Smart home tech firm reaches £1M turnover
Date published: 14 October 2019
Simkiss Home Automation, a Rochdale-based smart home technology firm, reached £1M turnover in its last financial year, ending September 2019.
Paul Simkiss founded Simkiss Control Systems in 1999 but set up a second business – Simkiss Home Automation – in 2017 after spotting a gap in the market when he installed smart tech in his own farmhouse.
As well as being able to control all aspects of his home’s technology through a display panel, the 48-year-old can check everything remotely via a mobile phone app, including monitoring his CCTV to controlling the lighting, blinds, TV, music system and several other features.
The entrepreneur said the smart home technology is attracting interest from Premier League footballers to assisted living providers, the latter of whom want to improve the lives of residents and check that they’re safe.
“We’re also working with a property developer in London who is building 630 flats and we’re creating a control panel for each home,” he said. “It’s all about giving choice to the homeowner.”
The home automation side of the business currently accounts for £1m of the group’s total £7m turnover but Mr Simkiss predicts it will reach £8m by 2021 as the company’s overall turnover doubles to £14m.
The company is based at Bentley Avenue, on Stakehill Industrial Estate, and employs 68 people.
“Rochdale is great location for business with brilliant access to the motorway network,” he said. “There’s a good base of technical people in Rochdale while the manufacturing sector is very strong. There’s space to grow and the council is very supportive.”
Mr Simkiss admits he fell into the smart home market by chance.
“I was looking at doing some work in the farmhouse that we had,” he recalled. “I thought if I was rewiring the place I would look at home automation. I installed technology from a company called Legrand into the house.
“When I spoke to Legrand I was told that 80 per cent of people who installed home automation weren’t happy. It wasn’t because the components weren’t working but rather because they’d either been oversold it, it had been installed poorly; or they’d received poor customer service.
“I thought ‘we do controls on an every day basis so for us it’s easy’. I approached Legrand and said I’d be a distributor for them. We amalgamated the controls into one panel.
“The problem with home automation at the time was it was quite fragmented. You had different controls for things like your lighting and audio visual equipment. There was nothing that linked everything into one system.
“It was about doing the installation at a reasonable cost. If we can help people assemble components and give them a box that they put in a room in the house, it would be a massive step forward.”
Mr Simkiss predicts Simkiss Home Automation will reach £4m-£5m turnover by 2020 and £8m in 2021, swelling the company’s overall turnover to £14m.
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