New HQ gives expanding VMS ‘elbow room’ to grow


VMS Managing Director Jay Shields with Scottish Enterprise Chairman, Crawford Gillies.

Scottish firm Visual Management Systems (VMS) officially opened its new headquarters last week with an event attended by over 150 guests. The  £1m centre of excellence, in the Cambuslang Investment Park, was declared officially open by Scottish Enterprise Chairman, Crawford Gillies, at the event on 5 June 2014.

Visual Management Systems provides complete solutions including engineering services, software and hardware to integrate the world’s largest and most complex physical security systems.

Speaking about the event, Gordon McKeown, Marketing Manager, said the new facility would give the ambitious company room to grow and capture a slice of the expanding global specialist Physical Security  Information Management (PSIM) market, estimated to be worth £150 million.

“We’d been at our previous offices for about 10 years, and given our rate of expansion we’d simply outgrown it,” he said. “We assemble and configure a lot of servers and cameras onsite and we develop bespoke software and hardware solutions, so we really needed somewhere where it could all be appropriately stored. Now we more space for more suitable stockrooms for cameras and equipment, and all the teams have space to breathe, with dedicated areas for the software, engineering and commercial teams.”

party5McKeown said the inaugural event was a great success, attended by both old and new friends of the company. Scottish Enterprise has been supportive of the move, and its Chairman Crawford Gillies was on hand to toast VMS.

He said, “VMS is an exciting company because it combines exporting power and potential with high technology and strong in-house software development and engineering capability.”

Rhona Allison, Director of Company Growth at Scottish Enterprise, was also impressed. She said, “This new facility is a significant milestone in VMS’s growth plans as having the right premises with more space means VMS can recruit more staff to both meet the needs of their existing customers and to create new opportunities with new customers, new products and new markets.”

VMS designs software that links CCTV with other security systems such as fire, access control, perimeter intrusion detection and industrial process control – a niche product that is used in some of the world’s most critical infrastructure, including airports, power stations, oil rigs, hospitals and military sites. The company recently won the contract for Johannesburg Airport in South Africa, and is now seeking out new business in the Middle East.

McKeown explained that there is a very a good reason for VMS’s success: “One of the main reasons VMS is doing so well is that our solutions are not tied to any specific hardware – they have integration at their core. In addition, we don’t provide a simply ‘off-the-shelf’ service. Everything we produce is completely bespoke and supported by a full service approach.”

McKeown added that in markets like the Middle East, there is very little direct competition given the niche market VMS operates in, enabling the company to win big contracts in areas of critical national infrastructure such as border security, energy infrastructure and airports.

party4Although the new offices are in Scotland, VMS Managing Director Jay Shields believes they will be a foundation to further expansion in the Middle East.

He said, “We’ve done quite a bit of business in Ireland over the years, but recently we’ve really started to make progress in more distant international markets, especially in the Gulf region. It’s about building the right relationships. Together with our partners and with support from Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International we’re doing more and more business out there and considering some very big opportunities in Dubai and further afield. Our new headquarters give us the long overdue elbow room to accommodate the growing business.”

No matter how far VMS extends its reach, it’s clear that it is proud of its heritage, and its partners in Scotland are proud to be a part of the company’s success.

Prior to the official opening of the new base, VMS hosted Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Speaking about the move, she said, “I have been very impressed by the ambition, drive and innovation that is so clearly evident at VMS. The company’s new centre of excellence here in Cambuslang is a fantastic facility that will undoubtedly help them expand into new international markets. VMS are a great example of how Scottish companies can succeed in the global arena by pursuing niche opportunities and investing in their business.”


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