In Security interviews Adam Stroud, Group Chief Executive at Paxton on the affects of the pandemic to the security industry
How has the pandemic affected Paxton?
We have seen significant effects both as an employer of people, and a manufacturer of products. In terms of people, along with most other companies, we had to rapidly adapt our working practices in order to respect the government guidelines and keep our people safe. Being a technology company means we were thankfully well placed to do this quickly. Those that could, worked from home, while others have continued work at our factory, shipping products under carefully managed COVID-safe conditions.
As a manufacturer we saw a significant reduction in the demand for our products during April. Since then have seen sustained recovery to pre-lockdown levels of business. Of course, this crisis has been felt by everyone and so we have been working closely with our suppliers and distribution partners to ensure we can continue to provide products and support to all our customers during this difficult period.
How do you think the pandemic affected the market, more specifically your customers?
Due to the nature of the pandemic, we saw that the initial appetite for security installations was vastly reduced. We witnessed the majority of our installers taking advantage of the UK government furlough scheme which proved a lifeline for many businesses. As the initial shock receded however, it became clear the major role that the security industry had to play in helping businesses to keep their staff safe.
How did Paxton flex its services to support security installers?
I am very proud that, throughout the entire pandemic emergency, Paxton have continued to manufacture and dispatch products as well as providing high quality support to all of our customers.
Early on in the recovery we understood that cashflow was a vital consideration for many installation companies and so, in conjunction with our distributors, we provided extended payment terms for all Paxton products during May.
We have rapidly developed and launched new access control features that can help businesses comply with the government's COVID-secure guidelines. Net2 Occupancy Manager for example, allows businesses to control and monitor the density of people in any given area. These updates have featured in our COVID-secure webinars that have been running throughout the summer. Offering a practical interpretation of the extensive government guidelines for security installers, so far these webinars have attracted over 1,200 attendees.
Has Paxton had to halt new product introduction and other projects?
Despite the difficult circumstances, we decided to proceed with the planned product launches. We understood it was important to make our presence felt, reassuring customers and demonstrating that we continue to push forward even when times get tough. Over the last 4 months we have released a brand new door entry monitor, two new versions of Net2 software, thermal camera integrations as well as launching our fantastic Paxton10 system (access & video on one platform) into 5 international markets.
What would you say you have learnt from the pandemic?
The scale of change that can be achieved in a short space of time is a big take-away for me. In the space of a few weeks, we completely changed the way we work as a company and remained operational and effective throughout. When you have decisiveness, focus and the right motivation you can accomplish the extra-ordinary.
There are certain things, such as this pandemic, that happen outside of our direct control and where possible, I think it’s important to try to see the opportunity to do something fresh and different and not lose too much sleep over them. All of our energy needs directing towards the choices we do have and how we conduct ourselves during these testing times. I have been so proud with the way that the Paxton team has dealt with these difficult circumstances. Without exception Paxton employees have been understanding and flexible, willing to do whatever it takes to keep up our high standards.
What does the rest of the year look like for Paxton?
We continue to look for even more ways in which our products and systems can be helpful to businesses in the current circumstances. As I speak, there are additional solutions being developed for this purpose.
We are, of course, seeking to use this period as productively and usefully as possible, and we have some exciting announcements to make later in the year about what we have been up to.
You have ranked 3 times in the ST Best Places to Work – how important has Paxton’s company culture been during these testing times?
I am very proud that Paxton regularly appear in the 'Best Places to Work' list. As far as I'm concerned this is at the heart of what we do, with any success we achieve being based on the efforts of our people. During this period, having a team that cares about where they work and what they do has meant that we have been able to positively deal with the stress and challenges together, and provide consistency for our customers.
What's the plan for 2021?
Honestly, there are too many unknowns right now for me to have any concrete plans to share, but we are planning ahead for success, working off the back of the many lessons we have learnt from 2020. We have a clear idea about what we want to do, but I am well aware that many events are outside of our control.
At Paxton our core-aim is to use the best technology to make security systems as simple and straight-forward as they should be. We have a product range encompassing access control, video entry systems and, with Paxton10, video surveillance too. Each year we improve our product offerings and bring our solutions and support to more customers worldwide. If the pandemic allows it, 2021 will be a milestone year for Paxton and I can't wait to share more information with you down the line.
For further information please visit https://www.paxton-access.com.