“From distributor to problem solver” A Unique Approach to Product Development.

Posted by System Q Ltd on 7th Mar 2024

“From distributor to problem solver” A Unique Approach to Product Development.

What’s so special about System Q?

We are not just a distributor; we arealso a technology manufacturer and software house. We write our own software and firmware and make our own products. Of course, we distribute similar products to other people as well, but that is almost secondary to what we do because we focus on solutions to the problems that installers bring to us. In fact, it was this capability, something that other distributors can’t do, that led me to purchase the company, particularly because I could see the massive potential in the ability to develop new products in the UK that solve real-world problems.

Why don’t you stock any of the big-name CCTV brands?

For the simple reason that we get to choose our own destiny and stock the products that we feel are right for the UK market, rather than global products that don’t quite fit. Plus, writing our own software allows us to create solutions for customers, such as maintenance and retail loss prevention software, that other people can’t do because they’re dictated to by major manufacturers and their global business strategies.

We’ve developed our own products and brands because we want to be able to do the things that customers are asking us for - that’s our USP. We can be reactive to requests because we’re not restricted by what we are allowed to do, that’s how true innovation happens. If an installer has a specific problem and we don’t have anything available, we can develop something specifically for them.

What’s an example of that?

We’ve developed software for retailers and large installers for maintenance,but one of the most recent pieces of software that we wrote for forecourts. It’s an ANPR solution called ForeCaught that prevents ‘bilking’ or fuel theft. Within seconds we’ve checked the number plate against a blacklist, we poll databases such as the DVLA, check tax and MOT status, the make/model/colour of the vehicle. This is matched against the image that we’ve captured, and the system flags up any anomalies to the cashier at the petrol station enabling them to decide on pump authorisation. Rather than trying to recover losses, ForeCaught prevents the crime from happening and it’s available to the trade now.

So, you’re not in a price battle with other distributors?

No, we compete on value not price. Other distributors are fighting to win the same customers with the same products, they can’t offer lower purchase prices, so they offer rebates on spend. Then, in order to remain profitable, they’re cutting back on services or increasing costs in other areas. We’re not in that market, so while we may lose out if installers want specific brands, we’re not sacrificing profit and services in a bid to win business.

You stock everything from cables and clips through to server cabinets, how do you decide what to supply?

We hold the products that everybody wants, such as an eyeball camera, but there are niche products that we supply based on specific challenges and problems that our customers have experienced. For example, if you want to upgrade a legacy CCTV system to IP but not all in one go, we have hybrid DVRs that can handle up to eight megapixels (4K) over co-ax and can also record IP network cameras as well. Solutions like that allow for easy migration rather than a total rip and replace, which means our installers can win more business without sacrificing their profits.

We also have a device called IP Mule which allows for IP signals to be sent over co-ax and we’ve got standard wireless and IP wireless solutions as well, which extend existing systems easily. We put a lot of time and attention into the development of unique products that help installers to win jobs effortlessly and maintain great profits.

Why is 2024 going to be a good year for System Q?

For several reasons, we’ve made some quite big changes to the company and our approach to the market. We’ve created a clearer range of productsand we have invested in a brand-new website, but I think the main reasonwe’ll have a good year is because we continue to offer what installers want and need to win profitable business.