Case Study

W J Furse & Co

Client Snapshot

W J Furse & Co has a long and varied history in the UK dating back to 1893 when it began life as a small steeplejacking business in Nottingham, but quickly diversified into electrical installation and the manufacture of switchgear and components. 

Today, Furse is part of ABB, a leading global engineering company, operating in over 100 countries.  The Furse name continues to be synonymous with innovative electrical engineering and the Furse Total Solution incorporates customer needs for earthing and lightning protection, including structural lightning protection systems, earthing for lightning protection, power and telecommunications systems, transient overvoltage protection and customer project consultations, technical guidance and system design.

The Requirement

ABB Furse’s manufacturing facilities in Nottingham are home to a number of high value items, making security a high priority.  The two ABB Furse sites, located a short distance apart, are protected by a range of security systems, including an intruder alarm system and a 30 camera CCTV system covering the perimeter areas and entrances.

The incumbent security provider was not delivering the level service ABB Furse expected, as Simon Warburton, ELIP Maintenance Specialist Team Leader for ABB Furse explains: “our previous supplier was not monitoring cameras at all and the PPM service visits have proven to be at a lower standard than what we expect on our sites.”  Communication between the companies was also poor, with no dedicated account manager who had knowledge of the site and customer.  A security provider who could offer more support and better communication was a key consideration.

In addition to the security systems maintenance company, ABB Furse also employed the services of a manned guarding company to provide the level of protection required for the business.  However, the cost of this service was considerable and ABB Furse began to question the genuine value of it and if there might be a more cost-effective alternative that would provide the same level of security.
In June 2020 ABB Furse decided to terminate its facilities management contract and manage all compliance activities locally. As all contracts, including security, were managed by its FM provider, it put these out to tender.

The Solution

During the tender process, Securitas Technology was able to clearly demonstrate the benefits of its approach to system maintenance and client communication, as Simon explains: “I had limited knowledge when it came to security so required some professional help. After constantly being in touch with Amy Brown [Securitas Technology Business Development – North West], this is exactly what I received.”  The company was subsequently awarded the maintenance contract to cover the CCTV, fire & intruder alarm systems at both sites.

But it wasn’t just the maintenance provision that ABB Furse was impressed by; it was also the added value Securitas Technology could bring in the form of its Remote Guard service, which has been adopted by ABB Furse in place of the costly on-site manned guarding.

Remote Guard uses a clever combination of CCTV, access control, intercoms and remote monitoring to take over the duties of security guards, all at a fraction of the cost.  In the case of ABB Furse, manned guarding had been costing the company in excess of £110k per annum.  By moving to Securitas Technology’s Remote Guard service, this expense had been reduced by an incredible £76k

Whilst reducing overheads was clearly welcome, maintaining security was still the number one priority: “as we have high value items on site, we needed the same level of security if not more” states Simon. “With remote guarding, we also get constant coverage instead of a perimeter walk around every hour.”

At the heart of Remote Guard is Securitas Technology’s Category 2 NSI Gold Standard BS5979 accredited monitoring centre, where highly trained professional operatives use electronic security systems on customers’ sites to remotely conduct security guard tasks.  At ABB Furse, Remote Guard uses the existing on-site CCTV cameras to conduct three remote guard tours of the site out of shift hours.  As a number of the cameras have two-way audio, if any suspicious activity is identified by the operative, Audio Talk Down is used to address the person to identify themselves and confirm if they should be on site.  With Remote Guard, up to 80% savings can be made over the cost of an actual on-site manned patrol, plus it’s considerably safer than face to face confrontation.

If Remote Guard confirms an issue on site the keyholder is contacted which, at ABB Furse is Simon Warburton.  “I had to have complete confidence that our site would be secure, and that I would be notified of any action out of our normal working parameters” states Simon”.  “Being the main keyholder on our site, I was the person to receive all monitoring calls. Reviving these calls verified that our site was monitored by professionals and made me feel at ease knowing this.” 

Remote Guard’s flexibility has also proven useful during the COVID pandemic as new COVID workplace safety measures put in place has meant people working in bubbles, leading to changing work patterns.  Remote Guard easily adapts by simply changing monitoring times.
Simon has praise for Securitas Technology’s overall approach to health and safety during the pandemic: “All engineers that have visited our site have followed our safety policies and procedures but most of all our COVID-19 Secure policy. Safety is our number one priority across ABB and it seems your engineers have the same level of commitment and respect for Health and Safety.

“In fact, Securitas Technology have been a pleasure to work with so far and the relationship I have built with Amy has helped myself understand all systems. If I ever have an issue (regardless of time or day) Amy has always helped resolve in a timely manner. If this is how the level of support will continue throughout the course of the contract, I will not hesitate to recommend Amy’s services on behalf of Securitas Technology to any of our business partners. “