S. headquarters in Chicago. The projects we’re installing for them are in Charlotte, North Carolina so our Charlotte security integration office will execute the work, but we’ll project manage it from our headquarters in San Antonio, Texas.” (Will Duke, President)
4. Speaking of multiple sites and project managing, what’s 3Sixty’s approach to dealing with the challenges of coordination and project management?
“We see similar challenges over and over again whenever we first start working with a new client. Typically, they will have 7-8 disparate systems that were installed on a piecemeal basis by multiple different integrators. Their technologies are not connected and they don’t have a video surveillance standard or an access control standard document playbook that everybody works off of in the same way. This can prove to be very problematic for coordination and project management.
For 3Sixty, it’s always about how we can do more with less technology and facilitate the process for the end user. We massively promote standardization and work with our clients to land on one unified platform.” (Will Duke, President)
5. 3Sixty has developed an excellent framework with guiding principles to deliver optimal security solutions. How, if at all, will 3Sixty’s framework change with the acquisition?
“Our framework won’t change, but the people we can talk to and add value to will change. For example, if an organization has a thousand locations across the country, we could always procure their equipment, but executing the work and the service afterward was challenging. Now we’ve got a built-in network for installation and service on the back end, which is what customers really care about the most.” (Will Duke, President).
6. How, if at all, does joining forces with C&B, strengthen 3Sixty’s supply chain/ability to support its clients?
“I don’t think the supply chain stuff is going away anytime soon. I think we’re still two years out before it gets resolved. Questions we ask ourselves around supply chain issues are: What does the client want to do this year? Next two years, three years? And how we can coordinate with our manufacturers to start pre-ordering parts so that when the client is ready to roll they’re not waiting to be impacted by supply chain issues.
So our approach is to order inventory on the front end. To have it in stock for the day-to-day moves, adds, changes, service work, etc. And so we can continue to plan that out and adjust but most importantly, we’re lucky to have a leadership that gets it and does whatever it takes.” (Will Duke, President)
7. New year, new challenges. What challenges do you foresee in 2023, and how does the acquisition position 3Sixty Integrated to help your clients overcome them?
“Among almost every industry, security has become so important in the last five or six years, that its difficult to see that changing. There’s a necessary balance to maintain safety standards despite new challenges. People are asking themselves questions like what requirements must I meet to ensure safety at my organization? And how will my business manage an increase in security threats?
We know that clients want their problems solved. We want our efforts to be centered on how it benefits our clients and we’re doing everything we can to keep that focus. As a division of The Cook & Boardman Group, we have the support and network to keep our focus on our clients and guide them through any new challenges.” (Will Duke, President)
As a division of The Cook and Boardman Group, 3Sixty Integrated and our sister branches have over 65 years of experience offering complete security solutions, from custom doors, frames and hardware to security integration technology. Contact us today to see how 3Sixty Integrated can help secure your organization.