Vivint Inc., a large, privately-held Provo, Utah-based home-automation system maker, plans to open a sales call center in Liberty Lake this summer that it expects will employ 400 people within 18 months.
Eric Patrick, Vivint's senior vice president of global channel sales, says the company has leased a 25,000-square-foot space formerly occupied by Liberty Mutual in the old Getronics complexnow called the Liberty Lake Business Centerat 22425 E. Appleway. Patrick says Vivint is making some improvements to the space now. The company plans to hold job fairs June 20 and 25 and to open the Liberty Lake operation on July 15.
Patrick says Vivint will hire between 40 and 60 people by the mid-July opening and expects to add 20 to 40 people a month thereafter. The company is offering employees here a full benefits package, including paid meals.
"Spokane is our flagship expansion, and within the next five years, we look to expand into other areas around the country," Patrick says.
Wendy Smith, an economic development industry manager at Greater Spokane Incorporated who was instrumental in recruiting the company, calls Vivint's expansion to the Spokane market "a great success." She says the recruitment was unusual in that it started when GSI made a cold call to Vivint last fall after it was acquired by The Blackstone Group for $2 billion. Typically, she says, large recruitment efforts start with an inbound call from a company's site selector.
She says the company responded to the GSI's inquiry and paid a visit to the Inland Northwest shortly thereafter.
"That's how this company works," Smith says. "They're energetic."
GSI estimates Vivint's expansion will have an annual regional economic impact in the neighborhood of about $62.3 million.
Robin Toth, vice president of business development at Greater Spokane, says, "Our team at GSI developed a very compelling and competitive proposal for Vivint to get our community on their short list."
Patrick says the company chose Spokane over other potential locations because, "We felt we could get the interest from the high-quality sales force we need."
Employers here both will take incoming calls and make calls to prospective customers. He says, however, that Vivint isn't a telemarketing company and only makes calls to customers who have requested more information on its products.
Megan Herrick, Vivint's director of public relations, says the company currently has about 2,500 year-round employees. About 700 Vivint field technicians work throughout the U.S. and Canadaincluding nine in Washington state, one of whom is in Spokanebut the bulk of the rest of the employees work at its Provo headquarters, with a few at a Canadian headquarters in Calgary.
Herrick says the company also hires about 2,100 seasonal employees annually who work on targeted sales campaigns.
Vivint's main product is a home-automation system that enables a homeowner to control heating, cooling, lights, appliances, video cameras, a security system, and other home systems from a single console installed in the home. The system is web enabled, so a customer can control such a system remotely via a smart phone, tablet, or computer as well.
Herrick says customers sign a five-year contract and pay an initial setup fee, which currently is $199 for both energy management and security, and a monthly fee thereafter that tops out at about $70.
Herrick says the company currently has more than 700,000 customers in the U.S. and Canada. Of those, she says, the company has about 11,000 in Washington state and about 550 in the Spokane area.
Founded in 1999 as APX Alarm, Vivint appeared on the Forbes Most Promising Companies for 2013 list.
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