Case study: Petroc’s security boosted by PCE support

Screen-Shot-2013-10-28-at-13.23.29The client

Petroc is the result of a merger of North Devon College and East Devon College. The two colleges merged under the title of North Devon College in August 2008. Petroc was unveiled as the College’s new name in September 2009.

Petroc is a further education college for students aged 16 and above. It serves up to 20,000 students each year, including distance and work-based learners across the UK. The college employs more than 1,000 people. Its main campuses are in Barnstaple and Tiverton.

The challenge

Petroc initially invited Premier Communication Electronics to visit its Barnstaple site as it was struggling with its existing radio solution. Meanwhile, the Tiverton site’s caretakers and other estates staff were using a licence-free radio system. Neither system was efficiently meeting the College’s needs.

Latterly, Petroc organised a motorsport event attended by 4,000 people at nearby RMB Chivenor. This event required a radio system to assist with vital communications on the day.

The solution

Premier Communication Electronics (PCE) provided the following:

  • Maintenance of Barnstaple VHF radio system
  • Site survey at Tiverton-based College
  • Provision of 20 Vertex VX-350 Series radios
  • Application for a new Ofcom frequency licence
  • Re-programming of 9 radios for motorsport event
  • Engineer cover for motorsport event

An engineer attended PCE’s initial visit to Petroc’s Barnstaple site to enable him to audit the existing system straightaway. He discovered a problem with the College’s antenna and swiftly rectified this to boost Barnstaple’s radio coverage from 60 per cent to 95 per cent.

This maintenance job led to Petroc ordering extra radios for the Barnstaple site before calling PCE in again to audit the radio system it was using at the Tiverton site. A site survey revealed that the licence free 446 radios being used by the college were inadequate for their purpose in terms of poor coverage, and therefore PCE advised Petroc to invest in a Vertex VHF system; much like the one already being utilised at the Barnstaple site.

The VX-350 Series radios are robust models with long battery lives of more than 11 hours. They also include an in-built emergency function which, when activated, sends an emergency alert via a priority channel followed by an immediate, automatic shift to transmit mode whereby all other users can monitor who might be in trouble and listen in to an emergency call being broadcasted. This radio system was not licence-free, however, and PCE applied for the licence from Ofcom on the College’s

Petroc’s new radios came in very useful when the college organised the Petroc Motorsport Day to raise funds for The C Group and the RMB Chivenor Community fund. Radios were clearly required to assist the organisers with communication on the day, as 4,000 people’s safety was in their hands.

When Petroc contacted PCE regarding the potential hire of a radio system, the latter advised the college to utilise its own radio system. PCE re-programmed Petroc’s radios for the weekend and an engineer attended the event to ensure there were no problems.

The result
PCE successfully built a relationship with Petroc through the honest way in which it assisted the college with its initial issue with its existing radio system. Therefore by winning Petroc’s trust in terms of PCE’s engineering expertise, orders of new radios followed.

This relationship has developed further with PCE’s advice sought for the new solution installed at the Tiverton site and with Petroc’s motorsport event. Many companies may have recognised an opportunity to make some extra money from the College by hiring out a radio solution for the event, but PCE remained loyal to its scruples and helped Petroc make use of its existing system. And by laying these foundations of trust and professionalism, Petroc will be more likely to always turn to PCE as its first port of call for any future radio issues and advice.

Steve Haines, buildings & maintenance manager for Petroc, said: “PCE has always provided a very fast, efficient and professional service to us, which has always been the most effective way of meeting out needs without the hard sell of unnecessary equipment. Their representatives are also very attentive and knowledgeable.”

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