This month Simon Banks talks to Richard Hewes, Founder & Chairman of Hewes Security. The NSI Gold accredited company operate throughout Essex and the South East of England.
How does it feel to be celebrating 60 years in the Fire and Security industry?
After starting back in 1961, I never in all my thoughts and ambitions would have imagined creating such a legacy and a true family business. This year, and in our 60th year of trading, I am still heavily involved in the business and enjoying the latest challenges we are facing.
Can you tell us a little more about the family business?
My eldest son Matthew joined me in 1989, straight from school and immediately showed an eagerness to be involved with installations and the entire organisation. Now he is our Managing Director, overseeing all aspects of the company and always looking for new and innovative methods for our improvement. My youngest son Nigel, after attempting a career in professional football, decided to join the company as a service engineer, and after a few years tried his hand at sales. After day one and clinching an order on his first attempt, he got the bug. He is now our Sales Director, going out every day looking for new business and managing several sales executives. You could say we are a fully-fledged family business, not forgetting my brother-in-law who is our Head of Accounts and has been for the last 36 years. The latest addition to the team is my grandson, Joshua, who recently became an apprentice engineer, wanting to start a career in the industry and looking to learn it all!
How important have apprenticeships been for the business?
We have supported apprenticeships for many years, and I have seen first-hand the great opportunities they present to young people. Our operations manager Steven, at the age of 19, was our first apprentice. He has now been with our team for 17 years! My grandson, Joshua, is the third generation to join our company. He started his apprenticeship in June 2020 and has been enjoying his training with Skills for Security as well as the on-the-job learning with our experienced engineers. Recently, he completed his very first installation. Another proud day, but also a clear demonstration that he is already making a significant contribution to our business.
How has Hewes Security managed its growth and expansion over six decades?
We have an ever-expanding office and team to support our growing customer list, whilst we have always made time and effort to help the local community in any way we can. This, combined with all the family commitment and effort over all these years, is the reason we are still here, still trading and still at the forefront of a unique and always-evolving industry. I have also been passionate about embracing new technologies that can enhance what we offer to our customers. A lot has changed since 1961 when I began on a service team in the East End of London, transporting 1.1/2-volt batteries that needed to be replaced at every service visit as there were no mains operated panels! We are now installing fantastic systems utilising wireless mesh technology and high-quality cameras. The hard graft has disappeared, but it’s still as exciting as ever.
YOU SAID IT!
"Just wanted to thank you again for your assistance with our first DualCom Pro install! It was surprisingly simple and the “My Base” interface is a really nice bit of kit."
Matt Brunger (Mayan Security Ltd) – Email – 14th Jan