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Smiths Detection


In The Boardroom With...

Mr. James Viscardi
VP of Sales and Business Development
Security Systems

www.SmithsDetection.com

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Thank you for joining us today, Jim.  Before discussing Smiths Detection solutions in greater detail and the upcoming ASIS 2014 please tell us about your background.

James Viscardi:  I have been with Smiths Detection for ten years and currently serve as the Vice President of Sales and Business Development, Security Systems.  I joined Smiths Detection in 2004 as a Sales Manager.  Prior to Smiths Detection I was employed at Safe Passage International.  I am a graduate of Indiana University Bloomington, where I received my BA degree, and the University of Rochester, where I earned my MBA.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Smiths Detection customers seems to be facing an extremely challenging environment. Budget cuts on the hand and unprecedented security challenges on the other. Your thoughts?

James Viscardi:  While the government has cut back on its defense spending, it has not eliminated it.  Homeland security remains a high priority. There is no question that our customers who had relied on grants from the government in the past to purchase defense and security products have faced challenges in receiving funding lately, but what I believe is happening now is they are reshuffling their spending priorities so that security does not fall by the wayside.  Security and defense spending is cyclical and has historically been reactive, however I believe we are becoming more proactive in nature.  This mindset will take time to change, but spending will follow.  As terrorist plots grow more sophisticated and criminals become more elusive, we have no choice but to respond with increased security.  At Smiths Detection we strive to offer our customers value.  By providing them with a quality product that is reliable, customers can justify their purchase, because they will serve a long life with minimal maintenance.   

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: What is the value proposition Smiths Detection brings to the table in this environment.

James Viscardi:  Smiths Detection products are designed with the customer in mind.  Our customers trust us to deliver innovated solutions that not only increase safety, but also efficiency.  By manufacturing products that solve several problems, customers find value.  Take for example the ACE-ID, our newest handheld explosives identifier.  Bomb squads face the difficult challenge of investigating and mediating high risk situations quickly while keeping themselves and the public safe.  As a result, Smiths Detection created ACE-ID, an ultra-portable, handheld device that can identify suspected explosives in less than a minute without making contact with them.  By not having to physically touch the substance to take a sample for testing, the value is potential lives saved.  By not having to carry several, heavier devices to do the same job, the value is efficiency.  And by receiving identification results in less than a minute, the value is deescalating an emergency situation faster and restoring resources to their normal state.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Any new products or solutions you’d like to discuss?

James Viscardi:  I previously discussed ACE-ID which is a new product, but I also wanted to tell you about Target-ID.  This new Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) illicit drug identifier is a handheld unit that rapidly and accurately identifies up to 2,500 narcotics, precursors and chemicals, including emerging designer drugs.  Target-ID delivers lab quality results and court admissible evidence to its customers in the field.  This product is particularly useful to corrections personnel, law enforcement, and ports and borders security.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Congratulations on the “win” with Leidos which will involve 400 US airports. Please tell us more.

James Viscardi: The Transportation Security Administration is an important customer of ours and we are very pleased to partner with Leidos to service them.  As part of this four-year contract agreement, Smiths Detection will provide highly trained field support, supplies, and parts to service X-ray units and explosives trace detection technology.  Through this contract agreement, over 400 airports will receive first-class service to ensure their checkpoint security equipment runs smoothly.  We understand that passenger safety is a high priority, as well as operational safety.  As we work to eliminate equipment downtime along with delivering the best support, our mission is to provide the best threat detection solutions available.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: May we have an overview of the key trends and highlights Smiths Detection will be discussing at ASIS 2014?

James Viscardi: We will be launching a new product at ASIS 2014, but you will have to come visit our booth (#3543) to learn more!  What I can tell you is it is a next generation portable desktop trace detection system.  This new product is capable of analyzing a swab taken from the surfaces of hands, packages, and other items that might have been in contact with explosives or narcotics and detect the presence of their tiny particles.  In addition to our new product, we also will have an interactive demo station in which attendees can experience B-SCAN, a transmission X-ray people screening system that detects contraband and threat objects concealed internally or externally on the body including weapons, explosives, narcotics, etc.  Representing our line of x-ray units used for screening handbags, luggage, packages, and personal items, the HI-SCAN 6040-2is will be in our booth to demonstrate our capabilities in detecting threats during checkpoint security.  HI-SCAN 6040-2is is an advanced dual-view X-ray inspection system used to detect explosives, weapons, and contraband.    The previously mentioned products, Target-ID and ACE-ID will also be on display.

 SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Thanks again for joining us today, Jim.