Security products specialist Videx eyes £9m turnover as it breaks into the biometrics market

The manufacturer which employs 42 people at its Newcastle base on Chillingham Industrial Estate has grown steadily over 30 years

Videx's Chillingham Industrial Estate premises
Videx's Chillingham Industrial Estate premises

A security products firm which employs 42 people in Newcastle is eyeing £9m turnover next year as it breaks into the biometrics market.

Videx, which operates a 2,000 sq ft manufacturing facility on Chillingham Industrial Estate, has been growing consistently over the last 30 years.

The firm specialises in door entry and access control systems and supplies to the trade and private domestic market - both of which have remained healthy throughout the recession.

In recent years Videx has grown turnover through contracts with local authorities and housing companies which need to make accessibility efficient and secure.

Now a new-breed of door entry system that incorporates biometric technology such as fingerprint scanning and internet protocol (IP) technology is being rolled out to lead the firm’s future.

Videx’s national sales manager Neil Thomas explained: “The market for our products increases during a recession, when you typically get higher crime rates. Our job is to stay on top of trends and make sure we’re adopting any technologies that a relevant to our market.

“For instance, we’ve got a new door intercom system which uses mobile phone technology to link the user to their door, wherever they are in the world.

“You could be on holiday and answer the door. Similarly we do things like provide solar powered systems for remote properties - perhaps water treatment works or electrical substations.”

The firm service clients such as Your Homes Newcastle and Sheffield Homes, as well as private individuals - many including the super rich who want to secure large property.

Price competition from the Far East has spurred Videx to position itself as a quality manufacturer with extensive technical support.

A team of phone support staff operate from the Newcastle premises, advising customers up and down the country. Repair teams are then dispatched to customers if necessary.

Mr Thomas added: “We’ve grown because we looked at what our competitors were doing and realised nobody was providing thorough support. We might not be the cheapest but we do offer a service that overseas supplies to the UK market simply can’t provide.”

Videx sell their products through a network of distributors to electrical installers and through trade counters at the Newcastle and London operations.

Recent investment of £70,000 in engraving machinery and expertise at the Newcastle base has helped to bring even more of the production work in-house, reducing costs and lead times for products to be packaged off.

Three apprentices work at Videx’s Newcastle base across the firm’s estimating and repairs functions.

Overall, the firm employs 60 staff including 18 in its London head office, which is largely an administrative function. The firm also has a sister operation in Italy called Videx Electronics.

Most of the assembly work involved in Videx products takes place at its Newcastle operations.

Videx founder John Rickard started the business after realising a demand for door entry systems in the 1980s - at that time basic telephone handset models. He secured the sole distributorship for Italian brand Farfisa and eventually started Videx with the firm’s technical director.

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