Walsh Door & Security Keeps Growing as CIRAS Guides

A Walsh employee handles finished doors.

A rapidly growing Des Moines commercial door and electronic security company has become more efficient, more professional, and safer thanks to a long-standing CIRAS relationship that continues to grow.

Walsh Door & Security began as a builders’ hardware company, but the business evolved over the years to become one of very few U.S. firms that offer customers both physical barriers (doors, frames, and hardware) and electronic security (such as access control and video surveillance systems). Marty Walsh IV, co-president of the family-owned company, said the firm has grown steadily on both sides of its door and security business, even as the electronic offering expands.

“We’re evolving into a company that doesn’t exist anywhere in this state,” he said. “We’re the ones that other people are going to benchmark themselves against.”

Established in 1866 by the current leadership’s great-great-grandfather, Walsh Door & Security has tripled its revenues over the past decade and grown from 40 employees to 94. Growth brought the need for continual refinement, and the business repeatedly has turned to CIRAS for help.

“It’s an ongoing process,” said Brady Warrick, Walsh’s vice president of operations. “CIRAS really has helped us with the journey to get where we’re going.”

CIRAS account manager Derek Thompson describes the Walsh relationship as typical of what happens when a business is serious about continuous improvement.

“Once we get started with a company, and we really get ingrained with them, it’s one or two projects every year,” he said. “One thing leads to another.”

Since 2015, CIRAS project manager Marc Schneider has helped the company improve its purchasing and inventory handling, while former CIRAS project manager Jim Poe (retired) helped Walsh reorganize its production and storage facilities to make them safer and more efficient. Company leaders also turned to CIRAS strategy coach Joy Donald for guidance with implementation of several strategic initiatives.

Warrick “already had the vision in his mind,” Donald said. “He just needed a sounding board to test his hypotheses and clarify the details.” Warrick called CIRAS “a trusted partner” and “a good resource”—“somebody that you know, like, and trust, who has a good set of resources that we can use.” “CIRAS helps us a lot,” agreed Marty Walsh. “Your team offers some tools that we don’t have in our toolbox—but that we can still use to continue to grow and improve.”

> For more information, contact Derek Thompson at thompson@iastate.edu or 515-419-2163.


 A version of this article was published in the Fall 2018 edition of CIRAS News. To read more of that edition or others, please explore elsewhere on our website.