Selco Builders Warehouse, the UK’s number one trade only builders’ merchant, has teamed up with Zicam, a specialist in state-of-the-art surveillance and detection systems provider, to safeguard the security of its premises.
Site crime is estimated to cost the construction industry more than £400m per year. And its not just the money that’s the problem, it’s the disruption, the hassle, the delays.
With the price of copper and other metals sky-rocketing, construction sites have become very lucrative areas for thieves out to generate some quick cash. Plant equipment, tools and white goods from show homes are also being targeted.
Selco believe they have now found the solution to curbing this problem after first discussing the issue with a local security firm nearly a decade earlier. More than 10 years ago Zicam installed a combined CCTV and remote monitoring system at one of Selco’s sites in Kings Norton, Birmingham. The results in terms of reduced crime and improved security were dramatic and Zicam was soon asked to protect more sites. The relationship between the two companies continued to strengthen until Zicam eventually became Selco’s preferred security supplier and responsible for all 30 of its stores in England and Wales.
“Our site in Kings Norton had proved vulnerable to break-ins and vandalism,” recalls Chris Cunliffe, chief operating officer of Selco. “We previously relied on mobile security guards to patrol the premises but they could not watch a single site all night. Offenders would just wait until the guards had completed their checks and moved on to the next site on their round.
“The installation of CCTV and remote monitoring, however, quickly reduced the level of incidents and so we began to install Zicam’s systems at our other branches. In our experience, this technology has proved to be far more cost-effective than employing mobile or on-site security guards.”
Zicam has been at the forefront of CCTV design for over 15 years and works with many of the world’s leading camera manufacturers. Multiple cameras can be integrated both with a customer’s existing security system and a central monitoring unit (CMU), which means a watchful human eye is alert to intruders 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As in Selco’s case, smart monitoring systems can be set up so that any intruder will trigger an alarm at the CMU which will observe and record all movements, notify the police and even allow staff to warn trespassers through an interactive PA system.
“This feature is particularly effective because when an offender receives an audible warning from one of the operators at the control centre, nine times out of ten they are going to stop whatever they’re doing and leave the area,” says Chris Cunliffe. “Like most businesses, we would much rather deter crime than have to deal with it afterwards.
“These systems are expensive – a typical installation costs over £40,000 – but we are extremely pleased with them and believe the investment is well worth it. We are not just preventing loss of stock and damage to property, we are reducing our unquantifiable losses in terms of the disruption a break-in will cause to the business. Any kind of incident will mean a number of our employees has to allocate time to sort it out which they could obviously better spend serving customers.”
Larry Mazic, Zicam’s business development manager, comments: “One of the reasons why the systems we have installed for customers like Selco are proving to be so successful is that we don’t believe in using sub-standard equipment. We only use the best kit and the latest technology, which means our systems are very reliable. We don’t get breakdowns and all incidents get recorded.”
Zicam was founded 15 years ago by Larry’s brother, Milan. Starting out from a small office in Kings Heath with “just two guys, one selling, one fitting”, the business expanded steadily and later relocated to Dudley. It now employs 18 people and has a turnover in excess of £2 million. “A key strength of the company,” adds Larry, “is that every one of the management team has extensive practical experience and a commitment to delivering the highest standards of professionalism for every assignment, regardless of size.”
Selco is the UK’s fastest-growing trade only builders’ merchant. As it continues to expand, Zicam is well placed to cement its place as its CCTV security partner. “We are not complacent about any of our suppliers and they are all regularly price-checked and quality-tested,” says Chris Cunliffe. “But at Selco we like to develop strong, long-term relationships with companies like Zicam who deliver excellent service, provide good-quality products and are always there when we need them.