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A family business with an eye for the future 

Simon Lawrence

Simon Lawrence, Director, Lawrences Garages Ltd

My great grandfather started his first garage serving fuel in 1919 in StockwellSW LondonIt was a big gamble then as the petrol pump had only just been invented but its early success has led to 5 generations of Lawrence’s running forecourt garages. Trying to be the best at what we do, having a friendly team and keeping and eye on the future has ensured that whatever changes and challenges occur we try to be flexible and positive.

This last six months has really tested us. We have made mistakes; we shortened the opening hours to protect the staff only to find it caused queues and aggravation for our customers. We did manage to keep all our team as safe as possible, with three being shielded, yet continued to offer a good service, I hope, to all our customers. My memory of bagging up flour at home to ensure we had stock will not be forgotten as well as the help from a local picture framer who helped us with our splash guards. It’s good to know we are part of the community. We also know that this pandemic has made it easier for thieves to steal from our stores. We were fortunate that in 2019 we made the decision to install another new technology, in the footsteps of our great grandfatherusing facial recognition to help us recognise habitual thieves and troublemakers that frequent our store in Southampton. 

We know Facewatch has reduced losses, and empowered our front-line team, they have great pride in what they do and want their store to be safe for themselves and customers. Re-running CCTV to find a thief and adding them to the watch list is done with satisfaction I do, however, view the future both with trepidation and excitement. What will be the future for fuel stations? Electric, hydrogen, we are looking at them all and what value we add.  Will Lawrences offer home delivery and will those new customers we have met recently keep coming for not just flour but all their every day shopping? 

One thing I can say is that Facewatch is a proactive tool that is accurate and reliable – and that’s how I like my tech and business! 

During July we asked a selection of Facewatch customers a series of questions about their experience with Facewatch.

The feedback showed that all those asked found that Facewatch had reduced shop theft but also helped in reducing anti-social behaviour whilst giving the front of house teams more confidence especially when working after dark and with reduced numbers.

The UK economy has now entered a recession due to the pandemic and as has been found historically crime and anti-social behaviour has been shown to increase during these periods. We also have the additional challenges of preventing a second wave of Covid 19 and there is more focus on reducing contact in all situations. This new ‘contactless normal’ has shown that facial recognition is a very powerful tool in helping reduce all types of contact.

CustomerfeedbackJuly2020fv1

In a wide-ranging discussion, Nick and Gavin talk about the major escalation of problems on the high street brought about by the pandemic. This is a must-watch for CCTV installers and retailers who need a solution to reduce their losses and help shopworker moral

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Less than a month ago Vista CCTV became the newest partner with Facewatch to distribute this game changing technology to Vista Priority Partners (VPPs). In this series of Face to Face videos Nick Fisher,CEO, Facewatch and Dean Kernot, Sales and Marketing Manager, Vista CCTV go Face to Face in conversation to explore the opportunity.

In a wide ranging discussion with probing questions from Dean and straight talking answers from Nick this huge change to the security landscape is discussed.  Fundamentally Facewatch facial recognition is fast becoming the acceptable, affordable and compliant solution for any business wanting to deter crime and anti-social behaviour whilst providing a safer and more customer orientated environment for visitors and staff.

The full Face to Face film:

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The Facewatch story

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The Problem Facewatch Solves

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The Vista VPP program

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The Accredited Partner Program

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How do watch lists work?

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Why Facewatch?

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