Security business diversifies into home automation as it targets fresh growth

A well-established security business is diversifying into home automation as part of its ambitious growth plans.

Security Wise, based on Battlefield Enterprise Park in Shrewsbury, hopes the move will help it to grow its current 23-strong team in the future.

It has launched the tailor made Control4 home automation system – an easy to use interface that gives customer simple and fast access to their home.

It can be used to control smart locks, cameras, intelligent lighting, thermostats and home theatre set-ups.

Operations manager Ian Biggs said: "The industry has evolved. Access control and CCTV have just grown and grown and grown.

"CCTV is the core part of our business currently. But what we have found in a changing market is that with proper home automation put in by proper installers, they are actually picking up the CCTV element of the work.

"One time we would have CCTV and intruder alarms, now maybe we're only getting intruder alarms so we are losing that section of the business. We identified this as being a problem about 12 months ago and lobbied with our MD to give the Control4 system a go and hence here we are today.

"Where as before we would install an intruder alarm, give you an app for your CCTV, app for your access control, we can put in a home automation system which ties all the elements in together. Off one application you can set your alarm, set your CCTV, open your doors. control your smart lighting, and automate your world.

"There's the cost saving off the back of that with things like heating. You can automatically set your thermostat so that when you're 30 minutes away from home your heating will come on.

"It is for all ages, all buildings, including businesses."

In order to help customers fully understand and appreciate how Control4 works, the company has created a new showroom at its premises in Shrewsbury.

"People think about technology being complicated but that's where we come in," Mr Biggs said. "It's not complicated for the end user. We do the clever bit. You give us a wish list, we design the system around you and do the programming, and then put it in.

"After a week or so and you think 'that's a bit annoying' it's just a phone call to the office and we can change it.

"Your one remote ties everything together. The skies the limit and it's not as expensive as you think."

Looking ahead, the company hopes diversifying the business will help it grow its workforce and provide new opportunities for its existing staff.

"Obviously our core business remains our core business and we very much remain focused on that, but we are diversifying to give more to our customers and being able to pull everything into one application so you are not using multiple applications for multiple things.

"Smart homes are very much out there in a 'do it yourself' scale. London it's huge but the challenge is getting it into homes in Shropshire.

"We are always looking to grow – in a controlled way of course – and are always looking to employ good people.

"We all want to be busy, doing more and thriving. With the company growing it gives people the chance to step up and shine a lot more in new roles.

"We have got the scope and building to grow here," Mr Biggs added.

The company, which is in its 35th year of trading, installs and maintain CCTV systems, intruder alarms, fire alarms, automated gates and barriers, nurse/warden call schemes, and door access systems.

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