Newbury Business Today


Thursday, November 4, 2021

Newbury Weekly News

Codelocks celebrates 30 years of innovation Newbury firms looks back on three decades of growth and to future too

By DOMINIC RYAN Operations director Codelocks

has been proven capable of eliminating the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (Covid-19) within minutes. Not surprisingly, it’s been popular with businesses and organisations such as in education and healthcare environments, offices, shops, and restaurants. A great team You don’t run a successful business for 30 years – and survive a world-wide pandemic – without having a great team. And there’s no doubt that one man in particular – Colin Campbell, who joined us in 2015 and is now managing director – has made a big contribution to our current success. One of Colin’s biggest challenges was to see us through the pandemic – and he’s done a great job. “The business was already in a good position to ride out some tough months, and we quickly put a plan together,” Colin said. “We began by reassuring all staff that their jobs were safe. And we’re proud to say we lost no employees because of the pandemic.” But what really helped us was that Colin (and the rest of the team) had already built a resilient business. We have strong financial management, great supplier relations, a loyal customer base and passionate workforce. Loyal customers We wouldn’t be where we are today without our customers – both the locksmiths and installers that fit our products, and the clients that use them. We put our customers first. What’s next for Codelocks? Over the next 30 years, we plan to continue our rapid product innovation programme and grow and expand the business. I am proud to say that the company still has the same feel as when I first joined in the early 1990s. From humble beginnings in a flat in Central London, a worldwide company has evolved. So, as we celebrate our 30th birthday, let’s raise a glass to all our staff, colleagues, partners, and customers – past, present, and future. Here’s to another 30 years of success. Cheers!

HOW quickly time passes! As Codelocks celebrates its 30th birthday, I can’t help feeling amazed – and proud – of what the company has achieved. I’d like to take this opportunity to look back at the origins of the business and thank the many people that have helped us get where we are today. The story so far... It all started from Red Lion Square, Central London. Dorothea and Desmond Ryan taking calls in the fourth floor flat, running down five flights of stairs to the basement where the stock was stored. Then they’d take the orders around the block to the post office for dispatch. As business rapidly took off, and their legs began to resent the multiple trips up and down stairs, they rented a small unit at the back of the square to increase stockholding and

Codelocks HQ on Greenham Business Park

Though we’re still pushing the boundaries with our latest smart locks, we never forget that we built our customer base by offering a wide range of practical solutions. One of our early mechanical locks for example, the CL255 mortice latch, is still hugely popular, standing out from the crowd with its premium finish, and our 50p-shaped thumb turn. Another product that has outlived many of its competitors, is the CL5010 Heavy Duty Tubular Mortice Latch. To me this is the holy grail; an electronic lock with a solid mechanical foundation that provides access control without the expense of installing a hard- wired traditional system. The CL5010 was a milestone on our electronic lock roadmap bridging the gap between mechanical and electronic locks. An eye on the future While there is still a lot of demand for our traditional product lines, our ability to innovate as we develop new products and services is core to our success in new and existing markets. Our app and web-based access solutions, for example, enables us to appeal to a wider audience, and customers are finding ever more interesting ways to utilise our technology. Our KitLock by Codelocks locker locks, have been used to provide secure, flexible access to equipment in recording studios, to create VIP storage solutions at music festivals, and to enable sports fans to book and gain access to lockers at football stadiums from their smart phones. We are quick to react to changing circumstances in order to support our customers, too. In 2020 we released Clean by Codelocks – a photocatalytic coating that

improve logistics. I helped out, running smaller orders to the post office and visiting local customers. This happy arrangement continued for a year, until the business outgrew our small stock unit. We needed more space, but that was expensive in Central London. We also needed a computer system to create accounts, raise invoices, load stock on to – and generally keep pace with the company expansion. As luck would have it, Desmond’s brother was a self- taught computer whizz. Better still, living in Somerset, this offered us the opportunity to rent warehousing space at far more reasonable rates. We also took on another employee in dispatch and recruited two part-time office clerks for invoicing and telesales. Meanwhile Desmond and Dorothea were searching for a place outside London to both live and ultimately relocate the Codelocks operation. Which brought us to Newbury, and we have been here ever since, although our rapid expansion has led us to move three times in and around the town itself. On our third move, we opted for a new-build project that would give us plenty of room to continue to grow. Our recipe for success Of course, surviving for 30 years in a rapidly changing world doesn’t happen by accident. Here are a few of the things that I believe have contributed to our success. Family values Though much has changed in the access control industry, I’m proud that Codelocks still has the same family values as when I first joined in the early 1990s, when there were just three of us servicing our core industry distributors. I am also happy to say that we still supply those distributors today. The family has always been very hands-on with the running of the company, from operating the warehouse and talking to customers, to getting out and visiting sites. We try to impress the same ethos with our management team. We strive to be inclusive and value our people as individuals. A strong product range

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A Codelocks staff party

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