We are proud to be celebrating a landmark anniversary, and I have took this milestone to reflect on advances in technology and client communication that has kept Active CCTV ahead of the curve.
I launched Active CCTV in 2000 from the my Llanddulas home that I share with my wife Debbie, I have seen a lot during this time, growing turnover to more than £500,000 and employing a team of engineers working on contracts across the UK.
Active CCTV were soon fitting CCTV systems for some of the biggest names in Warehousing and Distribution, including TDG Logistics (now XPO Logistics) and Warrens Warehousing and Distribution (now part of the Culina Group), this incorporated huge installations, sometimes fitting 100 cameras at a single site.
Then in 2016, the tragic death of my 25 year-old son Sam – who died of an unknown heart condition – led to a difficult and challenging period when I took my “eye off the ball” and I struggled to focus on the road ahead.
But we have turned things around since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, unveiling a new website and branding, embracing social media and blogs and welcoming new customers from across the country.
When I look back on how far we have come it is quite incredible. When I started out, I couldn’t even wire a plug! But I identified a gap in the market for CCTV as most security firms were still concentrating on alarms, and from that point just went for it.
We were the first company in CCTV company in North Wales to launch PC-based systems and were told this “new-fangled technology” would never catch on, which gave us a head start on all those companies still selling the old video recorders and monitors.
From that point on we began working with a national petrol station chain providing an installation service as well as service and maintenance for over 200 sites, and with that contract it just boomed.
We have managed to retain a large base of clients since the beginning, and there are two main reasons why.
We have always been consistent in the way we deal with clients, looking after them and putting them at the heart of what we do. That and always supplying and installing the most modern technology have served us well and enabled us to be a leader in our field.
While others are still selling 2 Mega Pixel (MPX) and 4MPx cameras we sell 8MPx as standard, which is vital if the footage is going to be used in a court case. The cameras are multi-functional now and can be used to monitor staff productivity and as a tool for health and safety, so having the best equipment really does make a difference.
As a certified partner of Hikvision, a world leading provider of security products, we are able to offer the most up-to-date, cutting-edge tech as it is released.
We have been innovative, and what blows people away is that the cost of these systems now is half what it was when we launched in 2000. There’s a massive increase in quality with 50% less to pay, which is huge for the industry and makes it more accessible for smaller organisations.
Moving forward, I have never been happier, I now achieve a balance in my personal and professional life which had been missing for many years. When Sam passed away, I took my eye off the ball; we were fundraising for the charity we set up in his name – the Sam Standerwick Memorial Fund – and of course it was a very challenging time. As a result, I approach things differently now. Life is not about profits and working until all hours, I like to spend time with my family and enjoy what I do. You can measure success by how much money you have in the bank or happy memories and I choose to do the latter.
But in the last year we have been re-energised. We are trying new things and social media plays a big part. I was made aware of the benefits of LinkedIn, so set about promoting myself and Active CCTV with regular posts from both a personal and business point of view, that commitment and consistency has really paid off and now accounts for a third of our business – it is unbelievable. We have also continued with other forms of marketing such as a Telesales and email as well as employing the services of local company Biz25 to look after our website and SEO which is also starting to pay dividend’s.
Covid has given us time to reflect and rebuild. I liken it to going to the gym or keeping fit. We got lazy, we put on a few pounds and needed a new plan. For the last 12 months we’ve been working hard and are now in peak condition, full of energy and ready to take on whatever the world throws at us. Bring it on.
I would like to take this opportunity thank all our clients over the years who have trusted our commercial CCTV services to protect and monitor their premises.
Active CCTV & Surveillance Ltd