Simon Banks, CEO of CSL Communications, interviews leading figures in the security industry which are published in PSI magazine. This month Simon talks with Cindy Newnham, General Manager at Lifeline Alarm Systems Ltd.
What challenges come with running an installation company on an
island and do you have plans to expand onto the mainland?
The island is a great place to live but an island based business is challenging,
particularly regarding engineering resources. With an increasing lack of good
quality engineers available we are sometimes forced to employ less
experienced staff. We then need to invest substantially into training these new
engineers to improve their knowledge and understanding. This also takes time
away from our senior engineers. On the flip side however, being a small island
means that much of the work we receive is by recommendation. Expansion to
the mainland is always an option and we have undertaken several major
projects already. Our primary focus is the delivery of high quality Fire and
Security solutions to our local business and domestic community.
Have there been any unexpected benefits from your Venus Awards for
Women in Business 2016 win?
The Venus ethos is something I have always admired and it was exciting to
win. The award obviously comes with fantastic PR and since winning, I think I
am taken more seriously now as a female General Manager in our industry. I
was surprised and grateful by the extent of good wishes – and of course it was
another award to add to Lifeline’s growing collection. The most unexpected
benefit was meeting some genuinely inspirational, talented and determined
ladies – who are now good friends.
Lifeline is very active on Social Media, what does it do for your
We are big believers in Social Media activity. We operate in a much defined
geographical market, so keeping in contact with, reacting to and maintaining
awareness of local and industry news is important. It also provides us with
increased brand awareness. We provide our followers with tips and local
warnings of anti-social and criminal behaviour. In addition, it also keeps us up
to date with local opportunities – in fact this year we have won over £15,000
worth of business as a direct result of Social Media activity.
How important are Apprentices and Training to your business?
We are all huge fans of Apprenticeships, they are massively important to us as
a business today and in the future – bringing energy and fresh thinking to the
business. We have two members of our customer support team that really
excelled during their apprenticeships and excitingly one of them is completing
his engineering apprenticeship with excellent reports. As for training, this forms
a huge part of our daily operations across the business including; customer
service, product understanding, quality and standards.
CSL and Lifeline have worked together for over 20 years, why has the
combination worked well for so long?
I recall when Graeme Lee (our Financial Director) attended the first product
launch by CSL at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham. We worked
closely together and lobbied to have base stations installed here on the island.
Since then, we have gone from strength to strength and remain strong
advocates and partners now. We realised at the very start that CSL was going
to become the leading signalling product within the industry and we were right!