You may have seen that not long ago we won Computing Magazine’s ‘Digital Transformation of the Year’ award. This marks a recognition of the work we’ve delivered over the past seven years to become a tech-enabled security service. Winning the award has really put the wind in our sails, and made us more determined to keep striving to innovate, and to keep delivering disruptive technology that will revolutionise the security sector.
However, it’s also made us reflect on how far we’ve come. 12 years ago, The Keyholding Company was a small London-only operation, relying on manual systems to offer alarm response and security services to local businesses and households. Today, we manage the industry’s largest nationwide mobile security network via a service delivery mobile app; we are the first company to work with a custom-built platform that presents our clients with real-time data on their accounts; and we lead the charge in innovative, digital-first security provisions and solutions like smart locks for businesses. This is the story of our digital transformation.
Paper vs Pixels
The key to our digital transformation has been the development of our custom-built operational platform. Until this point, we relied heavily on paper. A lot of paper. You know the things that can go wrong with paper: it gets lost, it gets coffee spilt on it, it gets misfiled. It all had to be entered manually into the system, which was hugely time-consuming and subject to human error – and that’s assuming you can decipher the handwriting in the first place. It was also pretty tedious. We had to keep hold of all the paper records in vast filing cabinets (in case anything went wrong) and if you accidentally filed something in the wrong place, you’d probably never see it again.
How things change. We understood that data had the potential to completely change our industry and we knew exactly what we wanted the future to look like, so we teamed up with Haulmont – the people behind Addison Lee’s job handling system – to help make our vision a reality.
In 2016 we launched our state-of-the-art job management system – our Smart Security Platform – which has been evolving continuously since then. With our agile methodology we can deploy new updates every three weeks, so we can respond swiftly and flexibly to our clients’ needs. The system now allows us to provide a real-time view of activations, manages bespoke workflows for each site and provides detailed reporting for each job. This gives clients total control over their account and visibility of their estate security. The difference is like night and day. One client even described it as ‘like having the lights switched on’ for their account.
Here are just a few things which have completely transformed in the last five years:
Ten years ago, every single alarm call was handled by our London team, and it was all hands to the pumps – it didn’t matter what your role was, if a call needed answering, everyone from the CEO to the finance team would be on the phone. The logistics were handled by London Operations who would despatch officers, and then once the job was complete it was back to the admin team who would update the system from – you guessed it – a paper job sheet.
This whole process is now automated. The call comes in from our client’s monitoring company and it’s in our systems within just 0.2 seconds. Emergency contacts are automatically notified, and the job is assigned directly to the most appropriate service partner in our national network. The officers trigger the job report from our service delivery app, which includes supporting photos for proof of presence and detailed feedback, and it uploads directly into the platform and notifies our clients. No waiting around, no middle men, no illegible handwriting.
Our transformation hasn’t just been focused on our operational platform. We’ve digitised every process and linked it all back into that platform through APIs, so we’re supported by an agile, mobile ecosystem. Here are a few of them:
– Slack: our internal communications tool, which even pings us updates from our operational platform. Email is all but gone, and it’s taken delivery failures, missed messages and other comms failures with it.
– ZenDesk: our customer service platform allows to track and monitor all correspondence with clients and load share communications across teams. It’s completely seamless and our response times have never been better.
– Power BI: our data visualisation tool where we track everything from partner performance to our sales pipeline and client reports. Better yet, we’ve made this data visible to our clients via the Smart Security Platform for unrivalled transparency.
So many of our processes used to depend on individual people – having worked at The Keyholding Company for ten years, I used to know postcodes, phone numbers and client details off by heart. It’s so much more reliable now that everything’s intelligently digitised.
Denise, Senior Operations Specialist
Last year we discovered just how invaluable our digital transformation has been. When the national lockdown was announced on March 23rd, we were able to become fully remote virtually overnight. All our office staff were able to work safely from home, and whilst we missed the human interaction, our operations didn’t suffer without it. And a good thing too, as we really couldn’t afford to drop the ball: pre-COVID, we were averaging around 17,000 patrols a month, whereas in April 2020 we saw a staggering 82% increase, amounting to over 31,000 jobs.
Lockdown also made us grateful that we’ve been so committed to creative innovation. We’d already been working on Smart Access, the next generation of keyholding services, but we couldn’t have known that remote access would suddenly become so important. Smart Access completely removes the need for keyholders; our smart locks communicate with our system to send a digital ‘key’ to each user’s mobile phone, so you can grant and remove access rights at the push of a button, with no need for physical attendance. (You can read all about Smart Access here.)
We can help
Please get in touch to discuss how we can use our market-leading technology to keep your estate safe and secure.Contact us