There is a story that Alan Matley will tell you which brings a sparkle to his eye - and it’s a good one to hear. A couple of years ago he took the unusual step of kitting out all his company vehicles with VHF radio (no small decision - it set him back £10,000).

 Just a few months later he had a frantic call from one of his domestic customers several miles away whose alarm had been activated by telephone engineers disconnecting the wrong cable. The lady was calling from her neighbour’s house as her own phone was out of action - her alarm was ringing and she didn’t know what to do.

 “A moment earlier,” recalls Alan, “I had been speaking to one of my engineers on the radio. I knew exactly where he was; approaching a roundabout at the end of the customer’s road. I asked her to hold the line, got back on the radio, and diverted the engineer. In fact he said he could hear the alarm ringing from the roundabout.

 “I then went back to the customer and told her to go and wait by her front door because there would be an engineer along as soon as she got there. She couldn’t believe it - she thought she’d mis-heard me.

 “But I repeated what I’d said and she went rather doubtfully to stand by her front door. It was wonderful - she was absolutely astonished when the van pulled up immediately. I love happy customers!”

Happy (or at least very satisfied) customers are what Secure Alarms business is built on.

 This is in no small part due to his careful business strategy.        

 The company has grown by making reasonable but not excessive profits providing a first class installation and maintenance service.

 Once the company has won business it tends to keep it, commercial and domestic.

 By Alan Matley’s own estimation his company accounted for 15% of NACOSS installations in Dorset in 1996, growing to over 17% last year at a time when overall the market in the area fell slightly. 

 “I intend to carry on the business the way I have built it up - by offering a reliable,steady service and not being greedy.


What impressed our judges...

An enviably low false alarm record!


Secure Alarms now boasts 0.82 false alarms per customer per year. Probably not the lowest in the industry, but not far off it.

 I was contacted by Steve Kimber of Southern Monitoring Services last month - according to him our false alarm level is down to 0.6 false alarms per Anum and he wanted to know how we did it.

 “Without giving away any secrets I believe it’s a combination of little things. If you pay attention to details you

can prevent so many unforeseen problems before they happen. For example, how many companies engineers check and change the batteries as necessary with every visit? Last time there was a power cut to this region we had just 28 false alarms out of 4245 systems!

An imaginative approach to marketing!

 A regular newsletter to all it’s customers keeps them informed of how the company is performing and who team members are,gives news of crime and security issues, and lets them know about new products and services.

 As well as keeping existing customers informed, the newsletter pays dividends in re-assuring potential customers that they are about to make the right decision.

 “It definitely makes a difference - I can think of a number of jobs we’ve won because the customer has been impressed by the newsletter.”

 What about other promotions? To be honest I think the best promotion a company can do is to have trained and experienced engineers as sales staff. If people know what they’re talking about they have honest conversations with their customers. It makes a difference.”