DSOC goes for safe business practices
During the FEDESSA trade show, as ISS Award-winner “Best container,” we were honored to present the USC Innovation Award. We did so to DSOC, a promising English company that is developing site security, surveillance and facial recognition software and is already very successful. An enlightening interview with Ant Hebblethwaite, Sales Manager of DSOC.
What kind of company is DSOC?
‘DSOC (Doncaster Security Operations Centre) is a surveillance camera and alarm monitoring company. We hold the highest certification for security companies for the UK for this purpose; NSI Gold. This also makes it easier for us to cooperate with companies on the European continent.
Our office is in Auckley, in the northeast of England. This is convenient. Within 1.5 hours you can be in the heart of London or Newcastle, in the far north, by train.
We work with twelve security personnel, three of whom are always working at the same time to properly monitor all the signals that come in. We can certainly expand to three times as many employees in this building if the market demands it.
What was the reason for starting such a venture?
‘Our owners saw a gap in the monitoring and surveillance market. Especially where it comes to providing a higher level of customer service and innovative remote monitoring solutions.
How did you get into the storage business?
‘One of our shareholders already had good relationships within the self-storage world and suggested us as his preferred supplier for monitoring. We seized that opportunity with both hands. We have grown from five contracts in early 2020 to remotely monitoring and managing more than 250 self-storage sites across the UK and the rest of Europe.
Are you also active in other industries?
‘Certainly, we also have customers in retail and in the public sector such as local government agencies throughout the country.
What does winning the Innovation Award mean for your company?
‘It is a great reward for our hardworking operators who work together as one team 24/, 365 days a year. Our approach is to partner with our self storage customers on their security and technology journey. So winning such an innovation award shows perfectly what sets us apart from other providers.
How will you make a difference in the world of storage?
We have already significantly reduced the amount of criminal activity in the UK around properties we monitor. There is no question that we have prevented planned break-ins at several self-storage sites. All through the deployment and monitoring of surveillance cameras and alarm systems.’
Did Brexit have any consequences for you?
‘We only started in 2020, by then Brexit was a fact so we had to deal with the new situation immediately. The only problem for us is the unclear border between Ireland which is EU and Northern Ireland which is in the United Kingdom.
What countries do you operate in?
‘In your country, we have some managers of parks with solar panels as clients. But we also provide surveillance of private homes in the Netherlands. We do the same in Germany and Monaco, by the way. We are currently working on our first self-storage customer in Italy.
Is there a difference in working between the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe?
‘The main obstacle is presented by the different languages. We are currently working on how well our operators interact with the specific sites. If a particular customer enters the wrong PIN on the spot or is in an unusual location, the audio system kicks in. The idea is that an operator will then choose from one of, say, ten different messages in English. Then they are automatically converted into the local language that the customer in question hears through the audio system. We are working hard to get this service in other language areas to the same level as in the UK.
What does DSOC want to accomplish in the next five years?
‘We want to grow further in the UK and achieve new growth in several European countries. In addition, we want to collaborate or integrate as closely as possible with other security equipment vendors in the industry.
What is your relationship with USC and what do you think of them and their containers?
‘USC is a relatively new relationship for us, but we talked about it with several visitors during the FEDESSA trade show. What we were told was extremely positive. Therefore, I would recommend USC within our own client base without any problem.
What are the expectations regarding self-storage in the next decade?
‘We believe that innovation and automation are becoming increasingly important. And this is especially true for unmanned self-storage locations. That number will continue to grow. In the United Kingdom, there are currently many more than in the rest of Europe.
That means an increase in demand for remote monitoring products. Our goal is to align human behavior around self-storage locations, storage containers and remote monitoring technology as much as possible. At the same time, we focus on keeping customer service at the highest possible level. Meanwhile, of course, security risks must be properly managed.