How great service delivers across the board with Traka

May 3, 2024



SJUK speaks exclusively with intelligent key and asset management solutions provider, Traka, about what it stands for and how this reflects from the inside out.

Tom joined Traka 10 years ago in a junior sales role and has since worked his way up through the ranks to become Head of Business, overseeing the commercial functions, including sales, marketing and recurring revenue teams.

“Traka’s asset management solutions manage various valuable assets beyond just keys, including expensive equipment and safety critical systems,” says Tom.

The company was born in the 90’s after a sixth month proof of concept and after a big contract win in America in 2007, opened its Orlando office.

Over the next five years Traka went from strength to strength and in 2012, was acquired by ASSA ABLOY.

“Even then we had distributors and resellers globally, but coming under the ASSA umbrella took us to a new level,” he says.

Since its inception Traka has prided itself on personal service and has never lost sight of that, “this is important as it means we can provide local support, with global back-up through ASSA ABLOY.”

Beyond the key

So how would Tom define Traka today? “We are a key and asset management company – that’s what it says on the tin, but that’s not the full story.” He encourages people to look beyond this and ask, “what do those keys give access to?”

Whilst it’s a key on a fob that’s inserted into the system and that’s what you might restrict access to or manage, there could be a very expensive piece of equipment that it’s managing too or something that’s got very important health and safety rules and regulations around it about who could use it.

“So yes, we are a key and asset management company but the solutions themselves manage all weird and wonderful things.”

In the UK, Traka’s salespeople look after individual sectors – distribution centres, education, emergency services and so on – and depending on the sector, they have different challenges.

As Tom explains, “sometimes those challenges are around operational efficiency, for example in a distribution centre it’s important to get the team the equipment they need to be out on the floor, picking as quickly as they possibly can.

If you’ve got a person in a cage handing out assets to a long line of people, they might be 5-10 minutes into their shift before they are doing what you need them to do.

By having a solution from us in place you can allow multiple access points, cutting that queue line and allowing people to get out there much quicker.”  

Loss and theft of assets is always a key challenge, says Tom, “return on investment can be turned around very quickly by putting a solution in place,” says Tom.

“In many companies, if there is nothing in place, they will have a key log, so you pick up a pen and you write, ‘Yes, I’ve taken this key.’”

Quite often, however, it’s not completed or is ineligible, or somebody might take the key in the morning for a vehicle or a piece of equipment that is not being used until later in the day – perhaps because it’s the newest or they want to make sure they’re able to have it when they need it later on – which just causes problems for others.

“By putting Traka in place to restrict access and allow searches to take place, you not only increase operational efficiency, but you make staff accountable,” says Tom.

“That’s always been one of the key messages for Traka, accountability.

If you take a key that you are allowed to take, it will ping up and say: “Tom Smith, you’ve now got key number three”.

Instantly that changes the mindset of the user to “I need to look after this, I’ll take care of this because it’s marked against me.” 

There is a greater sense of responsibility around it, you tend to see people looking after it more as if it were their own.

If it were just a hook on a wall, they might not necessarily have that feeling, so less care is taken, resulting in more non returns or loss of assets.”

Great service delivers

Tom reveals that every year, Traka introduces a new theme.  

This year, the theme is ‘Great Service Delivers’, the ethos of which has been there from Day One.  

“Whilst this is aimed towards how we treat our customers, it’s also something we are trying to instil in everyone throughout the business, many of whom may not be in a customer facing role.

It’s about how we deal with other departments and how we treat each other; if we work together on the premise that ‘Great Service Delivers’, then it helps it spread out towards the customer base as well.”

With the cost of living rising and budgets being cut, people are facing personal and professional challenges, which is why the theme of ‘Great Service Delivers’ is so important, “We came up with this theme to keep that focus going for the team and because we like to think of our customers as partners with whom we will have longstanding relationships.

“We want to be able to do more for the same, so it’s not about charging more money because we’re adding things in, it’s about what can we do better without it costing them a penny more.

“Traka is not a product, it is a solution and it can work in many different ways – it’s very important that we understand how a customer’s business operates and how our solution can be tailored for them.

“That’s why we have sector specialists as opposed to regional salespeople, they really understand the challenges that type of business would have and this forms part of our ‘Great Service Delivers’.

“If an enquiry comes in from a hotel we will go to the Traka team member who looks after hospitality; they know straightaway the sort of pain points they have and are able to talk their language, to make them feel at ease and show that we understand what the problem is, why this solution will work in this way and how it’s going to help them.  

“Our sector specialism and great service are our differentiating factors.”

What’s in a name?

It’s “well- kept secret” that the name Traka was born out of the phrase, ‘To return a key asset’.

And while the theme of ‘Great Service Delivers’ forms part of annual initiative, the values and behaviours that inspired always been there.  

Tom explains, “we wanted to come up with something around the company name that would reflect this -so we have the ‘T’ standing for truthful, the ‘r’ for responsive, ‘a’ for approachable, ‘k’ for kind, and ‘a’ for accurate.

“Traka has two meanings now – one is ‘to record a key asset’, which it always will be, but we’ve also got these other words sitting behind that now: Truthful, responsive, kind and accurate.

“They are the pillars upon which our organisation stands, and we don’t just say “these are values”, we live and breathe them.”

To illustrate this point, Tom says that one of things he loves about being part of Traka, is that the business looks after everything from cradle to grave.

“If you one of our customers has a problem, when they call in they will be speaking to our own technical support team.

“One of our pillars is that we are responsive, so we are always on the phone ready to help as quickly.

“I’m very proud of the way we turn things around quickly for customers.

“While of course we have partnerships with various companies who promote and sell Traka, we are also very proud of the fact that we have a core team that looks after everything.

“It’s our Traka people and our Traka people that are out there looking after customers from beginning to end. That’s the service you will always get with us.”

In line with its ongoing commitment to add value at every opportunity, the team has been putting additional things in place to enhance its customer service, including follow up surveys ad improving its ways of working.

Tom continues, “We have follow ups after every single project – the customer will be contacted to see what worked, what didn’t work and if there is anything we can take away. This enables us to say, “okay, we want to take that up a notch and improve that, or this should be a key focus under that.”

Having highlighted the importance of understanding sector-specific challenges and implementing solutions to improve operational efficiencies, such as reducing the time it takes to locate assets and increasing accountability; together with Traka’s key message that great service delivers and how it was created to instil a mindset of responsibility and care among employees, treating customers as partners rather than customers, Tom leaves us in no doubt that this is a company that really does deliver.

This article was originally published in the May Edition of Security Journal United Kingdom. To read your FREE digital edition, click here.

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