February 29, 2024

Optyma Security Systems – First attempt brings award success

Underlining the leading reputation it has developed within the marketplace, Optyma Security Systems picked up a prestigious Security & Fire Excellence Award 2022 within the Security Installer/Integrator of the Year category. What makes the success all the more impressive is that the company had never previously put itself forward for such an accolade, as Leah Ganney, Support Manager, recently outlined to Construction Industry News.

“We’re extremely proud to have won the award at the first attempt,” explains Leah. “We’ve always been a forward-thinking company, so it’s great that we’ve been recognised for our continually improving standards.”

Optyma’s progressive approach received added impetus in 2018 when it became part of the Swedish-based SDIPTECH group, a move that has helped take the business to another level. “We’re fortunate that we’ve been able to retain a high degree of autonomy within the SDIPTECH model, as we’ve been left to run the business how we want to, rather than the group coming in and making a range of changes and installing their own people. Instead, we’ve been allowed to move forward under their leadership and have continued to take on more clients as a result.

“The progress we’ve made since the change in ownership was one of the reasons why we entered the Security & Fire Excellence Awards. Having expanded so much and diversified our offering, we felt that it would be a good opportunity to get ourselves out there and increase recognition of our status as a major installer and integrator.”

The award is the latest chapter in Optyma’s story, which began in 1987 when it was formed by John Fitzgerald and Graham Pollard, who used their respective backgrounds in home security to create the business. The company has since gradually grown its offering and moved into a wider range of sectors comprising the likes of rail, healthcare, higher education and utilities. Across these various markets it supplies, installs, and maintains integrated security; which can include CCTV, access control, intruder alarms, gates and barriers. In order to provide such a diverse offering, the company works with a variety of manufacturers of equipment, combining them to create a single integrated working system.

As well as highlighting the strong standards it adheres to, the Security & Fire Excellence Award has helped raise awareness of its capabilities, as Leah highlights: “Whilst lots of people within the industry knew of us; many didn’t realise the extent of what we can offer until we won the award, which has demonstrated just how capable we are and the fact that we can take on large multi-site installations.”

While the breadth of its offering was an important element, another key factor behind the award win and the general progression Optyma has made has been the strength of its team and the quality of its project management. This hasn’t come about by accident, with the company having always placed a keen emphasis on staff development.

“We build our teams in-house, so we don’t sub-contract anything out,” says Leah. “This gives us a much higher degree of control over standards. We also run successful apprenticeship schemes within the company and last year we took on seven new apprentices. Everyone working on the projects is trained by ourselves and are fully versed in our procedures and systems, as well as the high-quality standards that we strive for. 

“Following handover, we have a dedicated maintenance team that look after the sites, so we have the same engineers going back providing the service delivery. Even the administrators on the help desk have their own set contracts that they look after, which I believe is unique. Clients are therefore always speaking to someone who not only knows and understands the site, but also works alongside the engineers and the project managers. It’s all about delivering a higher level of service than the rest of the market can provide.” 

Over 70 staff support Optyma’s activities, enabling it to cover the whole of London and the surrounding counties from its head office in Kent, while a secondary office in the Midlands helps provide coverage to that region too. The commitment to training that the company provides for its employees has helped engender a high degree of loyalty within the business, and Leah herself has been with the company for over 20 years. This has become all the more important given that there’s such a shortage of skills within the marketplace at the moment.

“The biggest challenge we’re facing currently is recruitment due to the shortage of labour. Having our own apprenticeship scheme does help, but it takes a while for individuals to meet the required standard. Recruitment at a senior level and finding people with the right skills and experience that we need is also difficult.

“I have been with the business for two decades and despite now being a much larger company compared to when I joined, it has retained a very personal approach due to the contract knowledge and the relationships that have developed over the years.”

Another example of Optyma’s willingness to develop its people to their people to their full potential is its Managing Director, Billy Dale , who took on the role this year, having previously worked his way up through the business after starting as an engineer over ten years ago. His experience will continue to be vital as the company looks to build on its award success to further develop within the sectors in which it operates.

“The aim is to continue our growth and further cement our position within the marketplace,” concludes Leah. “We’re looking at additional contracts, particularly within rail, the NHS, and higher education. Fundamentally it’s all about developing relationships to win further work.”  

With its first award in the bag, Optyma can look forward to further development in 2023 and maybe even more award recognition too.