business Byte
 
business Byte

Feb 1, 2001 12:00 PM
By Jack Mallon

Axcess Inc. (NASDAQ/AXSI) is basically an asset tracking company that has taken the technology to the next step.

"We have married asset tagging with the digital video camera," says Axcess CEO Allan Griebenow. "That's what differentiates us from our competitors."

The 47-year-old Griebenow took over the CEO slot after his video surveillance company (Prism Video) was acquired by Dallas-based Axcess last year.

"More than 75 percent of the assets that disappear from a facility are taken by employees," Griebenow continues. "And with the cameras supplementing the radio frequency technology, we can be much more effective.

"When a tag is read, we can automatically activate a camera that takes a snapshot at the portal," he says. "The cameras are digital so it will be easy to locate the photo for a particular time and place."

Griebenow describes himself as a communications guy who came out of NASA's satellite program. He worked for a number of high-tech companies before forming Prism Video, which was sold to Axcess in July, 1999.

The growing asset tracking technology, employing radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, is an outgrowth of the basic electronic article surveillance (EAS) industry, pioneered by Knogo, Checkpoint Systems and Sensormatic.

In addition to meeting security needs, Axcess seeks through its products to improve operations productivity, asset management, manufacturing logistics and even financial reporting.

In its marketing efforts, the company is concentrating on hospital and health care facilities with substantial equipment that must be tagged and monitored. Earlier this month, Axcess formed a partnership with Hospital Communications Systems of Raleigh, N.C., to push its products. Other areas of focus for rapid growth include data centers, school systems and parking facilities.

With a new line of products released last May, Axcess is selling primarily to original equipment manufacturers and value-added resellers with its RFID and digital video products marketed under the trade names ActiveTag and Prism Video.

Last month, the company announced the rollout of its Internet service portal, onlinesupervisor.com. The service is a real-time e-supervisor information system that allows users to monitor multiple facilities from anywhere in the world via the Internet.

The company is just starting to generate sales and for its first nine months of 2000, it reported revenues of $2,044,150 as compared to $545,953 for the comparable period of 1999. Axcess reported a net loss from operations for the period of $6.5 million versus $5.4 million.

The stock, as of Dec. 8, was selling around $5.06, slightly above its 52-week low of $4.12 a year ago and well below its high of $13.50 in March, before the high-tech meltdown.

Jack Mallon is founder and principal of Mallon & Associates, an investment banking firm in New York City that serves the global security/crime control industry. He also is editor and publisher of Mallon's Security Investing, a monthly financial newsletter on investing opportunities in the industry. For more information, write or fax to Mallon & Associates, 555 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10017. Phone: (212) 697-0028. Fax: (212) 697-1576. E-mail: .
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