This year sees Warrior Doors celebrating a real milestone as we mark our 20th anniversary in business. We are looking forward to marking the occasion in style!
We have come a long way since Managing Director Brett Barratt decided to set up his own company after years as a self-employed carpenter. In this interview Brett discusses his 20 years at the helm of Warrior Doors.
I had been a self-employed carpenter for many years. However, a change in the law in 1997 meant that if you were employed and worked for an individual company for more than 6 weeks at a time you would have to go on their books.
Ultimately, I did not want to do that. Therefore it was the perfect opportunity to set up my own company and try out the many ideas I had over the years to improve the doors that I had been installing. Because honestly I could see there were many failings in the designs and materials being used.
The new business, called Sure Lock Home Security and Doors, was launched alongside my wife Ann. We loved the name because it was a play on words of the famous fictitious detective and gave a real sense of security.
We built an office on the side of our house in Yardley, Birmingham and I used my garage as a workshop.
From 2 people in a small garage workshop to 35 staff in a 15000 sq. ft factory unit. We started with a first-year turnover of £24,500 to today, with a turnover of £1.2 Million. Undoubtedly, we have grown both in size and stature.
We also changed the name in 2012 to Warrior Doors. The name came from one of our products, and customers really responded to it. In addition, we also felt it reflected the aims of the company. To provide protection and safety to our clients, so we decided to rebrand ourselves.
Since the start we have always innovated. My personal mission has always been the same: to design out the fortress mentality in security doors and communal entrances.
As a result we have developed a reputation for innovation and excellence in design. This has helped us to create a wide range of high-security doors and entrance systems that are strong, durable and importantly long lasting. Every one of the 15,000 doors we have installed in the past 20 years has never failed or been replaced and are still in place today.
I’m proud of our record of investing in innovation and design. We have had a robust programme of investment since we began the business and have focused on getting the best machinery, technology and testing programmes possible. This allows us to demonstrate why our doors are the best on the market.
We are committed to creating well-built secure doors and entrance systems that have a strong design ethos. Thanks to our investment in design we have managed maximise the amount of secure glazing we use. This increases visibility and thereby makes communal entrances and shop entrance safer and more secure. We remain the only security door manufacturer to have successfully tested an inward-opening fully glazed door to LPS 1175 SR4 standards.
In 2016 alone, we invested £300,000 in high-tech machinery. In addition between 2011 and 2016 Warrior Doors ploughed £300,000 into its door-testing programme to ensure that its products achieve some of the industry’s most stringent security standards.
We are always looking for ways to improve our products by bringing in new innovations. Recently, we have tested and certified our communal entrance doors to the LPS 2081 SRB standard.
The same year when Warrior Doors was set up, we also set up a charity through Small Heath Baptist Church called Africa Equip. Africa Equip sends refurbished hand tools, small machinery PCs, medical equipment and school resources to communities in Africa.
We do this with the aim of giving the people of Africa a hand up, not a handout. Africa Equip works with projects that are up and running and supports them with resources.
As part of the Africa Equip projects, Warrior Doors is working with the Butterfly Project to help build a school for aspiring social entrepreneurs in Northern Uganda.
I am incredibly proud of what has been achieved over the years. From where we come from, to where we are now has been an incredible journey. Thanks to our entrance systems and doors, people in businesses, social housing, schools, and critical infrastructure organisations feel safer. Our products make a real difference to people’s lives and there is still enormous potential for new products and developments. I want to ensure we are at the forefront of those.
We want to increase our sales, continue investing in our design and technology to create innovative products that cater for more businesses. Furthermore my focus for the next few years is to diversify the range of products, using Research and Development to drive new innovations in Secure Cabinets and Sliding Doors.
The best advice is to find the best people that you can afford and employ them. As a business is no greater than the people it employs.
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