How do you feel when a stranger asks you a question about work that you weren’t expecting? On the back foot? It happened to me only a short while ago.
It was a very busy day and we were rushing to get out the day’s orders. ‘What is it about your job that really gives you a buzz?’ I was asked by a visitor to the office. I wasn’t expecting that!
Well, ever since I qualified as a Mechanical and Production Engineer with Lucas, I have always had a very practical outlook on life with a hunger for new knowledge and skills. I was brought up to respect other people and treat them as I would wish to be treated myself. All of these attributes I have done my best to bring to my current role as Managing Director of Advanced Keys Limited in Sutton Coldfield.
So I go home at night knowing I’ve had a good day when I believe I’ve really been able to help a client. The chances are they haven’t known how to solve their individual issue for themselves.
What matters to me is being able to provide the level of service excellence that comes from being a company that is still small enough to care yet with the experience and expertise to make a real difference for our clients. We always try to let our customers know just how much we appreciate their business.
Because we are not tied into a large organisation we have flexibility in how we work, and we aim to personalise what we do for every one of our clients.
It’s such a competitive marketplace now, so that thirst for knowledge and ever expanding skills is paramount as we want to stay at the top of our game. We believe we are competitively priced within the marketplace in which we operate as we know everyone these days is looking for a good deal. We work on the principle of a high level of quality service, with a flexible approach and a second to none level of knowledge and skill.
The company has been trading since 2003 and I joined them in 2006. We don’t trade directly with the public but instead via autolocksmiths and garages with key programming equipment. They are all over the world! We specialise in original parts and after market ones, too.
I’m supported by a great team. Sharon is brilliant at our administration. She’s most likely the first voice you’ll hear if you ‘phone us. Her organisational skills are second to none and she keeps everything in the office in the professional manner you’d expect from us.
Richard joined Advanced Keys only recently and he’s our highly valued technical support person. He worked for 5 years previously as a locksmith, so his knowledge is immense. What’s that old expression – poacher turned game keeper?! That’s Richard! He specialises in programming keys and we’re very fortunate to have him working with us.
Having fired the first fast ball of the day, my inquisitive visitor then said they were keen to understand what sort of work we do, and asked me to describe a typical example. Straightaway I remembered the guy we helped who had been stranded on Jersey. He’d driven there from Scotland for the music festival and had had the misfortune to misplace his car keys. He was completely stuck. He found a local garage but they couldn’t help him. So he tried the internet and hey presto, he found Advanced Keys. We have a contact in St Helier on Jersey and they have key programming equipment. So, when we able to ascertain the relevant key, we cut it here and had it transported post haste to St Helier where they were able to get it coded. It meant the guy had to sleep in his car for a night that he wasn’t expecting, but within 24 hours, we had found the correct key, got it across to Jersey and our colleagues in St Helier had it coded and with the client. Job done and another satisfied customer!
That just about sums up for me what it’s all about. I believe very much in working together with other partner organisations. I can’t be doing with those that have to score points off each other. By working together, we all get to a better place and it makes for a smoother way of working. That way there’s something in it for everyone, we all go home happy and satisfied that we have delivered a good day’s work. Personal values – tick!