OPREMA (Cardiff)

Origins

After working in security distribution and installation for many years, the business was started when the directors spotted a gap in the market for a security distributor that specialised in High Definition and IP (Internet Protocol) CCTV products and also had the in-house knowledge to technically support these products. The UK was years behind the rest of Europe on the uptake of these new technologies that the directors knew end user demand would drive in time. With the right education and support from distribution to the installer trade, they knew that this was the future of the industry.

Our main challenges when starting the business

Challenges in the first three years were mainly around funding. The firm managed to secure an EFG loan via Lloyds Bank to start the business and also had access to Welsh Government grant funding for the website and first brochure. Since then, the firm has been supported massively by HSBC with various finance facilities and without all of this help, they would not have been able to achieve growth so quickly. It also took time to build a good credit rating to allow them to receive better credit limits and terms with suppliers. It was similar when trying to agree distribution deals with some of the major brands. Only by building a reputation within the industry would they be prepared to deal with the firm as many of them do not open many new distribution channels. Another challenge came within the first six months where it had to change the name from 3M Squared Ltd to Oprema Ltd due to trade mark issues. This was a steep learning curve and a costly exercise rebranding the business.

Success Factor

The three main factors that have contributed to the rapid growth of the business include hard work; excellent staff as year on year, they have been able to attract more and more key people from inside and outside of the security industry; and agreeing distribution deals with major manufacturers.

The Future

Oprema is looking to establish itself as one of the top thre independently owned security distributors in the UK and key to this is a distribution agreement signed in early 2015 with Dahua Technology who are the second largest CCTV manufacturer in the world. It is also seeing rapid growth with other partners such as Milestone Systems, Paxton and Videx, as well as being in the process of agreeing distribution deals with other industry leading manufacturers. To achieve these goals, Oprema will add further key staff in all areas of the business including a a mix of top industry professionals and high end graduates that they hope to hand pick from Welsh universities. The firm moved to new state of the art premises in July 2017 and there will be further enhancements with a new industry leading website (Q2 2018) and bi-annual trade catalogues.