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Award-Winning Medical Center Turns to Mountain Alarm to Upgrade Fire Safety

Award-Winning Medical Center Turns to Mountain Alarm to Upgrade Fire Safety WeSuite Kept the Quoting Process Healthy and Fit

Award-Winning Medical Center Turns to Mountain Alarm to Upgrade Fire Safety

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Repeatedly ranked #1 in Quality Care among U.S. academic medical centers, University Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, has contracted with Mountain Alarm, a leading regional provider of comprehensive security and life-safety products and services, for a complete upgrade of its fire alarm system. The project incorporates a total replacement of the alarm system and supporting electrical wiring infrastructure at the University of Utah Hospital and various technology upgrades within the nearby Madsen Health Center and Clinical Neurosciences Building (CNC). New head ends at each building will bring them together within a common Fire Command Center. Mountain Alarm General Manager Boyd Ferrin and Outside Sales Representative Kirt Blackburn relied on WeSuite sales management software to simplify the design and quoting processes for this particularly complex system.

In describing the project’s scope, Ferrin and Blackburn explain, “Utah law requires that all corridors of state buildings and hospitals be equipped with smoke detectors, even if there are sprinklers in place. The hospital is a five-story building. Therefore, the site requires over 400 new devices, including smoke detectors, audio visual devices, monitor modules, fan relay shut downs, duct detectors, and head-end workstations.

“Beyond the high device count, we also had to quote labor, chargeable items like drawings and permits, recurring monitoring fees, and electrical subcontractor labor. Putting this all together in a spreadsheet system would have been overwhelming. Plus, as changes to our plans occurred, it would have been exceptionally challenging to maintain and manage without WeSuite.

“With WeSuite, we built the job using different folders. We created separate folders for each building and certain elements, like per head end and the work handled by the electrical subcontractor. The folders allow us to break out different sections for the University to review separately or show it combined as one complete job. We can pull up whatever the University wants to see with minimal effort on our part.”

The Medical Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Ferrin stresses, “We needed to take care of our fiduciary responsibility to the University. With WeSuite, we have the flexibility to change margins on parts or reduce the overall price. There were many ways we adjusted pricing to save the University money while remaining within our established discount range.”

Supply chain issues also impacted the quoting process. “I’ve been in this business for 34 years, and I’ve never experienced such a hard time getting parts or seen prices increase so quickly,” says Ferrin. “There are many variables on this job, and sometimes we’ve had to change plans if we can’t get a part. That’s most easily done using a program like WeSuite. It’s integrated with our accounting platform, so when we upload parts and pricing from our vendors, which is now happening more frequently than ever, it appears within the WeSuite quoting software instantaneously.” 

WeSuite’s flexible and robust platform can handle any type of quote, from simple to highly complex, but its many features are consistently easy to master. Blackburn, who joined Mountain Alarm just shy of two years ago, says, “It took me a couple of weeks to play with the interface and get used to it. After a month or so, I was a pro. So many processes are automated; it’s just a matter of learning which little button to press.”

Compared to the software Blackburn used for quoting at his previous employer, also a systems integrator, he says, “I used to use three different sets of software every time I had to do a change order. What used to take me an hour and a half, I can do in 20 minutes with WeSuite because everything is all in one place. Just in time savings, that’s awesome.” Ferrin ads, “When we put together a proposal, we can lay everything out with all the parts, we know our margins, and we can work with a checklist built into the software that makes sure everything is complete.

“When designing and quoting a project like this, WeSuite ensures that we represent ourselves to the client in the most professional way possible. The Medical Center system took us a year and a half to build. I can’t imagine how we would have handled it without WeSuite to keep everyone connected and on track.”


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