Security Buyer editor Rebecca Spayne sits down with Steven Proctor from Ajax Systems to discover the challenges of a Ukrainian security business
Could you introduce yourself and what you do?
Having over 35 years of experience working in the security industry, I currently lead Ajax Systems’ sales team in the UK. At Ajax, we develop and manufacture professional security systems that meet not only EN 50131, but also requirements of the British PD6662 standard.
Our company officially entered the UK market at the end of 2018, so we’re quite a young brand for the local community. However, we’ve already managed to gain the trust and recognition of the British security professionals: in our portfolio we have such awards in our portfolio such as Intruder Alarm of the Year at the IFSEC or Intruder Product of the Year at PSI Premier Awards.
As a Ukrainian based business, Ajax Systems faced a lot of uncertainty around the growing tensions with Russia, has this impacted the business?
Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, we did everything necessary to ensure the protection and safety of our people, business and supplies to partners. First thing, we have relocated over 700 employees along with their families to safe regions in Ukraine and Europe.
We also had to take care of our production as Ajax plants were all located in Kyiv at that time. It took more than 180 trucks to move our manufacturing facilities as well as stocks of finished goods. But thanks to our amazing team, we’ve managed to do this in record time – our regular shipments to partners were renewed on the 9th of March.
Right now, Ajax production is restored and is fully operational. We continue shipping to our partners from our European hub – they and customers can rely on Ajax just like always. Today, our new Ukrainian plant employs almost 1,000 people and produces 450,000 devices a month. And the plan for next month is to surpass a milestone of 500 000+ devices.
Speaking of the company and our current focuses, we continue our growth and are entering a new stage of development. Apart from opening our first plant abroad recently, namely in Turkey, we also expand our geographic influence and have already launched sales in such new markets as the United States, Canada, Latin America and Australia. Although, Europe and particularly the UK remain among our key markets.
We also plan to launch a record number of products this year. These days we’re preparing for the launch of new products announced at the Special Event. They include Fibra wired line of devices, MotionCam series sensors with photo-on-demand support, new MultiTransmitter with 2/3EOL support, UK socket. Their release is scheduled for Q3 2022.
You recently opened your first production plant abroad in Turkey, how has this gone so far?
The opening of a new plant in Istanbul is a strategic step planned by our company and aimed at diversifying production facilities. We were planning to launch new production facilities abroad long before the war; it is the logical continuation of production scaling.
We chose Turkey based on a combination of factors: the availability of manufacturing professionals, infrastructure, the free economic zone conditions, the level of taxes, the quality of contractors, and proximity to our major markets. The new production will strengthen the Ajax product development and accelerate access to new markets.
Turkish 8300 m² plant will produce the entire lineup of Ajax devices, duplicating the current production in Ukraine. We’ve already started to form a local manufacturing team. At the first stage, it is planned to hire at least 400 people. The plant expects to produce at least 150,000 devices per month.
To read the full article, check out our June issue here.
Rebecca Morpeth Spayne,
Editor, Security Portfolio
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 922