In November 2021, Total Security Solutions acquired Bullet Guard Corporation, a bulletproof glass and bullet-resistant barrier manufacturer headquartered in Sacramento, CA.
“We did a national search, and it turned out that the owners wanted to retire," explains Total Security Solutions CEO Jim Richards. "As a company, they're very similar to us, although at a smaller scale. But with more than 40 years of experience in bulletproof glass, they are really well-positioned to service the Western half of the country. That made them very attractive to us.”
Recent years have seen spikes in the murder rate in the U.S., with firearms involved in an increasing share of homicides. This has disproportionately impacted the Western half of the United States. Pew Research found that 2020's year-over-year murder rate increase was the largest since at least 1905 (and possibly ever, according to the CDC). Washington, Oregon, Nevada, California, and Arizona all saw increases of 16% to 45%. In Montana, murder rates nearly doubled, rising 84%.
Such increases bring with them an increased interest in securing facilities against armed attackers. "Bullet Guard has a solid network and excellent relationships with municipal, financial, and government entities all along the West Coast. But they were still operating in a very manual, old-fashioned way, similar to how we started TSS. That really limits what you can do and how quickly you can do it."
Providing Better Bulletproof Glass Barriers
In late March of 2022, TSS began the process of modernizing operations at Bullet Guard.
"They do have a little automation," Jim says. "But it’s old and not very advanced. So, some of what we’re doing initially is putting better processes in place. Bullet Guard always provided a good service to their customers. But we’re immediately going to be able to enhance that by bringing in everything we know about making bulletproof barrier systems to extremely tight tolerances.”
This will also mean expanding Bullet Guard's offerings to better suit other potential customers, like retail and schools. But these improvements aren't limited to installing new CNC routers and water jet cutters. Jim has already gone to Bullet Guard headquarters in Sacramento to begin integrating Bullet Guard with the Total Security Solutions EOS (or Entrepreneurial Operating System™). EOS is a comprehensive set of business concepts and tools that make it much easier for an organization—no matter how large or small—to move together toward their goals.
“About ten years ago, we shifted our mindset,” Jim explains. “As a company, we shifted our focus. We stopped thinking just about ‘stopping bullets' or 'stopping robberies,’ and expanded our view. We began to understand that this was bigger than robberies. It was about finding the best way to protect an organization’s most valuable asset: their people. You do that by making those people's lives easier every day, not just on their worst day. Designing systems that look good and work well, installing them with as little disruption as possible, increasing their peace of mind on a daily basis—all of that is part of what it means to protect people.”