At Urban Barriers Direct, we collaborate with a number of different businesses in order to provide you the items of the highest possible quality at the most affordable costs. The history of one of our collaborators, Gatemaster, is detailed here. Our story, like so many others of incredible beginnings, began in a garage. Throughout the early 1990s, Simon Napthine had a sales engineer position in London. In this role, he maintained frequent relationships with a variety of organisations that dealt with metal, including gate makers. When Simon was supplying them with components for their machines, he quickly realised that they were lacking one essential component for their completed gates, and that was an easy-to-fit gate lock. He then proceeded to provide them with the missing component. With a specific goal in mind, it did not take very long until the first prototype of the ‘Signet 40’ bolt-on lock was completed and put into use. First customers soon realised how much simpler this was to use in comparison to their conventional cut-and-weld locks after hearing about the new and original approach, which was both easy enough to get started with and brand new. In 1995, Simon established Signet Locks and began manufacturing in his garage in South London. Over time, his garage transformed into a full-fledged workshop equipped with presses, linishers, and other types of gear. His first employee was his wife, who not only assisted him but also learned how to run the machines. Afterwards, his daughters joined the business as well. It’s interesting to note that one of those machines is still in use at the plant even now, and it’s being put to use in the early phases of the research and development process!
The subsequent step took place very quickly, and it was a relationship with FH Brundle that brought about the following step. FH Brundle is currently our most major distribution partner in the UK. Even after all of these years, we continue to work together in a very tight fashion in order to provide the gate makers with the appropriate hardware and to solicit their comments about how we can make the hardware even more useful for them. Our business operates under the guiding principle that we should eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy and collaborate closely with our clientele in order to solve any and all potential issues and create items that are uncomplicated and effective in their intended use.
When the manufacturing division of the firm expanded, it was rebranded as Gatemaster; nevertheless, in the United Kingdom, business is still conducted under the trade name Signet. Before arriving at its present home in Bognor Regis, Gatemaster went through a few different sites, each of which contributed to the increased professionalisation of the manufacturing processes and the improvement of the flow.
While doing this, we also continued to create and adapt new goods to fit the markets that we were entering. In addition to this, we began building some critical partnerships with international partners.