Meet Alan, John and Paul Lyness – three brothers who are at the helm of PIP Security Systems, the fastest growing independent security installation company in Northern Ireland.
The Newtownabbey-based company has just won a major contract to supply an integrated security system for an exciting new tourist facility currently being built at Loughshore Park, Jordanstown.
The company will provide a hi-tech integrated system including fire alarms, intruder alarms, CCTV and controlled access through an internet pre-payment system for caravan owners.
In recent years it has punched above its weight, winning contracts to supply security for companies such as Maxol, the Henderson Group and Boots.
PIP currently has a workforce of 25 including 18 full-time employees and is looking to recruit more in the future. In the last 16 months turnover on all contracts has increased by 35-40% and they currently occupy around 15% of the market.
The three siblings, who all bring very different experiences and skills to the business, strongly believe that being a close knit family has led to the success and steady growth of the company.
The company does not have a managing director. The brothers make collective decisions during regular meetings, which they feel gives them a flexibility and freedom that their competitors lack.
PIP is an innovative, forward looking company looking at cutting costs for their customers by using the latest cutting edge technology. In the current economic climate they have trained their engineers to be multi-skilled in installing CCTV, fire and intruder alarms so that it cuts down on travel and maintenance costs.
Operations Director John (34) formed the company in 1994. Their father Jack, a security expert, has been an influential figure behind the scenes, providing guidance and advice and keeping a keen eye on how the business is developing.
In the early days John worked out in the field, installing alarms mainly in domestic properties. Although he is now a company director he still goes out on site, helping the engineers and providing a personal touch that reassures the company’s clients.
His ‘hands-on’ experience and technical knowledge of the industry has stood the company in good stead. He is aware of what the customer wants and is able to provide innovative solutions to problems.
He believes the family business has many advantages
“There are huge advantages in terms of reliability and commitment. When something needs done, it will be done. The drive is always there. We are always willing to go the extra mile to ensure the customer is fully satisfied.
“We are company that is young, resourceful, and vibrant and continually looking forward to the next challenge.”
Alan (36), the Finance Director, joined the company in 2003 after a successful managerial career in the Food Industry. He ensures that the company moves forward from a financially sound position.
This year, the company switched its business to the Northern Bank which has provided the financial backing to develop the business and increase employment.
He believes that working with his brothers creates a much more relaxed business environment, which has fostered inventive ideas.
“If someone comes up with a new idea we encourage it. There is a positive attitude to everything in the business. We can bounce ideas off each other which you don’t always get in a more corporate environment.
“There is a lack of red tape that enables us to get things done quickly which benefits the customer and the business.
“We don’t have a high turnover of staff. Many of the guys who are with us have been here from day one. It is a happy and contented workforce, whose suggestions are always listened to.”
The youngest of the triumvirate is Sales Director Paul (30), who joined his brothers in 2007. He is the ‘ideas’ man, always looking for the latest innovations in a fast changing industry.
Paul was instrumental in setting up office processes and taking the company to the next level. He is heavily involved in customer care and meets clients on a daily basis to look at solutions to each situation.
“Although we have distinct roles within the company, we share a similar vision. Because we are brothers, communications are very good and this has allowed us to deliver projects on time, keep our customers informed and provide a high level of customer service.”
“There is a great buzz about the office and the work that is coming in. Our employees are very motivated and we thrive on a challenge. We love offering a solution that has never been thought of before.
When the company first formed in 1994, they focused mainly on the domestic market, installing intruder alarms in family homes. They now have a lot of major commercial contracts with large businesses but this has not detracted from the domestic side of the business.
John said: “People see us as a bigger company now and think we are more interested in the commercial end but that is not the case. Every customer from the smallest £100 job to the largest £1m contract is given the same level of service.”
Paul added that customers appreciated the personal touch:
“One minute we may be sitting around a table in the office discussing a major job and the next we are out on a building site pulling a project together. It is very rewarding and lets the clients and staff know that we are involved in every aspect of the company.”