Keyways has all the necessary government, industry and quality accreditations that you would expect from a leading provider of security and safety systems. The reason for all this is the desire to increase quality standards both within the Company but also within the industry to provide a better service for our clients. It is also a valuable motivating force for our staff who know that the quality of their work is recognized to the highest industry standards.
Keyways was accredited in the late 1980s by the then NSCIA which later became NACOSS and finally matured into the predominant industry regulator known as the NSI for which we are now a NSI Gold installer for intruder alarms, access control and CCTV systems. This also covers our accreditation for ISO 9000 2001 for which we were one of the first in the industry to meet the standard.
Keyways was also one of the original members of the Northern Master Locksmiths Association and the founder member of the National Association of Security Installation Companies (NASIC). In addition to this we were again among the first in our industry to achieve accreditation as an Investor in People. This was not an industry requirement but it was important for Keyways to achieve accreditation as a clear indication to our staff and clients that we understood that we could only achieve client satisfaction by ensuring that our staff were properly trained and developed.
Of course, there is no accreditation from the people and businesses who we have worked with over the years, many of whom have stayed with us for years. Our reputation with our customers is of vital importance to us and we are proud of the standing we have in the community.
The Early Years
Keyways was founded in the early 1960s and was the creation of Brian and Olwen Greaves. The Company provided a local locksmithing service but was in actual fact mainly concerned with providing secure systems to the then Central Electricity Generating Board. These devices were principally designed by Brian Greaves to prevent the accidental electrocution of electricity personal. This involved a high degree of manual master keying to guarantee that keys that controlled the same electrical circuit did not cross key. The accuracy and the reliability of these systems would often be a matter of life and death. Although key combinations are now created by computer we still manufacture and sell these units all over the world. We have fulfilled contracts in Mexico, Nigeria, Dubai, North Sea oil platforms, in fact almost anywhere the petrochemical or electrical generating industries are located. For more information visit www.keysafes.co.uk.
Keyways originally traded from the garage of the family house in Altrincham until in the late 1960s, when the business moved to commercial premises in Hale Barns. In those days, and well into the 1980s, all of the Company's staff came from the local Grammar school in Altrincham. At this stage the Company with its unique products and high quality staff was in a very promising position. Unfortunately Brian Greaves died suddenly in 1970 leaving Olwen to run the business. The Company continued to be successful and built up an excellent reputation in the South Manchester area where the Company worked alongside all the major alarm companies.
The next major change in direction came when Olwen's son Michael joined the Company in 1980. After working with companies in central London and training in Finland and America he was able to introduce to the Northwest the latest electronic security systems. These systems were principally installed for the large national alarm companies. However after a couple of years these companies, seeing the rise in demand for access control and CCTV systems, created their own specialist departments and Keyways in turn moved into the installation of general alarm systems. In 1996 the Company moved into purpose built offices on Hale Road in Hale Barns Altrincham.
The other important aspect of this business is the people who work here. Like our customers, many have been here for decades, many straight from school. All our technical managers and supervisors have been trained within the Company. As a Company, we keep our staff informed through team briefings and appraisals and all feedback from members of staff is included in the making of policy decisions within the Company. "Committed to your Security" is not only a statement about how we feel about our client's security but also about the employment security of our staff. Our steady growth to nearly 80 staff has, to date, never required the Company to make anyone redundant. Where national companies have shed older staff we have been keen to adopt them to help with the training of our school leavers or provide reliable technicians to perform maintenance contracts.
Keyways in the Lake District
Keyways trades in the Lake District as Westmorland Fire and Security. This well respected company became part of Keyways in November 2001. Just like Keyways in Manchester it is run by an autonomous management team that is chaired by Michael Greaves. Westmorland Fire and Security has brought a wealth of fire detection and suppression expertise to Keyways and has helped the Company provide a better service to our clients across the Northwest.
One thing that has always been a constant within the Company is the focus on customer satisfaction. Keyways has always had a policy that we offer the best advice possible, and that our designs are solution based not product based. Advice given is in the best interests of our clients even when it is not in our commercial best interest. Our view is that we may lose a potential sale today but we have a customer forever and indeed many of our customers have been with us for quite literally decades, some even from the very beginning!
Keyways will continue to look after the requirements of its customers whilst maintaining a realistic and forward thinking business plan. The Company has made a number of acquisitions in the Northwest and continues to look for good quality companies. It is under consideration to set up offices in Liverpool and Leeds to increase the profile of our presence in these areas. We are always on the look out for new members of staff who have the right attitude and skills and who wish to work in a unique environment. Our philosophy is not to everybody's taste but those that do find a home here tend to stay a very long time!
Would you like to know more about Keyways? Please contact us.