Security is a word that is heard more than often these days.
From protecting private information and data, to keeping people safe and beyond, security is imperative to many things.
Throughout the Greater Lehigh Valley, there are many businesses that are designed to help keep safe you, your data, your home and your business.
One that's been making a strong presence in the region is Omega Protective Services LLC in Northampton. Here to answer this week's “Behind the List” questions is Gregory J. Kuhn, owner of Omega.
Lehigh Valley Business: How long has Omega Protective Services LLC been operating in the Lehigh Valley and what are its primary services?
Gregory J. Kuhn: Omega was founded in May of 2007. We initially provided armed and unarmed security guard services, event security, patrol services and bodyguards. Over the past several years, we have grown to include more services.
The addition of surveillance system installation, cross trained EMT [emergency medical technician] guards, education and training services and private investigations has helped us to meet the customer's needs better than our competitors.
Also, offering general event staff, EMS [emergency medical services], planning and logistics to our already flourishing event security division has helped Omega ….
LVB: What have been some of the biggest challenges and opportunities that Omega Protective Services LLC has encountered throughout its years in business?
Gregory J. Kuhn: I founded Omega on the concept that there had to be a way to provide a better quality of service. Having started in the security industry at age 17, I was already experienced with physical security, security logistics and employee supervision.
However, when I opened Omega in my 20s, I had no college degree and no experience as a chief executive of a company. Rather than working my way up the corporate ladder or learning concepts in business classes, I had to learn customer acquisition, marketing, sales, business law, Web design, taxes, profitability and much more in real life, with my own company and my own money.
Our team has met and provided services for some amazing people. We've provided close protection for celebrities, musicians, politicians and athletes. We've been backstage at concerts, guarded priceless pieces of art, walked in parades, been in the background on your TV screen, and traveled throughout the mid-Atlantic region and New England.
However, I truly feel that the most important opportunity we're given is being able to make a positive impact on someone's life. I get great satisfaction knowing that my employees are in the field providing friendly, professional, safe and reliable services to the Lehigh Valley community where I was born and raised.
LVB: Does Omega Protective Services work solely in the Lehigh Valley, or does it expand into other markets? Who are some of your most notable clients in the region?
Gregory J. Kuhn: Although most of our customers are within eastern Pennsylvania, our team has traveled as far away as Vermont and New Hampshire to provide event security and staff for Tough Mudder events. We are always willing to have our team travel as far as the customer desires.
Within the Lehigh Valley, we provide services for many local businesses, including hotels, industrial facilities, retail locations, communities, nonprofit organizations and event centers. For the past few years, we have provided event security and traffic services for Curt Simmons Day at Egypt Memorial Park in Whitehall. It is one of my favorite events to work each year, and I always make sure to personally suit up for it.
One local market we have largely expanded into is the education and training field. We have provided many safety related trainings to corporations and the general public including CPR [cardiopulmonary resuscitation], first aid, emergency planning, EVOC [emergency vehicle operator course] and EMSVO [emergency medical services vehicle operator] and more. Recently, we have teamed up with Ju-Ju Monkey, a retail store for parents and babies, where we provide CPR and AED [automated external defibrillator] classes for parents throughout the Lehigh Valley.
LVB: How does Omega Protective Services LLC directly stimulate the local economy?
Gregory J. Kuhn: As a family owned, Lehigh Valley-based company, Omega is personally invested in the economic growth of our community. We understand that exceptional customer service can directly contribute to repeat customers for our clients.
For example, at a festival, we are the first person that our client's customers have an interaction with while we direct traffic and assist them with parking. Their customers see us throughout the event and look to us for information and assistance.
We are the last person that they get a smile from as they are leaving for the night. This caliber of service directly correlates with satisfied repeat customers and growth for our clients.
Physical security is not something that can be outsourced. It cannot be handled through a call center.
As our company grows, we continue to hire men and women living in the Lehigh Valley, which further stimulates our local economy. By hiring experienced, well-trained employees and providing continuing education and respectable wages, we maintain more qualified, better-performing employees.
Because of this, we are able to minimize our customer's losses, decrease their liability and increase their profit margin which, in turn, helps them to be more successful, expand their company and further stimulate the Lehigh Valley economy.
LVB: What does the future look like for Omega Protective Services LLC? Does it have plans for growth?
Gregory J. Kuhn: Looking back over the last nine years, from Omega's inception to today, I take pride in having provided the best service available. …
There is an old quote that says, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” It is certainly not that simple, but with a hands-on approach and a strong desire, I have enjoyed watching my company thrive where others fell short. I still regularly suit up in uniform to work side by side with my amazing employees, and I couldn't be happier.
I have no doubt that we will continue to be successful in adapting to the ever-changing Lehigh Valley economy and needs of our customers. … We have strong roots in the Lehigh Valley and a great network of customers and colleagues.
There may not be a single key to success, but if there is one, it is understanding your customer's needs and never stopping to go above and beyond in serving them.
Looking forward, I am certain that providing the customer with a friendly, professional service while creating a safer environment and limiting the customer's liability is our ticket to continuing growth.