Case Study : PCL Whitehall

PCL Whitehall and Chatterbox Secure Great Service



The Customer

PCL Whitehall Security Group has been a loyal customer of Chatterbox Ltd since the late 1990s. The company, which was formed as PCL Security Limited in 1987, provides security staff to numerous blue chip companies across many different business sectors including the legal, financial, healthcare and entertainment industries.

PCL Whitehall prides itself on its proactive and positive approach to developments in both technology and legislation. This has helped to secure its place among the market leaders within the security industry. It also means that suppliers are expected to share these values.

The Challenge 

Rob Cullen, PCL Whitehall’s Financial Director, explains the challenges involved in supplying his company.

“The most important things we look for in a supplier are their expertise and excellent customer service. Radios are not our core business, though they do form part of the essential communications and Health & Safety Equipment our teams utilise.   We are not experts in this field ourselves, even so our clients depend on us for the quality of their security, so we need to be able to offer the best solution.

“Radio technology is a fast developing area and the fact that Chatterbox have kept up to date with new technologies and applications has helped us to develop our business. At the same time if they didn’t give us excellent service it would impact badly on our reputation and jeopardise the efficacy and health and safety of our personnel and the service they deliver.

“Many of the buildings we secure have specific structural challenges, which can compromise radio coverage. We have to feel comfortable sending a supplier in to see our client, after all our reputation is at stake if we are not represented professionally.  We know that Chatterbox will assess the situation effectively and provide the most efficient solution, in a positive and professional manner.

“When we started out we used to do a lot of short-term rentals,” Rob recalls. “These days our contracts can be long term, involve the supply of up to 30 radios per customer and are over a much larger geographic area so we really need a supplier who can collect and deliver, sometimes with very little notice.

“For example, one of our loyal clients, with whom we do over £1M of business, needed a whole radio service installing urgently. They contacted us one Thursday and, thanks to their very efficient team, Chatterbox arranged everything and delivered it first thing Monday. There are lots of radio companies online but, had I used an internet supplier, I would have had to wait for the postal service and our clients would not have had the personal service they value so highly.”

The Solution

So what is the secret behind Chatterbox Ltd’s successful relationship with PCL Whitehall? Tracey Boult, the company’s Operations Director, works most closely with them.

“I am often contacted by other radio suppliers who can be pushy, or will make assumptions about what you want, not taking the time to understand our Client requirements, offering cheaper options for example, when perhaps the cost is less of an issue for the client than what we need to achieve.

“Chatterbox is not like that,” Tracey continues. “They ensure that they fully understand the expectations and then offer a range of options and best, but realistic, advice. They are open about any disadvantages and then support you to make your own informed choices.  For example they may factor in the shelf life of the hardware and offer you a cheaper option if it is a short-term requirement over which you will recover the cost, but for a longer term project this may be a false economy, so they will point this out so we can make a judgement.”

PCL Whitehall’s prestigious client at 80, The Strand in London, is a good example of how the two companies work together.

The building had an elderly analogue system, service integrity was impaired by lack of total coverage and maintaining the equipment had started to become costly. The security service needed to be supported effectively requiring a complete service assessment and proposal for the most effective solution.  What’s more, because the operatives conduct external patrols in vulnerable areas, PCL Whitehall were not only looking for reliable communications, but also ways to improve health and safety. Chatterbox carried out a number of surveys and associated testing and suggested different options.

The solution PCL Whitehall and their client chose was a digital Motorola system with TrakRanger software, which enables every security guard to be located and tracked, and incorporating Man Down, a function that triggers an alert and, should the operator fail to respond, then sends an alarm call so that help can be dispatched immediately.

“I was really pleased with how it all went,” explains Tracey. “Chatterbox stuck to the price they quoted, delivered exactly what they said they would and the work was completed on time. The ongoing support is excellent too – the client knows help is always just a phone call away if they need anything. Chatterbox have even updated the software recently at no extra cost and the client is delighted.

“The level of ongoing care is what makes them so good as a supplier,” Tracey continues. “We look after a fantastic building in the city. It is brand new and made mostly of glass. The design means there is a lot of metal in the core of the structure and this can cause issues with radio coverage.  Not only that but as the building has evolved and new companies have come in this has caused fluctuations.

“Whereas other suppliers would find this frustrating, Chatterbox have been happy to come back and find solutions to the new issues as they arise. In fact they really seem to relish the challenge.”

 The Benefits

Rob Cullen summarises: “When we take on a new premises we may have to use another supplier until their contract runs out, but we always change to Chatterbox because they are highly professional and we are certain we can rely on them. They truly understand our business as well as the latest technologies and what they can do for our clients. Their quality of service is always excellent and they are really responsive – If there is a problem at any of our sites they will go to there in person and sort it out quickly.

Tracey continues: “The refreshing thing is that they really are open, honest and transparent. Unlike so many other suppliers they don’t oversell themselves, but they deliver a range of solutions and advice. They will tell you if they cannot do something and will consult with, or recommend other options if they feel they are more able to help you. This way you know you can really trust them.”

When you call on the team they don’t patronise, but instead they explain anything technical in words that are easy to understand. I am always totally comfortable about letting them deal directly with my clients and I am proud to be associated with them.”

Chatterbox’s Managing Director, Gary Leatherby, sums up the relationship:  “We aim to work as an integral part of the PCL team. Their clients are looking to them for quality and reliability in every aspect of their security and the radios are an important aspect of the service they provide. Unlike some of the bigger companies in our industry, we are able to offer a really personal service and respond immediately if issues arise. That is the way we, and our customers, like it.”