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SJUK Exclusive Q&A with Jason Wakefield, Todd Research


Jason Wakefield, Sales Director at Todd Research discusses how the company has responded to the pandemic and is expanding in 2022.

Which vertical sectors is Todd Research targeting in the UK at the moment?

The core market that Todd Research operates in has always been the supply of mail screening equipment for the detection of explosives and harmful devices being delivered via the postal system. This stems from when we answered a government call to industry and invented the first ever mail room scanner back in 1973. 

Since then, Todd Research has evolved significantly and our product line has increased substantially – this has opened up a whole range of new interesting and challenging vertical markets. This year is extremely exciting as we are entering into the aviation industry with a unique X-ray unit that is an absolute game changer for increasing the safety of passengers and crew.

How has demand for Todd Research’s products changed as a result of the pandemic?

Before COVID-19 was even a thing, Todd Research identified the requirement to change how we do business and the need for working smarter. The pandemic has accelerated our plans and need to identify hardware and software that is going to carry us through this difficult time; this will enable us to be efficient to work but from a remote location but will be scalable to grow with us as we expand into other markets.

Our factory did not close or slow down and we were still manufacturing our X-ray units throughout every lockdown. This itself came with a few challenges. We had to ensure that we could still be effective in manufacturing while still ensuring the safety of our staff so, after some careful planning, we were able to lay out our factory in a way where we would maximise efficiency while still being COVID-19 secure. Throughout the pandemic we have seen a general increase in sales both in the UK and overseas markets which is extremely encouraging.

How are you looking to expand your product portfolio?

Todd Research’s tag line on our logo is “detect and protect” and it has been that way since the company was formed; we re-invest a high percentage of our profits into research and development both into new and existing products. By doing this, we ensure that we are confident to detect the very latest terrorist devices and weapons. Todd Research also manages a network of quality distributors from all over the world and this keeps us well placed to measure market trends and to discover what other technologies have been developed and are being used globally.

If you could change one thing in the industry, what would it be?

The security industry is always exciting and extremely fast moving, with new innovations cropping up all the time. Many new innovations are designed to improve security and ultimately save lives in the event of a potential terrorist attack. Under normal circumstances, this is a really good thing, however when you are introducing new innovative technology into a market that is heavily driven by legislation, then attempting to amend regulations at government level is exceptionally painful and can be an extremely slow process.

Simplifying this process could be extremely easy if you were to cut all the red tape involved in doing this and, ultimately, as a business that manufactures innovative products, we only need to prove two key things – firstly, that the new equipment is more effective than using the current outdated methods, and secondly, if it is safe to use.

What are Todd Research’s plans for the next 12 months?

Our vision guides every aspect of our business; for Todd Research, this is to continue being a global player in developing and manufacturing world class detection and screening technology solutions.

In 2022, we are hopeful in seeing the return of more exhibitions and the re-opening of industries that were hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are looking forward to getting back to customer facing situations where we can demonstrate our products and services to their full potential. Over the next 12 months, we will continue to develop new innovative products, build new partner relationships and grow our product portfolio.

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This article was originally published in the February edition of Security Journal UK. To read your FREE digital edition, click here.