07 February 2023


This month, in the final edition of the Bottom Line, Simon Banks reflects on the past decade and a half of conversations with Fire & Security professionals. Thank you to all those 170 people that contributed over the past 15 years!

Where did the idea for the Bottom Line interview column come from?

Back in 2006, I suggested to the team at PSI Magazine that a monthly column discussing the latest challenges facing our industry would be informative and thought-provoking. We would provide a platform for those in our sector who are seeking to bring about change. The first edition went out in January 2007, where we spoke to Tony Bygraves of MRFS. The month after we spoke to Ken Meanwell of the NPCC (National Police Chiefs' Council), then known as (ACPO) Association of Chief Police Officers. Both offered great insight to kick us off and from there we were up and running. Tony and Ken both remain industry influencers to this day!

Over the next fifteen years I spoke to people from across the industry spectrum from Installation companies, ARCs, Police, Associations, Training Providers, Mobile Network Operators, Retailers, Event Organisers and Investment Funds. Each interviewee offering a unique and open insight into the latest challenges they faced and, most importantly, the solutions they had identified to assist them in overcoming these. I truly hope this sharing of information helped others who found themselves in a similar position. All interviews had one thing in common, to provide honest and valuable insights into topical problems that would be made easier by hearing from people who’ve solved issues through experience.

How has our industry changed over this period?

The industry has changed significantly. In CSL’s world of alarm signalling, we have come a long way from PSTN dependent systems and today as part of the UK’s All IP project, we are seeing the retirement of this technology. From the integration of 2G, 3G, 4G and now 5G, the possibilities of what connectivity solutions can offer has never been so significant! Tie this in with advancements in police response via the ECHO project, and we are moving forward towards the best solutions to face the latest challenges in our fast-paced world.

What role has the Bottom Line played?

The Bottom Line has helped me to continue to explore my interests and passions beyond the companies and associations I am involved with. Innovation, skills, investment and growth have been part of my ambition for business and life for many years. Producing the Bottom Line has allowed me to speak to so many inspiring people who are all focused on improving our sector for our customers, colleagues and the wider community that depend on us every day.

Each year, we have provided our interviewees with a framed version of their interview. A small jesture of thanks has been met with such positive feedback, showing the value all our contributors have placed on their chance to share their stories.

What next?

Whilst the Bottom Line is coming to an end, we will be continuing to explore these topics across the wider ecosystem of IoT (the Internet of Things) on the CSL website. A new dedicated blog section will be launched shortly where many topics will be discussed with the people who are playing key roles in the changes we are experiencing in our work and personal lives. If you have a topic you believe needs to be addressed, feel free to contact Joe Sheppard via LinkedIn or at CSL: marketing@csl-group.com.  


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