Every successful business begins with an aspiration to succeed within a specific industry. This small vision of a potentially thriving company motivates and drives the individual to work for what they dream of. Whether this be a large corporation or a small, local business. Behind every single one of them is the determination of the hard-working business men and women who transformed their dream of self-employment into a reality: constantly striving to develop and better themselves.
QED’s beginning involved two people: Dave Arrowsmith and Ian Smith. Dave was the European Purchasing Manager for Sensormatic and Ian was one of their key suppliers as Branch Manager of City Electrical Factors in Chorley. Through doing business together over the previous 10 years, they became good friends. So, when Ian had to refuse a promotion abroad with the company, Dave suggested going on his own.
Shortly after, QED was formed. Stock was initially held in Ian’s garage as well as an office in the back room of VideoTec, which was donated by Bob Lister.
QED began distributing first fix consumable items to security installers, first on a local basis and then nationally. After just nine months, QED relocated to a 2,250ft² unit. A further nine months later, Dave joined the business as a partner.
Due to additional stock requirements, an extra unit was acquired. This was soon outgrown and the company relocated to the current main building which was later extended to 16,000ft² with an additional 5,500ft² overflow warehouse.
After discussing what factors made the company a success, Ian and Dave both agreed that the location of the business and their chosen employees were both key.
“The building we are still in today was a financial risk and a large debt to have when starting a new business. This was helped by some good early contracts due to established relationships.”
When asked if there was anything they would change, if they could, Dave said,
“I wouldn’t really change anything. Mistakes and risks are difficult to avoid when starting up any business; so we saw ours as lessons to learn from. All our choices and decisions over the past 20 years have contributed towards the process of teaching us how to better ourselves and our business, allowing us to be where we are today.”
Having only eight employees to begin with, QED was a small family operation. Each team member with an equally significant role to play. Therefore, if one employee was away, another would step up and fulfil the role, as well as their own.
The Future of QED
With the common use of the Internet beginning in the 90s, QED adapted the business during the transition from analogue to digital. Just like all businesses, advancements in technology and the internet have brought about change. QED adjusted by bringing in new people, new products and new skill sets.
Over the years, the security industry will continue to reinvent itself. It’s inevitable. Technology is quickly advancing and changing rapidly. So, who knows where we will all be in another 20 years. As for the future of QED, we aspire to be a major, national distributor who provide leading edge technology products. Controlled by a driven, dynamic team.