From airport lounge to Zoom, and back again!

As Sales Lead for Fastlane products in Europe and the Middle East, Alan, who joined the company at the end of 2019, is no stranger to an airport lounge, with his job usually taking him to a variety of far-flung places. But for the last 18 months, he, like many, has been conducting business remotely as Covid travel restrictions prevented business travel and the exhibition circuit was paused.

However, as we slowly start to return to ‘normal’ Alan has already been back on the road with a recent visit to Saudi Arabia and Intersec in Dubai, so we thought it was a good time to shine a spotlight on him and his role at IDL.

Talk us through some of your career history

I’ve always been involved in roles that have taken me overseas for business, having previously worked at Deutsche Aerospace and then BMW in Munich, I lived in Germany for 10 years. Following my return to the UK, I’ve since held different managerial export roles within the security industry, working with integrated access control products at Remsdaq and then at TDSi.

I joined the team at IDL in November 2019 as Sales Manager EMEA where I am responsible for developing IDL’s sales strategies and operations in the region across our turnstile and Door Detective entrance control product range. As well as looking after sales in the Middle East, my role also includes expanding our presence in Europe and CIS markets, with projects in Bucharest, Georgia, and Uzbekistan all underway.

What are the main differences between the UK and Middle Eastern markets? Do their entrance control requirements differ?

I would say that we have definitely seen increased competition in the Middle East from lower cost, global manufacturers which are less prevalent in the UK. It has led us to place an increased emphasis on more competitive pricing but also demonstrating how we have achieved success with our completed projects in the region.

We always advise clients to keep the total cost of ownership in mind when choosing the most suitable turnstile solution for their premises. By calculating anticipated electricity usage, maintenance costs, the cost of inconvenient breakdowns and callouts, and warranty, you will get a more accurate representation of the value of your entrance control system. Compared to some manufacturers, Fastlane products perform exceptionally well.

Cultural awareness also plays a key part in striking up long-term business relationships, whilst also allowing us to fully understand the true needs of the customer. We have found that Fastlane products are popular right across the Middle East owing to their elegant design, reliability, and also ‘Made in Britain’ which is a unique factor synonymous with fit for purpose, high build quality, and aesthetic design

As the region is seeing a boom in construction, the projects we are involved with are to secure large, multi-site facilities that require multiple lane layouts. Plus, the market is very open to integration, which is another reason Fastlane products are preferred.

Some of the projects where Fastlane products have already been installed include the Aldar HQ in Abu Dhabi, the Bahrain Financial Harbour, and the Ministry of Labour in Riyadh.

Which new projects have you recently been involved with?

It’s great that construction projects are starting to get back on track again after the inevitable slowdown during the peak of the pandemic. I am now liaising with our integration partners in the region as we have our products heading to King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh, ARAMCO in the Eastern Province and a major energy supplier in Qatar.

You were recently at Intersec Dubai – what conversations are you having with customers at the moment?

Firstly, it was great to regain some level of normality after two years of not being able to see our customers face to face, so conversations were initially about updating them with what’s new in our product range.

Our new state of the art, anti-climb detection system proved to be popular, and also our wider lane options, equipped with sidegating technology. Integration is always something we discuss with our customers and, in light of Covid, frictionless and contactless entrance control is something we are seeing increasingly specified. At Intersec, we were able to demonstrate our Door Detective Plus product integrated with the VisionPass facial recognition system by IDEMIA.

What is your favourite Fastlane product? And why?

It would be the Glassgate 400 range. It offers the highest level of entrance control security with optional width and height configurations, providing the end-user with a robust, fit-for-purpose, and customisable security solution.

Are you looking forward to travelling again for business? And where are you heading next?

After two years of mainly Zoom meetings, I can’t wait to get back out on the road again! I should hopefully be visiting Egypt next and then fingers crossed that our planned exhibition schedule can continue as proposed, as nothing beats meeting our customers and colleagues in real life!

If you would like to arrange an appointment with Alan to discuss your entrance control requirements, please contact him by calling +44 (0)208 890 5550 or send an email to ajh@idl.co.uk.