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Home Innovators Paxton – Developing talent and technology

Paxton – Developing talent and technology

by Geny Caloisi
Paxton, the Brighton-based access control company, is a British, all-encompassing designer and manufacturer of IP access control, door entry, video management systems.

The 37-year-old company was established in East Sussex by founder Anthony Brotherton-Ratcliffe, who is still involved today. With its HQ in Brighton and its manufacturing facilities just down the road in Eastbourne, Paxton currently employs 356 people.

Paxton trades worldwide; however, the company’s roots in the community are cornerstones of its ethos around nurturing and developing talent and developing innovative solutions.

Paxton prides itself on the company culture at its HQ, offering a modern working environment and an extensive benefits package. These include complimentary breakfast, subsidised lunches and gym membership, free yoga classes, monthly ‘Fun Fridays’ – giving employees a chance to have some fun together, six months’ maternity leave at full pay and four weeks’ fully paid paternity leave. All of which led the company to be named in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For list three years. However, it is not just the current employees that benefit from the Paxton approach to making people the centre of its business.

In n 2021/22, the technology manufacturer has partnered with the LoveLocalJobs Foundation and Local schools. Previously it also collaborated with The Girls’ Network to help mentor young people.

Paxton has also been working with The Clock Town Sanctuary and raised £5k for them.

Another people-focused campaign is Paxton’s Scholarship programme, first launched in 2017. Since then, Paxton has been working closely with the Universities of Brighton, and Sussex, offering three-month paid summer placements for their second-year STEM students and a £10,000 contribution to the cost of their final year of study. They support candidates studying product design, electronics, mechanical engineering, computing, maths, and physics.

This focus on people is not a new direction for Paxton. Chief Executive Officer Adam Stroud has been at the company for 25 years. Starting as a Product Assembly Operator, Adam has held several roles at Paxton, where he’s gained a deep understanding of what customers need. He now leads the business with a firm determination to make a difference in today’s and tomorrow’s security industry.

As CEO, Adam leads the board of directors in managing the company and establishing the strategy. His leadership role includes the key business areas of product development, sales, manufacturing, logistics, customer support and finance. He is also responsible for overseeing the strategy for all companies in the Paxton Group, including Gendis, an engineering company specialising in bespoke projects and niche markets; Paxton Inc, the US sales and support office; and Paxton GmbH, the German sales and support office.

When asked to describe Paxton in three words, Adam said: innovative, different, ambitious.

“Company culture is something that we take very seriously and is subject to continuous nurturing,” he says. “For Paxton, culture is the key to its long-term success, not about any individual things, but as a sustained and broad effort across many areas.”

Products and solutions

Paxton has three main systems in its products portfolio: Net2, Standalone, and Paxton 10.

Net2 is designed with simplicity in mind and is easily scalable. Users can add one door at a time using a wired or wireless controller or door entry for versatile security and building management.

Net2 is designed with the installer and end-user in mind to provide easy installation and make the management of any building very simple. The software is intuitive and comes with features that move beyond the basics of locking or unlocking a door.

Adam Stroud told Benchmark: “Net2 is our best-selling system and our flagship access control product. Thousands of installers use it regularly, securing hundreds of thousands of buildings worldwide. Over the years, it has reached a state of complete maturity; installers know exactly what they’re going to get, it does everything they need, and it won’t let them down.”

Entry, one of Paxton’s standalone systems, offers door entry to allow you to recognise a visitor calling at the main entrance before granting them access to your building. There is no need for a PC network as the system comprises just three components, monitor, panel and door controller. User tokens can be added to the system rapidly by presenting an enrolment card to the door whenever required. Entry can also be installed as part of a wider Net2 or Paxton10 system.

PaxLock is a popular wireless access control in a door handle. It offers the same security and convenience as a wired access control system but with the additional flexibility of being wireless, meaning less cabling and therefore quick and straightforward installation for minimal disruption.

Tokens are issued to allow access through the controlled doors and are easily barred from the system if lost or stolen. PaxLock can be standalone or as part of a networked solution offering a versatile

access control solution that can grow with any site needs.

Paxton10 is the company’s newest and most comprehensive system, offering access control and video management system (VMS) on a single platform. By combining the access control and VMS on a user-friendly online interface, Paxton10 takes the complexity of combining IP cameras and access control away from the equation.

Users also get a range of free Paxton apps to enable access to the security system through mobile devices.

“Paxton10 is our latest and most innovative system,” says Adam. “To use the latest and best technologies is a complete break from Net2. It is built on web technology and makes extensive use of the cloud, meaning that systems can be managed effortlessly from anywhere. We now use smartphones and smartwatches to identify people, which is more secure, more straightforward to administer, and effectively free for the customer. Paxton10 also incorporates class-leading video surveillance, giving enormous advantages for the customers wanting access and video.”

Industry expectations

According to Adam, one of the difficulties that security manufacturers encounter is that there can be a delay in adapting to broader technology changes. The industry experienced the reluctance of some installers a few years ago to start to move away from analogue technology into IP networked solutions: “When forming ideas and thoughts about future products, we begin by really understanding what customers want to achieve and then figuring out the best possible way it could be put together, ignoring all of the “You can’t do that because…

“Once we have defined ‘perfection’, we can start to analyse the blockers. Having been through this process hundreds of times, it is surprising how many blockers can be circumvented without compromising the vision.”

Changing times

Adam noted that the mobile revolution would continue to be prevalent when looking to the future. Security systems will become more intricately interconnected, including the adoption of cloud solutions. Installers should also not be compliant as people are becoming increasingly savvy.

“In my opinion, smart credentials where people use their mobile phones for identification will become more widespread,” predicts Adam, adding, “building systems will become more consolidated with alarms, access, video, automation and door entry coming under one control system. Cloud technology solutions are also here to stay.

“Finally, security industry professionals should stay on top of what’s new as customer expectations are increasingly higher, thanks to the experience they might have with home automation and their home security systems. This is one of the reasons we offer in-depth training to all our customers.”

Paxton’s training programme is comprehensive and freely available. The online and in-person sessions include installation techniques, fault finding, and valuable information regarding the administration and use of the systems.

All courses are available at the Paxton Technology Centre, located next to Paxton’s Brighton head office, and a number of accessible venues across the country. When three or more UK-based installers from the same company require training, Paxton’s training team can go to the installer’s premises.

Adam concludes: “Paxton has evolved with the requirements of our customers. We have also changed as our competitor landscape develops.”

Paxton is looking to the future in terms of its product innovation and technical support and the future with its company ethos of training and nurturing talent. These elements will ensure that its award-winning product portfolio continues to break new ground and meet the evolving requirements of installers and their customers.

To find out more about Paxton’s free training, please click here.

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