Our reflections of 2020
New people, new products, new ways of working – it’s been quite a journey
The team at SRL have been reflecting on 2020 and how much we’ve achieved despite all the challenges of Covid-19. Every area of our business has been improved to help us meet our customers’ needs for quality, safety and reliability.
We’ve recruited new people, launched new products, including our market-leading Multiphase Adaptive Detection System (ADS) and won some significant new contracts. When COVID-19 made its presence felt in March 2020, we were quick to make our position clear and do the right thing. We have continued to provide as normal a service as possible whilst following government guidelines, for example around social distancing and investing significantly in PPE to protect our staff. Our variable message signs (VMS) have also been put to good use communicating important public health messages.
We had a number of senior appointments in the first half of 2020, to strengthen our management team. This included Tony Logan as Head of Integrated Transport Solutions, Caroline Walton as VMS Manager for the Southern Region and Mark Gordon as EHS&Q Manager. Mark has been instrumental in helping SRL achieve three ISO certifications this year!
There have also been several external professional appointments to support our programme of accelerated growth including Vickery Holman as Property Asset Managers, RSM as Company Auditors and Tax advisers, in the UK and ROI, FIG as our PR and Marketing Partner, Evans Lamsley as our HR and Employment Law experts and Watson Laurie as our Insurance Brokers.
Since June SRL has expanded its portfolio of products widely, initially increasing our VMS fleet by over 150% and at the same time building a dedicated VMS team to support it. We also launched our new Portable VMS into the market. Requiring minimal storage space, it is the only compact mobile VMS to feature integrated vehicle activated detectors for easier portability and installation.
By August we’d expanded further, this time into the high-speed VMS market, with our multi-million pound investment in a fleet of large VMS units specifically designed for high speed dual carriageways and motorways. Demand for this UK manufactured SWARCO product has been high ever since.
In line with SRL’s strategy to continually improve service and delivery times for our customers, we were delighted to open a new ‘super depot’ in Romford and a further operation in Telford to ensure faster delivery across the UK. This increased our distribution network to 30 depots, the largest in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
We partnered with LCVT, who are specialists in the design and manufacture of light commercial vehicle bodies, and announced in September the delivery of a custom-made 3,500 kg transporter to help deliver our larger high-speed VMS and Smart Messenger units quickly and safely to site.
In November, the SRL team were very excited to bring to market our unique Multiphase ADS which was developed initially for local authorities and utility companies to help reduce congestion around roadworks and cities. Used in conjunction with our Eurolight® Master temporary and portable traffic lights, its clever algorithm considers site-specific features, like HGV start lag, and optimises traffic flow by dynamically adapting to traffic conditions. Quick and easy to deploy, this system has proved hugely popular with customers across the board.
We also launched the industry’s first portable CCTV with a perspective of 180° beneath the camera as well as a 360° panoramic view. It generates clear images even in total darkness and can be viewed remotely via smartphone or PC. The superior surveillance and site security it offers means it is perfect for traffic monitoring, event safety management, personal security and road closure point observation.
The SRL team has worked hard all year through difficult, challenging circumstances so we were delighted to secure several new important contracts. Our ability to supply robust, reliable products backed with a four-year guarantee and comprehensive service packages were vital in securing the business.
As 2020 drew to a close we launched an exciting competition. Open to everyone, entrants take a photo of any SRL traffic system they spot and submit their photo on our website. Children can also get involved by sending in their own paintings and drawings, featuring one of our traffic signs. All entrants nominate a local primary school and have a chance to win a share of the £24,000 prize money SRL has donated. It’s an exciting competition and there’s still time to enter as the closing date is not until 28th February. Click here for more details https://www.srl.co.uk/pages/competition.
More of the same for 2021
Wow, such a busy 2020! What has SRL got planned for 2021? We’re more determined than ever to grow and improve our business. We’ll be listening to our customers and developing the quality products and services they need, supported by our passionate people and the robust infrastructure we have in place to help us deliver consistently, reliably and to the highest standards.
First piece of news for 2021 is the appointment of our First Group Product and Compliance Manager, Kevin Gilday, to coordinate the management of new and existing products from across both our hire and sale portfolio. Welcome to the team Kevin.
Thank you to all the SRL team and to all our customers in 2020, and here’s to a successful 2021.