Tell us a little about the history of your company.
Latchways was founded in 1974 and is acknowledged as the first company to successfully develop and market engineered, cable-based, fall-arrest systems.
The company has continuously researched and engineered innovative ways of improving worker safety at height while aligning its product range to the evolving needs of the marketplace and the legislation governing it. In 2002, Latchways introduced the Constant Force® post which greatly simplified the installation of roof-mounted systems and is applicable to virtually all types of industrial roofing systems. The unique Constant Force® technology has subsequently been incorporated into Latchways’ ManSafe® horizontal, vertical, inclined and overhead systems.
In the 40 years since its formation, Latchways has grown to a position of eminence in fall protection solutions.
How and when did it originate?
In 1982, Latchways patented the Transfastener™ — a connecting device that allowed a user to be attached to a permanently installed lifeline without any intervention, offering a completely ‘hands free’ solution. The technology inside this product subsequently became a central component in a full range of Horizontal and Vertical Lifelines developed in the coming years.
What can you tell us about your number of employees, manufacturing sites and warehouse sites?
Latchways Inc. has a dedicated sales team in the U.S. with both regional business development managers and industry specialists. At the headquarters in the UK, there are more than 200 employees. All of our products are designed and built at headquarters, where Latchways has more than 70,000 square feet of facilities, and more than two-thirds of product is exported globally. Latchways Inc. also has a warehouse and distribution center in Texas to service the U.S. and Canada.
What has been your company’s business strategy to gain market share?
As we continue to grow our network of registered installers for our engineered systems, we also continue to innovate and develop a number of products suitable for our distributors to add to their existing portfolios, such as the ManSafe SRL and Personal Rescue Device™.
Describe the core branded products of your company that you promote most heavily.
Our registered brand ManSafe is synonymous with quality, innovative products. Our ManSafe cable-based Horizontal Lifelines (HLL) and Vertical Lifelines (VLL), when combined with our innovative attachment devices, offer a complete hands-free solution across all different types of structures. The ManSafe SRL product line is still the only range of SRLs that are fully serviceable on-site, offering a time-saving and cost-effective solution for end-users. The ManSafe Sealed SRL, suitable for extreme environments, has been so extensively tested that it holds an IP rating of 69k – the highest on the market. The Latchways PRD™ is a self-rescue, harness-integrated rescue solution that can lower a user safely to the ground from 60 feet in less than 30 seconds.
How do distributors contribute to your success in the marketplace?
Although we are an established player in Europe, Latchways Inc. has only been trading out of our Houston offices since April, 2014. We currently have a relatively small network of Latchways distributors—central to our growth plans is to increase our representation with distributors. We encourage our existing partners to help promote and market our innovative products to the end user. However, with the offices and new team in place, we are now in a great position to not only better support our existing partners, but also bring on board new ones.
Do you offer them training? What other value-added services?
Yes, we have an extensive range of training programs for all our customers—whether they are distributors, registered Installers or end-users. We also have an incredibly knowledgeable team of design engineers who go above and beyond to offer exceptional service.
What business characteristics do you look for when selecting to work with a distributor?
We want to connect with distributors who are actively engaged with servicing end-users in the area of fall protection. We always look to collaborate with partners who are like-minded and aware of the potentials within the various markets and geographies which we serve. We align ourselves to partners who see the value in products that are well-engineered, brilliantly designed and thoroughly tested so they can do the intended job— save lives.
Do you have any recent news about new facilities or new personnel to report?
Latchways Inc. opened an office and distribution center in Houston on April 1, 2014. To support our partners in North America, we are expanding our team to include regional business development managers and vertical market specialists to provide necessary coverage and expertise for the U.S. and Canada.
Describe your current financial picture.
The current financial picture for Latchways Inc. is strong and we expect continued growth for our second year of trading. Latchways plc, the parent company of Latchways Inc., is a listed company and has been registered on the London Stock Exchange since 1997.
What should distributors know about your company’s future, in terms of short- and long-range plans?
Latchways Inc. is investing in North America and is committed to this market.
Short-term, we already have a number of distributor-ready, and viable products. Long-term we will continue develop new solutions and provide the highest level of satisfaction for our channel partners and end users.
We pride ourselves on providing world-class fall protection solutions to help workers go home to their families and loved ones at night.