Greg Smylie, 44, from Maghaberry is a Partner at the local firm Beacon Fire and Security, which was founded in 2003.
The firm has grown steadily and now has an impressive client base, which includes, private home owners, electrical contractors, charities, national retailers and facilities management companies. Greg, who is married with two sons, has worked in the fire and security industry ever since he left college. He always had an ambition to set up his own company and when the opportunity presented itself he decided to realise his ideas and hasn't looked back since.
The business is an independent provider of Fire Alarm Systems, CCTV , Nurse Call and several types of Security Systems, operating a 24 hour service that allows customers contact with a trained engineer 24/7.
I am usually in the office for 8.15am to organise myself before we open at 8.30am. If I arrive at the office to find the "on call engineer" has had a telephone call in the middle of the night and a site visit we may have to re-organise work quickly to accommodate. This is common throughout the day, you have to be constantly aware of incoming calls and aware of where all engineers are and evaluate how long it will be before they can be allocated the next job. I will also receive emails and take numerous calls in regard to installations, technical queries and system standards from customers all over Northern Ireland.
I have a Sales team and an Administration team who assist me throughout the day. The teams log jobs and write quotes, after data has been input into the computer system, the Co-ordinator and or myself will allocate the appropriate engineer to that specific job and make sure they have all the necessary equipment needed.
Keeping up with the latest technology , we are now installing a new system into the office that emails or texts the customer keeping them up to date with information - e.g. when the engineer is on his way and job progress.
We specialise in Fire Detection, Monitoring Services, Intruder Alarms, Access Control, Nurse Call Systems, Public Address Systems and CCTV systems in both Commercial and Domestic sectors, so I have to keep abreast of any changes in legislation or if any new equipment is introduced. This is usually present via email from all relevant areas of the marketplace.
All our engineer's vehicles are fitted with tracking devices so if an emergency call needs attending I know which engineer is closest, and I can send them to the job as soon as possible. We as a company are always looking ahead which means training our staff to the highest standards, attending training courses for both equipment and services.
We have aligned ourselves with the best names in the world for manufacturing and all products and services have been extensively tested before release and have full technical support for engineers and customers alike. In any given day I am providing quotations, following up on quotations already provided, I am out and about visiting customers and when in the office I am discussing accounts, looking through tenders, working on presentations to be delivered to potential new customers and reviewing new products and procedures. There also could be internal meetings arranged to report any changes or problems. I try to keep both engineers and office staff as up to date as possible at these meetings.
These meeting are in addition to the meetings carried out with reps from all areas of the industry. My day should finish at 17.00 when the office closes but inevitably mobile phone calls continue well into the evening. I am really proud of where the business is at the moment, and look forward to a challenging future for many years to come.
This summer we have just finished a new CCTV System for Lisburn City Council in the Wallace Park. I really enjoy my job and it is very satisfying when the customer is pleased with our services.